HP Brings New Blades to Midmarket

New Hewlett-Packard blade products and services aim to fill midmarket demand.

Hewlett-Packard introduced a pair of blade products for midsized customers on Sept. 12, along with financing, service offerings and distribution channel support.

"We see a critical market segment in midmarket customers," said Ann Livermore, executive vice president for HP Technology Solutions Group, in Palo Alto, Calif. "These customers have a unique set of IT needs that have not been served well but they are making vital contributions to the national economy."

HP has designed a "launch in a box" to help its channel partners rapidly move the new products into the market.

The HP BladeSystem c3000 enclosure, also called "Shorty," targets power and cooling savings, reduced costs, and reduced complexity. "Our midmarket customers told us that they want solutions that will save them cost, time and power," Livermore said. "They want things that are easily deployed and managed quite simply and that stay up and running."

The 10.5-inch rack-based system fits up to eight blades and plugs into a standard 110- or 220-volt wall outlet. Compared to standard rack servers, this blade system saves on power and cooling by as much as 30 percent. It also cuts SAN (storage area network) connection costs by up to 53 percent, and reduces cabling by 94 percent, the company said.

Pricing for the c3000 starts at $4,299. Customers can expect to break even on the cost of the system if they need between three and five blades, although the rack can accommodate up to eight, said Paul Miller, vice president of marketing for HP Enterprise Storage and Servers.

"This product has eight slots and customers can configure with eight different server options, six OS options, three ways of hooking up storage, 10 interconnects and thousands of apps," he said, adding that the box offers 138,000 possible configuration options currently.


Click here to read more about HPs "Shorty" line of blade servers.

The second product, the HP StorageWorks All-in-One SB600c, is a storage blade that combines NAS (network-attached storage), iSCSI SAN capabilities and data protection in a single device. "Small customers storage capacity needs are growing dramatically," said Robin Hensley, vice president of Worldwide Storage Blades, HP StorageWorks.

"[The storage needed for] E-mail and attachments alone, which tend to be photos and videos, is enormous. An all-in-one solution that is integrated with blades, data protection and an easy-to-use interface is key." SB600c pricing starts at $9,968.

In addition, HP has introduced three new packaged, fixed-price services called HP Care Pack Services, as well as new financing choices that include a "pay-as-you-grow" option that provides a 1.9 percent interest rate for 36 months.

Prior to this launch, HP trained more than 5,000 of its HP BladeSystem channel partners on its new products and services. The company has created a "launch in a box" kit that includes NDA (nondisclosure agreement) presentations, online lead generation tools, mailers, banners, T-shirts and other sales tools.

The company is also offering HP Solution Blocks, which provide application blueprints for accelerating deployment of these new technologies for specific applications, such as e-mail, messaging, CRM (customer relationship management), enterprise resource management and business continuity.


Click here to read more about HPs line of thin-client PC blades.

"The complete solution block is storage, server application, scripting and optimization required for sizing along with cookbooks to help the solution provider put it all together," said Mark Potter, vice president of HP Industry Standard Servers and HP BladeSystem.

"By helping solution providers know where to start and giving them the tools, they can get customers up and running on solutions that used to take four days," Potter said. In the coming months, in cooperation with its solution providers, the company plans to continue to release more Solution Blocks aimed at vertical market applications, he added.


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