Memo From HP to MSPs: Use Hewlett-Packard Infrastructure

For the second time in recent weeks, Hewlett-Packard is promoting a hardware and storage win in the managed services market. And sources within HP say the computer giant is preparing more steps to ensure MSP infrastructure leverages HP StorageWorks, HP BladeSystem and related technologies. But what's the potential upside for MSPs? Here's the update.

The latest HP win involves Opus Interactive, a managed services provider (MSP) and cloud hosting specialist in Portland, Ore. Opus has deployed HP Converged Infrastructure such as a StorageWorks P4000 SAN, ProLiant BL460c server blades and the BladeSystem c7000 enclosure. Opus uses HP Insight Control and VMware vSphere to manage the solution, according to a prepared statement from HP and Opus.

Beyond the Geek Talk

Still, this is more than a tech infrastructure story. HP seems to be pursuing symbiotic relationships with MSP-centric companies. For instance, Axcient -- a hybrid cloud storage provider -- built its infrastructure on HP hardware. At the same time, HP and Axcient have lined up roughly 200 HP channel partners to leverage Axcient's SMB cloud services. HP also has a well-documented relationship with Level Platforms, the remote monitoring and management software offering for MSPs.

A year ago, I openly questioned HP's commitment in the MSP market, particularly in the SMB segment. When Channel Chief Stephen DiFranco jumped from Lenovo to HP in early 2010, I figured he would inject some managed services expertise into HP's channel culture. DiFranco, after all, had previously helped Lenovo to engage MSPs (with an assist from Lenovo veteran Jay McBain, now at Autotask).

Fast forward to the present and a growing number of HP insiders seem to be on the managed services bandwagon. VP of Channel Strategy Meaghan Kelly, for one, has been connecting the dots between HP's managed services commitment and SMB channel moves. Kelly has also been scouring Silicon Valley for entrepreneurs who are developing channel-friendly solutions.

I expect HP's MSP-centric efforts to accelerate in the weeks ahead.

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