HPE Offers Converged Hybrid System for SMBs

The new ProLiant appliance, which uses Zynstra's virtualization and management software, lets customers run workloads on-premises and in the cloud.

HPE system

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is rolling out a converged hybrid compute platform designed for smaller businesses that want an on-premises system that also can deliver the benefits of the cloud.

The vendor's ProLiant Easy Connect Managed Hybrid data center solution, announced April 13, is the first in a new family of systems called Easy Connect that are designed to be easier for small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) to deploy and manage.

SMBs often have the same challenges around performance, flexibility and security as their larger brethren, but don't have the same financial and IT resources. What they're looking for are systems that can be delivered through the channel that they can plug in and get running, according to McLeod Glass, vice president and general manager of SMB solutions and tower servers for Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).

"A lot of customers want to focus on their businesses," Glass told eWEEK. They don't want to focus on IT."

The ProLiant Easy Connect Managed Hybrid infrastructure solution offers tightly integrated compute, storage and networking technologies combined with virtualization and cloud management software from Zynstra, a company with an expertise in such offerings for smaller businesses. The appliance is pre-configured, enabling customers to set it up and get it running in minutes, and businesses can decide which workloads they want to run on premises and which to put into the cloud.

"There is a lot of interest [among SMBs] in cloud services and trying to maximize their on-premises worlds," Glass said. The new system "allows customers to seamlessly implement their on-premises [applications] with cloud services."

The new offering is optimized for such cloud services as Microsoft's Office 365 and Azure, and through Zynstra's technology, maintenance, upgrades and patches are all taken care of automatically, eliminating the need for an extensive IT staff, he said. The Zynstra technology includes the virtualization software that is integrated into the appliance and management software that sits in the cloud, according to company co-founder and CEO Nick East.

The technology can help lower total cost of ownership (TCO) for customers by as much as 30 percent, which is important to SMBs, East told eWEEK.

"They just want a reliable service," he said. "They just want to do their business. Virtualization is one of the technologies that allows them to do this."

The ProLiant Easy Connect Managed Hybrid solution can be paid for via a subscription rather than spending all the money upfront.

Hyperconverged and converged infrastructures are becoming increasingly popular as businesses and service providers try to manage increasingly diverse workloads and increasingly massive amounts of data brought on by such trends as mobility, big data and the cloud. IDC analysts expect the hyperconverged market to grow at a faster rate—about 60 percent a year—than traditional data center systems, hitting more than $3.9 billion in sales through 2019.

Most OEMs are making moves in the market. Dell earlier this month unveiled new hyperconverged offerings and plans to resell such appliances from VCE, EMC's converged platform business. Lenovo in recent months has announced partnerships with Juniper Networks and Nutanix to develop hyperconverged solutions, and HPE in March announced the HC 380, a hyperconverged system for midmarket companies and enterprises with remote offices.

In December 2015, HPE rolled out the two-node Hyper Converged 250, a low-cost hyperconverged offering for smaller businesses.

Also on April 13, HPE officials unveiled the ProLiant ML10 Gen9, a compact server for small businesses that includes Intel's latest Xeon E3-1200 v5 chip. According to Glass, the new system completes HPE's lineup of Gen9 ProLiant 10, 100 and 300 series of servers for small and midsize businesses. The company recently updated other ProLiant systems with Intel's new Xeon E5-2600 v4 "Broadwell" processors.

The ProLiant Easy Connect Hybrid solution will be available via the vendor's channel partners April 28 in the United States and UK. The ProLiant ML10 Gen9 is available now starting at $299.