Almost exactly one year has passed since HP and Microsoft trumpeted a three-year, $250 million "infrastructure-to-apps" partnership through which the companies are combining forces to deliver an array of integrated IT products to the business world.
The companies today announced the latest fruits of their collective efforts, signaling that their partnership is not simply hype. To use the HP-Microsoft vernacular, they have unveiled "four converged application appliances that fuse applications, infrastructure, and productivity tools into a single system."
Extracting meaning from the marketing-speak, we seem to have four systems composed of HP-branded server and storage hardware that are primed to run preloaded Microsoft-spawned code.
Specifically, the four offerings are the HP Business Decision Appliance, a system that performs business intelligence duties running on SQL Server 2008 R2 and SharePoint 2010; the HP Enterprise Data Warehouse Appliance which runs SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse software; the HP E5000 Messaging system running Microsoft Exchange Server 2010; and the HP Business Data Warehouse Appliance, which also runs SQL Server 2008 R2 along with Microsoft's Hyper-V Cloud. Absent from the announcement anything relating to Azure, Microsoft's HP-backed cloud platform.
Among Microsoft and HP's selling points for these products is rapid deployment. Because all the configuration and optimization is done at the factory, so to speak, an organization can theoretically have a shiny new data-warehousing or business intelligence system up and running in a matter of hours instead of months.
Notably, this isn't the first appliance HP and Microsoft have rolled out since signing their agreement; in November, they announced the HP Enterprise Data Warehouse Appliance, which is built on HP ProLiant DL360 and DL380 G7 servers, as well as HP StorageWorks MSA P2000 storage.
The newly announced HP Business Data Warehouse Appliance is, in fact, a complement to the aforementioned system, geared toward small and midsize businesses, delivering "enterprise-class" data-warehousing capabilities and administrator-free operation. The Business Data Warehouse Appliance is due out in June; pricing was not disclosed.