Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard announced a three-year agreement to spend $250 million on product integration and joint marketing. The two companies will collaborate on an engineering road map for data management machines; converged, pre-packaged application solutions; comprehensive virtualization offerings; and integrated management tools.
To add a bit more muscle behind the announcement, the two companies brought out their top executives, HP CEO Mark Hurd and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who called the agreement the IT industry's "most comprehensive technology stack integration to date" -- ranging from infrastructure to application.
[ Keep up with the latest virtualization news with InfoWorld's virtualization newsletter or visit the InfoWorld Virtualization Topic Center for news, blogs, essentials, and information about InfoWorld virtualization events. ]
What's it all mean?
The strategic partnership brings together server, storage, network, and application resources into a self-managed environment. Part of the agreement is to develop integrated offerings that involve Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization, Microsoft System Center management software, HP Virtual SAN Appliance technology (formerly LeftHand Networks), HP Insight Software, and HP Business Technology Optimization software. And moving from virtualization to the cloud, Microsoft and HP will collaborate on the Windows Azure platform, with the two companies offering services while Microsoft continues to invest in HP hardware for the Azure infrastructure.
If the announcement sounds a bit familiar, perhaps you are having flashbacks to the alliance agreement announced between Cisco, EMC, and VMware where a Vblock infrastructure package was created that combined VMware vSphere, Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) blades, Cisco networking, EMC storage, and its Ionix management platform. And to help service the architecture, implementation, and support, don't forget about the joint effort behind Acadia.