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Today Microsoft and HP announced an expanded partnership in order to deliver fully integrated application to hardware stacks. It’s a brilliant move, absolutely stunningly smart and spot on for HP.

I wrote about Oracle VM and the fully integrated stack that Larry Ellison has been promoting to his customers. Superficially it might seem like a piece of vendor lock in but actually it is a very powerful and compelling solution for risk adverse enterprise customers. Do not underestimate how CIOs treat risk where their critical applications are concerned. It is undoubtably the number one driver and motivator.

By offering a single, fully supported (at the source code level) stack I believe Oracle got it right.  For a while they have been the only player on the field to be in a position to make that offer.

Today HP and Microsoft became the second fully integrated stack in play.

I better explain what I mean by a fully integrated stack it includes the following layers

  • Application
  • Middleware and Database
  • Programming language and framework
  • Operating System
  • Hypervisor
  • Hardware

VCE (VMware, Cisco and EMC) and Citrix play in this space too but have too many missing parts to be fully vertically integrated.

Oracle / Sun HP/MSFT VCE Citrix
Application Y Y N N
Middleware and Database Y Y N N
Programming language and framework Y Y N N
Operating System Y Y N N
Hypervisor Y Y Y Y
Hardware Y Y Y N

So VMware have the largest market share and a ton of trained VMware engineers in the field but there are more Microsoft MCSE guys out there and everyone understand Proliant,

The biggest point is who wins the ISV and developer mindshare? Microsoft have .net, Oracle have Java. Microsoft play better with developers than Oracle but maybe Larry can learn a bit from Sun about winning Java mindshare?

If I was Larry, I would borrow some Iranian nukes and bomb the EU, if I was VMware or Citrix I would be sucking up to developers like crazy.  Mark Hurd is definitely feeling smug, very smug today.

There Are 4 Responses So Far. »

  1. Is Hurd happy because he wins the commodity infrastructure war no matter what?

  2. I guess he is happy because the whole HP message of convergence is coming to pass. As well as the fully integrated application stack, he has with the Microsoft partnership, he has servers, storage, networks and systems software top table positions.

    Convergence in two dimensions.


  3. Like all things, the devil is in the detail and an announcement don’t make it real, as we all know.

    Marketing is one thing, but as you are highlighting risk I’d like to know what CIO’s think the risk is of buying big stacks of Microsoft + HP stuff? There will be CIOs who have an aversion to that, especially when the HP guys land and then want to expand.

    I think this is a risk for VMware because I’ve heard customers talk about these kind of stacks as though they really believe it’s the strategic way forward, and these are the big customers with big pockets that have already paid for VMware ELAs which are about to time out…

    It’s a risk for my employer, Cisco, but also an opportunity because the partners who suddenly lose all their services to integrate these pieces suddenly have a drip of revenue where their used to be a flood. Now partners look for some other, best of breed, vendors to put custom solutions together to fit each customer’s requirements instead of a M$+HP “one size fits all” stack.

    I will believe it when I see it, when I have a beer with some different customers and start to hear a pattern of this being more than marketing and decision makers being influenced to make a decision on it.

    We live in interesting times 🙂

    Great post,

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by alaingeenrits, Steve O'Donnell, Steve O'Donnell, unix player, markbowker and others. markbowker said: RT @stephenodonnell: I bet Mark Hurd is feeling rather pleased with himself #HPMSFT […]

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