Hewlett-Packard is looking to expand its small and midsize business portfolio with a low-cost server powered by Advanced Micro Devices processors.
At the IT vendors Art of Small Business conference in San Francisco on March 28, company officials will take the wraps off of 12 new products specifically geared toward SMBs and emerging-market customers.
Among the offerings HP plans on showing off Wednesday is the ProLiant ML115 server, a basic tower system that starts at $499 and can perform a number of essential small-business functions, including networking, file and print, shared Internet access, small team e-mail and LAN infrastructure, company executives said.
"We believe this is a very broad offering that can fit the needs of an office with 20 employees, 10 employees or four employees," said Krista Satterthwaite, a group manager for HPs Industry Standard Servers. "Basically, this is a true server at a desktop price."
While margins on such low-cost hardware may be low, the Palo Alto, Calif., company views the SMB market as a potentially lucrative segment of the marketplace, where businesses, and their IT needs, can grow rapidly.
"As these small and midsize businesses continue to grow into bigger and bigger businesses, HP has the ability to offer them products that can take them all the way up the chain," Satterthwaite said. "A small business with an entry-level server can turn into an enterprise customer for us."
The ML115 server can come equipped with either a single-core AMD Athlon 64 3500+ processor, which runs at a speed of 2.2GHz, or one of several dual-core Opteron 1000 series models with clock speeds ranging from 1.8GHz to 2.8GHz.
Although HP has offered AMD-based, entry-level servers since 2004, this is the first time the company is offering these processors in a tower server specifically geared toward emerging markets and SMBs, Satterthwaite said.
The system also offers 512MB of standard memory and either an SAS or SATA (Serial ATA) hard drive with up to 8GB of memory, and support for RAID levels 0, 1 and 5.
The server also offers four I/O expansion slots, with two slots supporting PCI cards and the other two supporting PCI-Express cards. in addition, the system offers HPs Lights-Out remote management tools.
The ProLiant ML115 server is immediately available, according to HP.