HP, Microsoft broaden NAS partnership

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) and Microsoft Corp. are expanding their partnership on NAS (network attached storage) products in an effort to boost sales and improve products, the companies said Monday.

The two-and-a-half year-old partnership for Windows Powered NAS products will now also include joint training of engineers and aligned sales and marketing teams. Also, sales partners will get access to implementation blueprints and case studies, Zane Adam, director of product management and marketing at Microsoft’s Enterprise Storage division said.

“We strengthen the relationship with HP to bring Windows Powered NAS deeper into the enterprise,” Adam said in an interview at HP’s ENSA@Work storage event in Amsterdam.

HP and Microsoft have their eyes set on businesses looking to cut back the number of servers they run, but add storage hardware. A huge multibillion dollar market opportunity within the HP customer base alone, Adam said.

“There are nearly 2 million NT 4 and Windows 2000 servers out there in need of consolidation, almost 1.2 million of those are in the HP base. We will target those,” he said. There are also about 500,000 Exchange 5.0 and older messaging servers in use that are up for consolidation, he added.

These systems are up for replacement because they run old software and are complete servers now in use as file or e-mail storage, Adam said. Replacing the systems with fewer servers, but added storage hardware will result in reduced cost as there is less, or cheaper, hardware involved and the system is easier to manage, he said.