HP has announced an expanded partnership with VMware to jointly develop software to manage VMware hypervisor technology.

While HP already offers base-level capabilities to manage VMware environments, company officials explained that the new partnership will enable HP to equip its management and automation software to tackle performance, configuration and availability on VMware servers. The announcement was made at HP's Technology Forum & Expo and Software Universe conferences in Las Vegas.

"We have had base-level capabilities in some of our products, but we will be able to monitor, discover, configure and optimise VMware environments," says Sharmila Shahani, chief marketing office for HP's Business Technology Optimization unit.

For instance in its Business Service Management software products such as Business Availability Center, HP customers can monitor physical and virtual environments with one tool. The vendor's Discovery and Dependency Mapping and Universal CMDB products are also equipped to discover virtual instances and import the configuration data about VMware servers into a federated repository. And HP's Business Service Automation suite enables automated tasks to be executed across virtual infrastructure including servers and clients.

The partnership lets HP software have hooks in VMware's VirtualCenter that would, for instance, let customers perform more "dynamic capacity management" of virtual environments, Shahani says. HP software would also be able to enforce policies in the virtual environment that pertain to provisioning new servers and containing virtual server sprawl. With Opsware technology under the covers at HP, the partnership will also bring products that can better automate patching and other configuration updates to VMware virtual environments, she says.

HP is among the biggest distributors of VMware virtualisation technologies, Shahani says, and now under the terms of the expanded partnership the two vendors will jointly approach customers seeking management technologies for their physical and virtual environments. Yet Shahani clarifies the partnership does not indicate HP will focus only on VMware hypervisors; she says HP will work to manage all hypervisors with the same capabilities.

"Just like we manage every operating system on the physical side, we will manage every hypervisor as well. HP will offer seamless monitoring and automation of the physical and virtual environments," she says. "This partnership means we will work with VMware to identify new capabilities specific to virtual environments."

HP also announced it had worked with VMware to make software bundles available that combine VMware Infrastructure 3 software with HP Insight Control Environment, systems management software for HP servers. HP says the bundles offer customers comprehensive physical and virtual platform management.