HP extends VMWare support

Hewlett-Packard will announce plans Wednesday to fully support the Windows, Netware and Linux operating systems running on top of VMWare's virtual machine software as part of an extension of its partnership with the maker of virtual machine software for Intel systems.

The deal means that, as of Wednesday, HP ProLiant customers experiencing problems with an operating system running on top of VMWare will be able to call one number for technical support. "Now you have HP services on point for the hardware, for the software, and for the Windows or Linux operating system," said Ron Eller, HP's vice president of solutions for Industry Standard Servers.

HP began offering VMWare on its ProLiant servers in June 2002, but HP Services did not initially provide technical support for Windows, Linux or Netware running on top of the virtual machine software. So HP customers with technical support problems could be referred to VMWare or even an operating system supplier like Microsoft or Red Hat, said VMWare Chief Executive Officer Diane Greene. "That's been a problem, and this helps address it," she said.

Closer ties with VMWare will also help reassure customers that the software will continue to run smoothly on HP's Intel servers, said David Adshade, a VMWare customer and consultant with Method Consulting. "It's nice to know that your vendor's always going to be making sure that VMWare is going to run on their platforms," he said.

Stronger support for VMWare advances HP's Adaptive Enterprise strategy, the company's recently announced plan to integrate software, hardware and services so that computing resources can be added or removed from a network, said IDC analyst Dan Kusnetzky. "HP had a really strong story when it came to parallel processing and scalability," he said, adding, "They really didn't have a good software story for making one machine look like many."

VMWare announced a similar support arrangement with IBM's Global Services division in July 2002.

The agreement covers Netware, Windows, SuSE Linux, and Red Hat Linux running on VMWare, HP said.

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