HP and Microsoft have unveiled a three-year agreement to invest $250-million to significantly simplify technology environments. They will work together on a new infrastructure-to-application model; advance cloud computing by speeding application implementation; and simplify IT management while automating manual processes.

This agreement represents the industry’s most comprehensive technology stack integration to date – from infrastructure to application – and is intended to substantially improve the customer experience for developing, deploying and managing IT environments.
With this strategic partnership, HP and Microsoft will collaborate on an engineering roadmap for data management machines; converged, prepackaged application solutions; comprehensive virtualisation offerings; and integrated management tools.
Delivered through the industry’s most extensive sales and partner network, the companies belives the new IT solutions will provide:
* Increased business efficiency through solutions that respond to changing business requirements by seamlessly converging server, storage, network and application resources in a highly automated, self-managed environment.
* Improved application performance, reliability and availability for some of the industry’s top business applications, including Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft SQL Server, by creating a deeply optimised “machine” environment. This is achieved through turnkey, pre-integrated server, storage, networking and application packages. These data management and email machines provide “push button” simplicity in deployment and management.
* Enhanced operations through integrated, interoperable virtualisation and management tools that allow technology environments to be automatically provisioned, managed and continuously self-tuned. Through the integration of HP Insight Software, HP Business Technology Optimisation software and Microsoft System Center, enterprise customers use a unified management solution to automate application deployment along with infrastructure-to-application monitoring. This integration also delivers power and performance optimisation, while ensuring interoperability in a heterogeneous data center environment.
* Investment protection and low total cost of ownership, enabling customers to deploy systems with confidence. The joint solutions are built on industry standards and designed to utilise existing data center investments, all managed through a common framework. This approach is designed to enable customers to integrate private or public cloud computing models as their business requires. HP and Microsoft will collaborate on the Windows Azure platform, with HP and Microsoft offering services, and Microsoft continuing to invest in HP hardware for Windows Azure infrastructure.
“Driving innovation helps businesses establish a competitive advantage,” says Manoj Bhoola, Enterprise Storage, Servers and Networking (ESSN) Country Manager of the Enterprise Business (EB) at HP South Africa. “This collaboration will allow HP and Microsoft to offer our customers transformative technology that will reduce costs, generate business growth and accelerate innovation.”
The new infrastructure-to-application model from HP and Microsoft will be delivered as integrated offerings for large, heterogeneous data center environments as well as through solutions designed for small and midsize businesses.
Solutions are available immediately, with new offerings being introduced throughout the next three years.
“This agreement, which spans hardware, software and services, will enable business customers to optimise performance with push-button simplicity at the lowest-possible total cost of ownership,” says Desmond Nair, Server and Tools Business Group Lead, Microsoft South Africa. “Our extended partnership will transform the way large enterprises deliver services to their customers, and help smaller organisations adopt IT to grow their businesses. Microsoft and HP are betting on each other so our customers don’t have to gamble on IT.”