HP and Microsoft Unveil Converged Application Appliances

HP and Microsoft have announced four new converged application appliances that combine applications, infrastructure and productivity tools into a single system.

In addition, there is the previously-announced HP Enterprise Data Warehouse Appliance, an enterprise-level mission-critical system. Now available with a starting price of $2 million, the HP Enterprise Data Warehouse Appliance is said to deliver up to 200 times faster queries and 10 times the scalability of traditional SQL Server deployments.

The four new appliances include the HP Business Decision Appliance, available now, and the HP E5000 Messaging System for Microsoft Exchange Server, which is planned to be available in 45 days to run messaging services. Two other appliances - the HP Business Data Warehouse Appliance and the HP Database Consolidation Appliance - are expected to be available later this year.

Delivering on the companies' extended partnership announced a year ago, the new appliances are intended to enable IT to rapidly deliver critical business applications such as business intelligence, data warehousing, online transaction processing and messaging.

These purpose-built appliances provide the performance and ease of use that customers are looking for, Doug Small, director, HP and Microsoft Infrastructure-to-Applications Business, HP Enterprise Servers Storage & Networking, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

"Our appliances have been engineered from the beginning with time to solution in mind," notes Fausto Ibarra, senior director of Business Intelligence at Microsoft. "We are really offering a unique value proposition."

The new HP Business Decision Appliance is optimized for Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft SharePoint and can be installed and configured by IT in less than 1 hour, according to the companies. 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. It allows IT to centrally audit, monitor and manage solutions created by end users from a single dashboard.

"Not only do we provide benefit to the IT organization to get the BI infrastructure up very quickly," says  Small, but "this opens up the realm of BI to a whole new class of users who can now run their own BI queries using familiar tools that most knowledge workers across the world are familiar with."

Because the appliances are open, based on industry-standards and can be integrated into heterogeneous data centers, the offerings are well-suited for channel partners.

In addition to the HP Business Decision Appliance, the new HP Business Data Warehouse Appliance is a data store designed for small and midsize businesses that delivers enterprise-class functionality with increased simplicity and administrator-free operation. This appliance, which is expected to be available in June, complements the HP Enterprise Data Warehouse Appliance, which is designed for large organizations, optimized for SQL Server 2008 R2. The HP Enterprise Data Warehouse Appliance improves data access with massive scalability and faster queries than traditional SQL Server databases.

The new HP E5000 Messaging System for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, a self-contained, pre-configured platform for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 that delivers enterprise-class messaging to businesses of all sizes, will be available in March.

In addition to workload-specific appliances, HP and Microsoft plan to offer the HP Database Consolidation Appliance in the second half of this year. This new appliance consolidates hundreds of databases into a single, virtual environment, providing customers with a private cloud database solution that offers self-service, on-demand scalability and dynamic elasticity with the additional control offered through an on-premises deployment. 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.

HP and Microsoft 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 are "not just generic services, but services designed specifically around these new appliances we've brought to market, delivered by both HP and Microsoft," says Small.

More information is available at from HP  and Microsoft.