HP refreshes small-business portfolio

The manufacturer's new SME line-up includes new server, storage, virtualisation and client devices, as well as new printers

HP has updated its hardware and software portfolio for smaller businesses.

The company announced the revised portfolio on Thursday, introducing new storage products, thin clients, printers and virtualisation tools.

HP is introducing a bundle for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that want to move into virtualisation, combining HP ProLiant G6 servers with HP storage and networking technology, as well as virtualisation software from HP and VMware.

The bundle provides high availability without the need for external storage, instead allowing companies to turn existing server disk drives into shared storage, HP said.

HP introduced unified storage products that mean companies do not have to maintain separate storage for file and application data. The StorageWorks X1000 and X3000 network storage systems provide file deduplication, which increases usable capacity, and can be turned into high availability clusters.

The company's StorageWorks 2000i and 2000sa G2 smart arrays, also launched on Thursday, use small form-factor drives designed to take up less space and use less power.

For companies with mobile workforces, HP is offering a secure remote access system — including servers, storage, networking, PCs and printers — that is powered by Citrix XenApp Fundamentals software. HP is offering discounts on the servers and storage, as well as a free trial of the Citrix software.

The HP 4410t Mobile Thin Client, a PC-like device with no hard drive, is also designed for mobility. The device allows companies to shift more of the processing load to the server, potentially reducing power consumption and technical support costs.

For companies looking to consolidate several branch offices into a single location, HP is introducing customisable configurations of servers, storage, networking, PCs and printers.

HP has also expanded its cloud-computing services through agreements with hosting providers. In the UK, a deal with hosting provider Cobweb allows resellers to offer hosted Microsoft applications such as Exchange, SharePoint and Dynamics CRM to SMEs. The services will typically be offered on a monthly subscription basis, HP said, meaning low initial capital outlay for SMEs.

Channel partners will also be able to offer HP Insight Remote Support technical support services to SME customers, HP said.

HP's new printers include the LaserJet Enterprise P3010 networked printer for printing in high volumes, the Officejet 6000, with a wireless interface and support for duplex printing, and the Officejet 7000, which prints A3 pages.

The Scanjet N6350 scanner, with integrated networking, will be available in June, HP said.

The company said it is offering flexible leasing and financing options on the new products.

HP said it expects IT purchases by SMEs to grow by 10 to 12 percent over the next two years, in spite of the economic downturn.