HP gets 'Shorty' for midsize businesses

Computer maker halves the size of its enterprise-class blade system to meet the needs and budgets of SMBs in the Asia-Pacific region.

SINGAPORE--Hewlett-Packard on Thursday announced a line of blade servers targeted at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the Asia-Pacific region.

Ricky Chu, product manager of Industry Standard Servers at HP Asia-Pacific, told ZDNet Asia at the launch that the company streamlined its enterprise-class server technology, to create blade server products that meet the requirements and budgets of SMBs.

"Midsize companies are our primary target, because we believe that they should also enjoy the technology benefits of moving from a rack mount to a bladed solution," Chu said. Advantages of the new scaled-down systems include consolidated interconnects which reduces the number of cables, and easier deployment.

Dubbed HP BladeSystem c3000, or "Shorty", the blade enclosure consists primarily of the chassis and is about half the maximum capacity of the system used by large enterprises, the c7000, Chu said.

Compared to the enterprise-class c7000 box, which is about 10U in size and caters up to 16 blade servers, the newly launched c3000 is half the size. The down-sized blade system takes up just 6U of rack space and caters up to a maximum of eight blade servers. The c3000 is also compatible with blade components that are used with the c7000.

"Previously, all our products were large-sized, so the initial cost outlay for a bladed solution for SMBs might be quite high, [and] they probably would not be able to afford [them]," Chu said. "Even if they could afford [them], they might feel that they have over-bought, because they probably would not be able to scale or maximize the usage of those bladed solutions."

The rack-based c3000 is available today, and prices start from US$4,299. However, the tower version of the c3000, outfitted with the same features and will require only two square feet of floor space, is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2008.