HP Targets Small Businesses With Virtualization Bundles

In a sweeping announcement that touches all aspects of your small business’s technology infrastructure, HP yesterday announced an array of services, storage and networking products. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the rollout is a collection of six virtualization bundles.

Virtualization remains one of the most talked-about technologies for businesses of all sizes. And while adoption may not be as high with small businesses as it is with larger enterprises, virtualization’s promise to allow organizations to better use its available hardware makes it well-suited for small businesses looking to save on space, hardware costs and power consumption.

“Small businesses drive the economy, and they continue to need to be able to do more with less,” Lisa Wolfe, manager for HP’s Worldwide Midmarket Strategy and Marketing, Enterprise Business, said.

Dubbed HP Virtualization Smart Bundles with Hyper-V, the six bundles are designed to deliver a complete virtualized infrastructure. One of the advantages of the bundle is that Microsoft’s hypervisor is included in Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system.

The virtualization bundles are designed to decrease hardware cost and reduce power consumption up to 50 percent, according to HP. On the low end, the bundles are designed to consolidate five to seven physical servers, Wolfe said, and they scale to up to virtualizing 45 servers.

The bundles are made up of four elements: HP ProLiant G6 servers, HP StorageWorks 2000 Modular Smart Array, which HP describes as designed specifically for virtualized server environments; HP ProCurve networking switch, which HP says is well-suited for high-bandwidth applications for data, video, voice and unified communications; and HP Insight Control management software built to provide greater control over physical and virtual infrastructure.

While the free aspect of Hyper-V may make the HP Virtualization Smart Bundles with Hyper-V attractive for some small business, Chris McCall, product marketing manager for HP StorageWorks, says that HP is agnostic when it somes to virtualization platforms, pointing out that HP offers VMware bundles as well.

The HP Virtualization Smart Bundles with Hyper-V are available through HP channel partners starting on Nov. 16.

Servers, Switches and Storage

In addition to the Hyper-V bundles, HP is rolling out two new servers. The ProLiant ML 110, which is designed to appeal to small businesses shopping for their first servers. Wolfe said it features integrated management tools for businesses that lack a dedicated IT department and are interested in remote management. The ProLiant DL 120 offers similar features in a rack-mount server. HP ProLiant ML110 and DL120 G6 servers are based on Intel Xeon 3400 four-core processors and DDR3 memory. According to HP, they will ship on Nov. 16, and pricing starts at $759 and $999, respectively.

HP’s new ProCurve 2520 Switch Series is “ideal for voice and video,” Wolfe said. The new switches, she added, are built on industry standards, so they can “co-exist and plug into any vendor’s infrastructure.” You can configure the 2520 through a Web interface, and you also have your choice of Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet.

Wolfe added that the switches are particularly well-suited for VoIP and video, because they support Power over Ethernet, eliminating the need for separate power supplies. Pricing for the ProCurve Switches is as follows:

  • HP ProCurve 2520-8-PoE Switch: $649
  • HP ProCurve 2520-24-PoE Switch: $1,049
  • HP ProCurve 2520G-8-PoE Switch: $999
  • HP ProCurve 2520G-24-PoE Switch: $1,999
HP also announced three new storage offerings. The StorageWorks DAT 320 tape drive is designed for “longer-term, off-site storage,” said HP’s McCall. Using the latest generation of Digital Audio Tape format, it consumes 50 percent of the power of the previous version but offers twice the capacity, McCall said. It’s priced at $899.

HP also is unveiling the StorageWorks D2D backup system. McCall said the new product uses a standard NAS interface (i.e., CIFS or NFS) and thereby eliminates the license fees required for backup to virtual tape libraries. StorageWorks D2D is also designed to allow you to backup 50 times more data through data deduplication. The new feature of the HP StorageWorks D2D Backup System will be available in December 2009.

Finally, an updated LeftHand P4000 SAN is designed to offer better business continuity and data protection thanks to new snapshot capabilities. The SAN is currently available with pricing starting at $16,000.

Dan Muse is senior executive editor of internet.com. Follow Dan on Twitter

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