Industry giants Microsoft and HP are teaming up to deliver four application-specific appliances, designed to simplify deployment and management of business tools such as business intelligence and email.
The appliances remove the need for IT organizations to separately purchase and configure server hardware and software. Instead, the application is configured and optimized to run on specific hardware.
The appliances include the HP Business Decision Appliance, the HP E5000 Messaging System for Microsoft Exchange Server, both available within 45 days, and two other appliances that will be available later this year.
The appliances are more expensive in terms of capital cost than buying the server and software, according to Doug Small, global alliances marketing director at HP, who spoke with Channel Insider about the new appliances. That’s because they have been pre-configured and optimized to reduce the deployment workload on the IT organization. For instance, the HP Business Decision Appliance, a business intelligence solution, costs about $28,000 for the hardware alone. Software licenses will add to the cost, but Small noted that most businesses already own the licenses that can be used for the appliance.
Channel partners did initially express some concern that the preconfigured appliances would remove some of the opportunity for value-added services that the channel could provide, said Small. But Small told Channel Insider that most channel partners ultimately were won over by the easier deployment plus the remaining opportunity for providing integration services with the customer’s existing environment.
The HP Business Decision Appliance is optimized for Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft SharePoint and can be installed and configured by IT in less than one hour, the companies said.
The solution enables end users to share data analyses built with Microsoft’s PowerPivot add-in for Microsoft Excel and collaborate with others in SharePoint 2010, according to the companies. It allows IT to centrally audit, monitor and manage solutions created by end users from a single dashboard.
Other appliances include the HP E5000 Messaging System for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, which is billed as the industry’s first self-contained, pre-configured platform for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. It features the HP Quick Deployment tool, which validates configuration and active directory permissions to enable faster implementation.
HP and Microsoft also plan to deliver the HP Database Consolidation Appliance which relies upon Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization software to consolidate up to hundreds of databases into a single virtual environment.
Optimized for SQL Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Hyper-V Cloud, the appliance will be delivered as complete, pre-installed, pre-tuned hardware with rapid deployment and enhanced manageability. Similar capabilities of the appliance will be offered as a reference architecture to customers who have advanced IT skills and prefer to build their own appliance with best practice guidance from HP and Microsoft.
HP and Microsoft said they will also offer support and consulting services for the converged application appliances to help customers accelerate business service delivery. The services portfolios include assessment, design, proof of concept and implementation, as well as ongoing support. The services use HP and Microsoft’s expertise in delivering comprehensive, simplified solutions for data management, business intelligence, data warehouse and messaging.
HP and Microsoft provided the following pricing and availability information:
- The HP Business Decision Appliance with three years of HP 24/7 hardware and software support services is available today from HP and HP/Microsoft Frontline channel partners for less than $28,000 (ERP). Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft SharePoint 2010 are licensed separately.
- The HP Enterprise Data Warehouse Appliance with services for site assessment, installation and start-up, as well as three years of HP 24/7 hardware and software support services, is available today from HP and HP/Microsoft Frontline channel partners starting at less than $2 million. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse is licensed separately.
- The HP E5000 Messaging System with three years of HP 24/7 hardware and software support services is expected to be available in March from HP and HP/Microsoft Frontline channel partners starting at $36,000. Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 is licensed separately.
- The HP Business Data Warehouse Appliance is expected to be available in June, and the HP Database Consolidation Appliance is planned to be available in the second half of this year.