HP Bumps Up Pacts with Microsoft, Brocade

One week after previewing of what it would be unveiling
at the HP [email protected] storage networking show, HP also reported from the
Amsterdam conference it was expanding its partnerships with Microsoft
and Brocade
Communications Systems
.


With Microsoft, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based systems vendor said it would aim
to boost each other’s presence in the $1.8 billion network-attached storage
market (NAS) market.


The firms teamed to create HP StorageWorks and Windows-powered NAS products, which include file and data servers based on Windows as part of a storage and server consolidation strategy to businesses. Advanced features include snapshot and advanced storage management, full integration with the Active Directory service, combined
with low per-gigabyte storage cost, simple network plug-and-play deployment,
clustering and replication support.


To highlight their bolstered partnership, the firms will hit the road
together for a 10-city roadshow in Atlanta,
Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco,
Toronto and Washington. HP hopes the exposure will help shed light on its
adaptive infrastructure for customers.


Enterprise Storage Group
Founder Steve Duplessie said the pact will strengthen both firms’ position
in the enterprise, while Microsoft said the reworked deal “opens up
significant revenue opportunities for Microsoft and HP.”


“Microsoft gets a big partner to continue moving its NAS operating system
into the data center,” Duplessie said. “HP enhances its relationship with
the fastest growing NAS player on top of its SAN business. In both cases,
the ultimate customer gets better solutions.”


HP and Microsoft, which have worked in storage together since July 2000,
will conduct joint sales and marketing activities, including sales training
and technical seminars.


In its expanded pact with San Jose’s Brocade, HP will serve up its VersaStor
virtualization technology within the new Brocade SilkWorm Fabric Application
Platform to produce better scalability and performance in
heterogeneous storage environments. Brocade created the platform courtesy of
technology it acquired when it bought
Rhapsody Networks last November.


The agreement falls under HP’s ENSAextended strategy for the future of
networked enterprise storage, which is to help customers manage storage
environments based on adaptive storage infrastructures that are controllable
and extensible.
The deal will help its HP OpenView continuous access storage appliance
(CASA) allow network traffic to be directed as required by the customers’
storage needs. CASA will also now integrate with HP and Brocade SAN fabrics
and HP OpenView storage area management (SAM) software.


John Webster, senior analyst and founder, Data Mobility Group, approved the bid
by HP and Brocade to make storage management easier for their customers.


“The increased partnership level announced between HP and Brocade, the first
of its kind to embrace the Rhapsody platform for storage virtualization and
management, represents a major step forward in the evolution of the industry
toward delivering solutions that address this key customer requirement,”
Webster said.


The intelligent switch product is expected to ship with HP VersaStor
technology in the second half of 2003.

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