EMC extends partnership with Microsoft in the Virtualization world.

Interesting news from Microsoft and EMC.  In short, Microsoft and EMC will partner to provide solutions where Hyper-V and EMC make more sense for customers than the current VMware/EMC solutions.  You can read more about it here.

Big happenings in NYC yesterday as SteveB and EMC’s CEO Joe Tucci met with a room-full of IT execs to talk about an extended 3-year alliance. The full announcement is here. In short, the companies are going to work more closely together in the areas of data loss prevention, collaboration and virtualization.

What’s that you say? EMC – 80% owner of VMware – working more closely with Microsoft around virtualization? Here’s an excerpt from the joint announcement:

Microsoft offers one of the fastest-growing and most cost-effective virtualization solutions from the desktop to the datacenter, including the ability to manage both physical and virtual environments from a centralized management console. EMC’s technology solutions enable storage, protection and management of information in Microsoft virtualized environments including Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft System Center, and jointly supported mission-critical workloads such as Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft SharePoint Server. EMC Consulting’s Application Practice, a thousand-person strong team with deep Microsoft knowledge, provides expertise in assessing, planning and implementing Microsoft’s technologies in a wide array of virtualization solutions.

That’s all well and good – 1,000 EMC consultants trained on WS08 Hyper-V, System Center and key Microsoft applications that will be virtualized. But can those 1,000 consultants really look past VMware?

At first glance, I really didn’t get why this ‘alliance’ would make sense to either company but as I read the interview and thought of my own company, it started to make sense.  Working for an integration partner who deals with Microsoft, Citrix and VMware, it is interesting to hear EMC position Microsoft as a solution for when VMware is not.  I think there are a lot of integrators evaluating the same situations where a potential customer is sold on one vendor’s virtualization strategy over another.  We try to educate the customer on all possible solutions and their strengths and weaknesses but ultimately, we should be well positioned to help implement whichever solution the customer decides on.