This week HP introduced their Converged Infrastructure Architecture, which is appropriately described as “a blueprint for chief information officers to create elasticity in their technology environments.” This blueprint unlocks currently siloed datacenter resources (including compute, storage and network components) and, with the help of virtualization, integrates them into a pool of very fluid resources that can be smartly and safely allocated to the applications running on top.

Put another way, HP has unveiled a template that helps customers easily build what many are now calling a “private cloud.” The general idea of a private cloud is to bring many of the good traits associated with today’s public cloud vendors (e.g. elasticity, efficiency, self-service, and usage-based resource charges) to a company-owned and operated datacenter–where IT is often more comfortable with their ability to meet performance, availability, and compliance requirements.

VMware vSphere™ was explicitly designed for building the private cloud, and HP BladeSystem Matrix’s out-of-box experience and well-integrated management will help customers more quickly and more easily realize the full capabilities of VMware vSphere. What’s more, even as customers reap the benefits of their private cloud, they’re also laying the foundation to leveraging public cloud resources. Virtual machines are well-encapsulated and largely location independent. Working with HP, we can offer tools and a complete portfolio of services that help customers continue to maintain the control and security they have in their datacenters as they begin to leverage resources in the public cloud. The resulting “hybrid” cloud is depicted below.

Infrastructure and application management in this new world is incredibly important, too, and HP’s capabilities integrate quite well with VMware vCenter™ to push the envelope on this front. I particularly like the integration work HP has done to bring their Insight software capabilities into VMware vCenter. You have to register to see it, but there’s a great demonstration of this at minute 62 of the VMworld 2009 general session.

I’ll stop here in the interest of keeping this blog short, but I did just want to highlight again the excitement I have over holistic solutions built for the fully virtualized datacenter that help enable the promise of the private cloud.  If you would like to see and hear a lot more about VMware and HP’s Converged Infrastructure, be sure to also check out the video from Bogomil Balkansky, VMware’s VP of Server Product Marketing.