Hewlett-Packard Wednesday said it has expanded its relationship with Cisco Systems to bolster adoption of its Utility Data Center (UDC).
Originally launched back in November 2001, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer and printer maker is currently revising this area of its Grid Computing strategy to combat the onslaught of rival networking management offerings such as IBM's "on-demand computing" and Sun Microsystems with its "N1" strategy.
HP's version is self-adapting, self-healing and policy-driven, meaning computing power allocation and management is automated. In addition, the HP UDC's open system supports multiple hardware vendors and operating systems, giving customers more flexibility.
With Cisco by its side, the two companies have agreed to joint engineering development and interoperability testing. Included in deal are Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches, PIX 515 Series firewalls and 2950 routers. HP said its Utility Controller software ties the whole thing together under a revised UDC architecture.
HP Enterprise Systems Group director of Utility Computing Nick van der Zweep said that Cisco is also investing massive amounts of R&D resources into the project as well as joint marketing, sales and cooperative support required to pull off the package. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the deal is being toted as "major."
"This is going to be a very strong thrust with our sales force on a worldwide basis," van der Zweep said. "We'll be targeting mostly our top accounts, calling on customers with 100-plus servers in a data centers. Our blades and the storage virtualization software will be targeted to mid- to small-sized enterprise."
The two companies have worked extensively with each other in the last ten years. HP has resold Cisco products since 1997. Van der Zweep said HP's decision to use the Catalyst brand over its own ProCurve switch products was based more on customer requests than on HP's faith in its offerings.
"We ship 64-way system servers, but our pricing is based more on a vertical scale -- the more computing space the customer uses, the more they pay. The same is true for customers that use less than they expected," said van der Zweep.
Van der Zweep said HP is close to announcing a recent large customer, but would only allude to the fact that it is a current customer of UDC and Cisco environments.
Also tooting its own horn, HP said it has sold more than 218,000 licenses of key technologies including more than 10,000 on-demand server licenses that deliver usage-based utility computing. Currently, HP customers have already purchased more than 70,000 licenses for HP Serviceguard clustering and more than 65,000 licenses for HP workload management software.
Meantime, Cisco is making its presence known in other ways. The San Jose, Calif.-based computer-networking equipment maker announced Tuesday that it would embark on a brand awareness advertising campaign.