HP and Alcatel-Lucent have expanded their global alliance in the hopes of enabling the creation of network-enabled, distributed cloud solutions for service providers and large enterprises.

According to the companies, the expanded agreement is intended to create new business opportunities, drive additional efficiencies and improve customer service.

The agreement is very much based on hardware, including Alcatel-Lucent's IP routing and optical products, and HP's routing and storage products, but the potential for helping customers — and, in particular, service providers — build new cloud infrastructure and service offerings is interesting.

"HP and Alcatel-Lucent's expanded alliance demonstrates our deep joint commitment to help large organizations and service providers transform and disrupt their respective industries and markets," said Antonio Neri, senior vice president and general manager of the HP enterprise group, in a prepared statement. "We do this by taking each other's best-in-class flagship products from our respective IT and networking portfolios, to deliver a unique set of data center and network solutions that reduce complexity, lower OPEX and boost agility to accelerate innovation of new products and services."

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The agreement is an update to the original agreement, which was signed way back in 2009. Since then, the two companies have been key partners, particularly in Alcatel-Lucent's IT transformation. Part of that transformation is shifting Alcatel-Lucent over to more of a cloud focus, including the move of future applications to a cloud hosting model. That includes the rationalization of applications and data center sites.

"This expanded alliance with HP allows us to continue doing what we do best — building networks that help meet our customers' objectives. And it will allow us to leverage the strengths of both companies to increase the value we deliver to those customers," said Basil Alwan, president of Alcatel-Lucent IP routing and transport, in a prepared statement.. "Together, we will continue to innovate and offer large enterprises and service providers the industry's most agile and flexible solutions with the right performance and economics for the cloud era."