HP, MS join on server/storage consolidation campaign

Microsoft Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. announced a joint marketing campaign focused on services for the multibillion-dollar server and storage consolidation market, which is currently the domain of industry leaders Network Appliance Inc. and EMC Corp.

The Microsoft/HP collaboration will focus on consolidating old Microsoft Netware, Exchange and Unix servers onto modern, high-capacity arrays from HP, using Microsoft’s “more tightly” integrated Windows 2003 operating system, which is due out in April.

HP said it will also be announcing Windows-friendly software products during the next six months.

“There are 2 million file servers and half a million message servers out there, and customers are starting to understand the benefits of consolidating their server and storage environment together,” said Roger Archibault, vice president and general manager of HP’s Infrastructure and NAS (network-attached storage) Division.

Neither Microsoft nor HP would disclose the amount of money they are contributing to the marketing and services pot, only saying that it is between hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars.

Charles Stevens, vice-president of sales and marketing for Microsoft’s Enterprise Storage Division, said the two companies plan to actively promote the new products, training and joint services that will be announced during the next few years.

One of the first efforts in the initiative will be a North American road show beginning in March to demonstrate joint architectures and products. The road show is expected to reach more than 3,500 customers and channel partners via live events and simultaneous webcasts.

“HP’s strategy of integrating leading NAS solutions with [storage-area networks] to provide a single, managed storage pool has advanced our market position considerably over the past three quarters,” Howard Elias, senior vice president and general manager of HP Network Storage Solutions, said in a statement today.

“By collaborating with Microsoft and integrating Windows-powered NAS as a key part of our NAS portfolio, HP is able to reach the broadest cross-section of customers with the industry’s most comprehensive set of NAS and NAS/SAN fusion solutions,” Elias said.