If you haven’t heard by now, today, Microsoft and HP announced a three-year, $250 Million agreement to build a strategic partnership to simplify technology for our customers.  This agreement between Microsoft and HP will result in collaborations in engineering roadmaps, prepackaged application solutions, and comprehensive virtualization offerings and integrated management tools.

To get more information on the actual announcement itself, the press releases, videos, and other details, click here.

One the key areas for the agreement is Virtualization.  By working on integrating the technologies from both companies, Microsoft and HP can provide customers with a management solution that goes from Infrastructure to Application, from Cloud to Desktop.  I think it’s clear that the future of IT it’s not just a discussion of physical and virtual management but how to manage IT holistically, which includes both physical and virtual infrastructure.

In the near term, the technical result of this partnership is that we’ll see data center management solutions based on both the System Center family of tools and HP’s Insight Software.  This allows for heterogeneous management of data centers, integrating not just monitoring but also provisioning and maintenance of both physical and virtual systems.

Second, there are new “Smart Bundles” that bring Virtualization solutions to Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs), using HP Servers, Storage, and Networking along with Windows Server and Insight software, all managed with System Center Essentials (SCE) and HP Operations Center.  SMBs can really benefit from virtualization and these new Smart Bundles provide a single, cost effective package for virtualization.

Over the next three years, customers can expect to see deeper integration of Insight Software and System Center, interoperability between Business Technology Optimization software with the System Center, increased collaboration on run book automation, HP and Microsoft services integrating their expertise on virtualization and cloud based implementations, and much more.

How this impacts virtualization is that the focus of this partnership is in the area I have repeatedly highlighted as the key to virtualization, management.  I’m sure many have heard the phrase that virtualization without good management is worse no virtualization in the first place.  This statement becomes more and more true as everyone deploys more virtualization.

Like I’ve posted many times, management of virtualization and the integration of virtualization management into the rest of IT is what should be the focus of customersToo much focus is spent on technologies & features and too little is focused on implementation and management.  In the lifecycle of your systems, you will spend more time, energy, and money on management of the systems than on the initial implementation.  Great management capabilities reap benefits on a daily basis.  That’s why I’m so excited about this announcement and why I think the people who benefit the most from it are customers who are implementing and will continue to implement virtualization.

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Edwin Yuen
Senior Technical Product Manager – Virtualization
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