Posted by Brad Anderson
Corporate Vice President, Management And Services Division

Today Microsoft and HP announced some great news for customers and partners of our infrastructure software and server applications: a $250 million engineering, sales and services partnership to advance cloud computing and help customers better use IT for business success. You can read the press release and watch videos of executives commenting on the agreement here.

This is a broad, far-reaching agreement with a range of components, building on our 25-year partnership with HP and ongoing efforts to deliver what we call Dynamic IT. As one of the main architects of the agreement, I wanted to provide some insights about what it means for customers and partners.

This is clearly a big commitment on our part. Overall, our intent is to deliver no less than a next-generation computing platform. The goal is to lead the adoption of cloud computing while helping companies realize immediate business benefits through IT. With this partnership the two companies are working toward new models for application delivery, hardware architecture and IT operations.

Together HP and Microsoft will deliver a deeply integrated IT stack for business applications. We are driving architectural innovation that connects IT infrastructure to applications for better performance, reliability and availability of the industry’s top business applications with push-button simplicity – all at a lower cost of ownership than ever before.

For example, pre-integrated hardware, software and application solutions, based on HP Converged Infrastructure and optimized for Microsoft Exchange 2010, will help customers boost employee productivity and protect sensitive information at a lower cost per mailbox.

Key to this deal is integrating virtualization and systems management across heterogeneous datacenter and cloud environments. Seamless management for both physical and virtualized systems will provide automatic provisioning, power management and self-tuning, which together will help customers streamline the deployment of new business capabilities across their companies.

For example, we’re integrating HP’s Insight Software and Business Technology Optimization software portfolio with Microsoft’s System Center suite. That will enable customers to uniformly manage virtualized IT services in mixed datacenter environments, which will dramatically simplify management for administrators and increases their contribution to the business.

We’re excited about our joint engineering roadmap and commitment to innovation for both today and the future. I feel strongly that this partnership will give customers the confidence to deploy new business solutions using IT they already have in place, and take advantage of the new world of private and public cloud resources. Case in point: HP and Microsoft will collaborate on the Windows Azure platform, with HP offering services and Microsoft continuing to invest in HP hardware for Windows Azure infrastructure.

The partnership also entails big investments in HP Technology Services and Microsoft Services to provide design, implementation and support for our joint technologies. And we are increasing our joint investment in our HP/Microsoft Frontline channel partner network by 10 times, empowering partners to help customers implement and manage the solutions.

This is a big day for Microsoft and HP. More importantly, it represents the beginning of a new period of opportunity and possibilities for customers and partners worldwide.