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The Microsoft / HP Announcement - How does this affect the Data Professional?

The Microsoft / HP Announcement - How does this affect the Data Professional?

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I've been watching with interest the reactions to the new Microsoft/HP alliance that was announced here this week. Being an old-timer DBA, I rarely implement the latest technology, jump on the new bandwagon or react to the latest news quickly. I try to think about what I'm hearing, digest it a little, research what everyone else is saying and then evaluate whether it is right for me. So with that in mind, I read all of the various reports from Microsoft, HP, and then what others have been saying. I even read Donald Farmer's post!

I'll share my thoughts on how I believe this will impact the "day to day DBA". If you manage or maintain a database system, this post is for you.

First, the facts:
Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard announced a three-year "technology integration" marketing agreement, involving hardware and certain application software, one of which is SQL Server. From the marketing teams to the engineers and partners, the Microsoft/HP agreement puts the two companies in-sync with delivering a solution (which can be a very marketing, overused term I'll admit), rather than making the hardware and software and consulting decisions separately.

What that means for the Data Professional:
From hardware to software, Microsoft and HP will work together to give you a system that is already built and optimized for the workload. You can think of it as a "Database Appliance" or a "turn-key" type of purchase. Sure, there's more to it than that, but this is the one nugget I gleaned from my research that would make my work easier.

My reaction:
This is a tall order, because the immediate pushback I'm thinking is "shops are so different - will this really fly?" But I think back to several shops I've worked at, and I've heard multiple times "I wish there was just one order I could put in and have this database server put to bed. I'm tired of wading through the which-memory-works-best-with-which-Edition-of-SQL Server questions!" Interestingly, these aren't just in the small shops I've worked at. Some mid-level and even large shops have even less time to think about implementing a new system, so this would be even more useful for them. Being able to order a single box and have it optimized for SQL Server is very compelling for me.

So I have high hopes for this partnership. I think it's been a gap in the SQL Server offering for quite some time - other platforms have had this, and it's done quite well for them.

Your takeaway:
Research the links below and form your own opinion. There's more than just the "database appliance" idea here, and it affects more than just SQL Server. You may find that there's something for you.

The main announcement (with video)
The combination Microsoft/HP page

More from Microsoft

Donald Farmer's take

Small and Medium Business impact

  • How is this any different than the turnkey data warehouse appliance solution partnership that Microsoft announced with Dell a couple of years ago?  Did Dell just stop sending Ballmer swag?  ;-)

  • Ha!  I think the relationship here is much deeper, from what I read. The difference is that the partnership is across the various disciplines, from marketing to training, partners and of course hardware and software engineering in both companies.

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