HP Aims at the Middle With New Servers

Quantifying what the “M” in SMB means has never been a precise — or consistent from vendor to vendor — exercise. However, HP is trying to clear up things when it states that mid-sized businesses are those with between 100 and 999 employees.

Targeting what it says is a burgeoning growth at those mid-market firms, HP today introduced new servers, blades, software and Linux management tools.

HP said it will rely on channel partners to provide new entry-level servers specifically tailored for customer management and secure remote access, which it says are the two largest investment areas for mid-sized business.

HP points to AMI-Partners research that indicates 60 percent of mid-sized businesses think CRM is strategically important. However, only 16 percent have implemented CRM software or services. The research also reports that 75 percent of mid-sized businesses have mobile employees who could benefit from remote access to business data.

To address this market, HP has introduced the HP ProLiant BL260c G5 and DL120 G5 servers, enhanced CRM configuration options, Linux-based management tools and remote access technology.

HP announced that it’s broadening its CRM portfolio by adding five Oracle 10g databases as an option for customers, along with Oracle Siebel CRM Professional Edition configurations. The new CRM offering is designed to complement HP’s existing Microsoft Dynamics CRM offerings, according to the company.

The company also announced HP Secure Remote Access, which is designed to provide secure connections to desktop PCs, thin clients, business notebooks, tablet PCs, iPAQ handhelds and smartphones. “We’re teaming up with Citrix and Microsoft to really enable secure remote access,” said Urs Renggli, director of worldwide small and midmarket business for the Technology Solutions Group at HP. HP Secure Remote Access uses Citrix Access Essentials, which is bundled with Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 R2.

Renggli said that there are 700,000 mid-sized business worldwide. The common denominator: “They all have limited IT budgets, and they don’t have the database and storage specialists you find in larger businesses.”

The Power of the Blade

Renggli said that at $1,199, its ProLiant BL260c G5 server blade costs 20 percent less and is 64 percent more power-efficient than any other blade on the market. HP claims that a single BL260c will achieve top performance using 200W of power, or the same amount required to operate a household coffee pot.

Proliant DL120
HP claims its ProLiant BL260c G5 server blade costs 20 percent less and is 64 percent more power-efficient than any other blade on the market.

The BL260c, which is housed it the HP BladeSystem c3000 and c7000 enclosures, is designed for branch offices and remote sites with small or virtual machine environments. It supports CRM, ERP, database applications, Web applications, file/print services and and high-performance computing.

The BL260c G5 server blade is built to fit into any HP BladeSystem enclosure along with the HP All-in-One storage or tape blades for data protection and expansion. The BL260c’s include the following features, according to HP: up to 24GB of memory, redundant network connections to ensure uptime, integrated lights-out for remote control and management, RAID capability for added data protection and HP StorageWorks All-in-One storage and tape drive compatibility.

Rack It Up

Priced at $699, the HP ProLiant DL120 is the lowest-priced, rack-based ProLiant server available, according to HP. The DL120 is suitable for companies that need a low-cost server dedicated to network infrastructure applications that run 24/7, such as access, security and load-balancing function.

Proliant DL120
Priced at $699, the HP ProLiant DL120 is the lowest-priced, rack-based ProLiant server available, according to HP.

The DL120 is based on a single Intel Xeon processor server in an ultra-dense 1U rack server. Key components include the following, according to HP: PC2-6400 DDR2 800MHz memory, Intel Xeon dual-core and quad-core processor performance, low-cost Intel Celeron, Pentium and Core2 processor offerings, two PCI Express slots with the option to replace the slot with a PCI-X card, upgradeable with HP Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) Host Bus Adapters (HBAs) and Smart Array Controllers and optional LO100c lights-out remote management capability.

The Line on Linux

To meet what it says is growing demand for Linux-based solutions for mid-size businesses, HP made several Linux-related announcements designed to help mid-sized businesses more easily deploy and manage Linux servers: HP’s Insight Control Environment for Linux (ICE-Linux) is designed to provide a single point of control in Linux server and cluster environments by simplifying discovery, imaging, monitoring and management for Linux-based HP ProLiant server platforms.

HP claims that by using its Control Tower technology for rapid provisioning and system deployment, applications from one server can be deployed to other servers in a cluster automatically. The tools also let you remotely monitor servers from a secure Web browser.

HP also introduced HP Linux Oracle Quick Reference Solutions, pre-sized configurations of HP and Oracle database components for Linux-based HP ProLiant servers. The solutions offer support for 75 to 400 users and work with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server or Oracle Enterprise Linux on HP ProLiant servers.

Renggli said that ICE-Linux is available directly from HP as well as channel partners and resellers for $289 per server. ICE-Linux is also available as an integrated component on the HP Cluster Platform Workgroup System. HP’s Linux Oracle Quick Reference Solutions are available now with variable pricing.

Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com’s Small Business Channel, EarthWeb’s Networking Channel and ServerWatch.

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!

Must Read

Get the Free Newsletter!

Subscribe to Daily Tech Insider for top news, trends, and analysis.