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HP, Microsoft Cloud Conspiracy Theories

This much we know: HP and Microsoft announced a three-year agreement calling for the two computer industry giants to invest the tidy sum of $250 million in products and projects -- including Microsoft's still-emerging Azure Cloud service -- that will put them high atop the data center stack by the time the dust settles.

Less officially, we also know that the deal aligns HP and Microsoft squarely against the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) coalition, unveiled this past Nov. 3 and composed of Cisco and its prime-time partners VMware and EMC. They too want to own the data center via extended links to cloud-based customers.

Looking at it solely from the cloud angle, according to the press release, Microsoft and HP will "collaborate on Azure, with HP and Microsoft offering services, and Microsoft continuing to invest in HP hardware for Windows Azure infrastructure."

Cloudwise, VCE partners Cisco and EMC also introduced Acadia, which the two described as "a joint venture focused on accelerating customer buildouts of private cloud infrastructures through an end-to-end enablement service providers and large enterprise customers."

This large-scale, deal-making is by no means a new MO for Microsoft and HP. Last May, they took the wraps off a four-year, $180 million deal calling for the creation and marketing of unified communications products and services that is redolent of the thinking Cisco baked into its Unified Communications System, which turned Cisco into a blade server maker with strong ties to VMware. The May agreement calls for joint product development, professional services and sales and marketing.

While all of this is going down, Oracle is still digesting Sun, and IBM is left on the sidelines to contemplate -- at least for now -- the trials and tribulations of solitary success.

Question: What's in all these giant conglomerations for virtualization users? E-mail me or post comments here.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 01/14/2010 at 12:48 PM


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