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HP, along with its solution providers, is considered by many in the channel as VMware’s biggest go-to-market channel for its technology, followed by companies such as IBM.
Therefore, any moves which make the relationship between EMC and VMware appear tighter than before spark concerns about VMware's partnership with HP and with other vendors, according to solution providers.
HP solution providers who are building private and public cloud solutions on HP's converged infrastructure are skeptical about whether the HP-VMware relationship can continue in its present form.
"I can't see how the HP-VMware alliance is going to continue to work," said one solution provider CEO, who is partnering closely with HP and VMware. "First VMware is EMC owned and EMC and Cisco are coming together. For HP it is like sleeping with the enemy."
Executives related to the VCE Coalition did not return requests for comment on this story.
Any joint development between VMware with EMC and Cisco that gives Cisco servers and EMC storage better VMware performance than HP servers and storage could potentially kill VMware’s relationship with HP, the solution provider CEO said.
"That is not the case right now, but if they start fine tuning VMware to run better on Cisco and EMC than on other hardware platforms, that would be big problem for HP," he said.
HP's Virtualization Elite program supports not only VMware, but Citrix and Microsoft, said the solution provider. "All the major hardware vendors are going to have to hedge their bets and work closely with Microsoft and Citrix as well because VMware is owned by EMC," he said.
This may already be starting.
HP and Microsoft in January unveiled a three-year agreement to invest $250 million to significantly simplify technology environments for businesses of all sizes, with a special emphasis on cloud computing and virtualization.
While the expanded HP-Microsoft partnership was touted as making it easier for the two companies to offer a complete hardware-software stack at a time when vendors are looking at ways to provide complete solutions, it was also seen as signaling the start of a rift between HP and VMware.
NEXT: Partners Not Sure EMC-VMware Wants To Risk Outside Relationships