HP puts together product package for SMEs

An IPv6-ready network switch is among a series of new and updated hardware and software that HP is pitching to small businesses
Written by Manek Dubash, Contributor

HP has launched a new IPv6-capable network switch, together with a refresh of products in its Total Care lineup, all aimed at small to medium-sized businesses.

In a multipart announcement on Tuesday, the company unveiled the new ProCurve 2520 switch series, the HP ProLiant ML110 and DL120 G6 entry-level servers, two new Pro 3000 Series desktop PCs and the low-power HP Compaq LE1711 LCD monitor. It also added features to its storage systems and introduced services based on technology from backup vendor Symantec and UK-based collaboration provider Huddle.

"SMBs are the pulse of the economy, and HP is partnering with SMBs to provide a boost as the economy rebounds," said Kathy Chou, head of HP's small and medium-sized business strategy, in a statement.

The two new ProCurve 2520 Layer 2 Gigabit switch models include either eight or 24 ports, and either fibre or copper uplinks. Other features include Power over Ethernet, which saves wiring remotely connected devices, such as video cameras and phones, to a power source. The switches also are designed to reduce power consumption through variable speed fans on the 24-port models and a fanless design on the eight-port models, and to cut power for unused ports and LEDs. The managed switches also offer an open standards-based management system.

The 2520 is, however, up against other players in the low-cost SME market. They include D-Link, which recently began selling a switch with similar power-saving features. The new HP switch is among the first in this market to offer IPv6, which will become increasingly important over the next five years, as networks run out of IPv4 addresses. However, Allied Telesyn launched a low-cost IPv6-capable Layer 2 switch in 2004.

Prices for the ProCurve 2520 switch range from $660 (£395) for eight ports to $2,100 for 24 ports.

The two new servers refresh HP's entry-level range with Intel's quad-core Nehalem Xeon processors. The lower power footprint of the new CPUs has allowed the company to reduce its PSU rating to 400W, according to HP. As with the competing Dell T710 and R710 models, the HP ProLiant ML110 G6 and DL120 G6 machines are identical in function and specification, apart from the DL120 being rack-mounted, while the T710 is a tower. The new servers will ship on 16 November with starting prices of $760 and $1,000, respectively.

Mirroring its launch last week of technology bundles for large enterprises, HP said it is bundling Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V with the ProLiant servers, StorageWorks and ProCurve products for small businesses. The bundles will cost under $3,500.

Other announcements included an update for HP's LeftHand P4000 storage system. The system now has support for Microsoft's Volume Shadow Service, which stops services such as databases and can then takes a clean snapshot for backup.

Additionally, HP's StorageWorks D2D Backup System gained the ability to emulate tape drives, which allows it to be used as an intermediate tier between a live system and a tape drive. The company also unveiled a new DAT 320 tape drive, which offers up to 320GB on a cartridge, twice the capacity of the previous model.

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