HP Updates Small Biz Servers, Storage and Networking

HP today is a huge company, but that doesn’t mean it’s forgotten what it means to be a small business. Small businesses require different technology and have different operational challenges than large enterprises.

To help meet the needs of SMBs, HP has announced a series of new servers, storage and networking gear that are designed for small business use. HP is also investing new funds in a program to help develop its HP Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs (HP LIFE) effort.

“We’ve already invested $20 million into HP LIFE and it helps train aspiring entrepreneurs on using IT and also on business planning skills,” said Lisa Wolf, worldwide SMB marketing and strategy manager, HP enterprise business. “We’ve estimated that since 2007, we’ve created more than 20,000 new jobs and 5,500 new businesses.”

HP’s hope is that those new entrepreneurs will then grow businesses that need the servers, storage and networking gear that HP provides. On the server side, HP introduced the new ProLiant ML110 and DL120 G7 entry level servers. The two servers include HP’s Integrated Lights-Out Advanced (iLO 3) technology, which was not previously not targeted at SMBs.

“It gives you end-to-end management support of all the capabilities we’ve had across our ProLiant server but now for the SMB space,” McLeod Glass, director of marketing, industry standard servers and software at HP explained to InternetNews.com. “We’re bringing the goodness of enterprise-class management to the small business category.”

While the SMB-focused servers have enterprise-class management, HP is using the Intel Xeon i3 Core chips for the new servers, which are not optimized for virtualization use cases.

“These are single processor systems that are cost optimized to be able to provide the right balance of memory, CPU and I/O for typical SMB applications like file, print, Web services and messaging,” Glass said. “This is not targeted at virtualization. While we do have a few customers who are kicking the tires on virtualization on these platforms, these platforms are intended for dedicated applications for small and medium businesses.”

Though HP’s new SMB servers aren’t focused on virtualization, HP is rolling out an update to its P2000 G3 Modular Smart Array (MSA) storage technology, with a focus on virtualization. The new P2000 G3 MSA now supports the VMware API for Array Integration and VMware vCenter.

New Networking Gear for Small Business

On the networking side, HP is introducing a pair of new switches for SMBs. The HP V1810-48G is a 48-port Web-managed switch. HP has also introduced the new V1410 unmanaged Fast Ethernet switch series. The difference between a managed switch and an unmanaged switch is the ability to interface with, and have granular control over, switch and networking operations.

The V1410 is noteworthy because it’s leveraging the recent IEEE Energy Efficient Ethernet standard that helps to lower power usage on networking gear based on the usage state of the device. The V1410 is also able to detect the cable length of the attached networking cables in order to deliver the right amount of power.

While the V1410 is a new switch, HP has decided to limit it to only the Fast Ethernet, 100 mb/s standard as opposed to Gigabit (1 GbE) Ethernet, which is increasingly common on SMB and retail consumer switches.

“We’re a global company, and there are some markets where Fast Ethernet continues to be important,” said Doug Hyde, product series manager at HP Networking. “I would say that the typical new installation in the U.S. is very Gigabit driven.”

Hyde added that in markets outside of the U.S. there is still strong demand for Fast Ethernet. He noted that Fast Ethernet is still an acceptable technology.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Internetnews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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