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HP Unveils Storage, Virtualization Offerings for Small Businesses

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HP (NYSE: HPQ) is adding to its small business lineup with new unified data storage systems, SANs and a bundled offering that makes server virtualization adoption easier.

The new HP StorageWorks X1000 unified systems and X3000 gateways are based on Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) new Windows Storage Server 2008 operating system unveiled earlier this month, along with HP ProLiant G6 servers and HP Automated Storage Manager software.

HP has made management easier for small businesses with the new systems by letting administrators allocate storage based on capacity and application — say, 100GB for Exchange — rather than through complex storage terminology like LUNs. File-based deduplication can boost capacity by 35 percent, and HP says the systems improve file serving performance by as much as 30 percent.

The systems support NAS, CIFS, NFS and iSCSI protocols for block and file storage, and the company also offers bladed versions. Pricing starts at $3,399, and the systems can scale from 12TB to 96TB.

HP's StorageWorks Modular Smart Arrays (MSA) increase capacity by a third thanks to the addition of 2.5-inch small form factor drives, and power requirements are cut in half. The systems can scale up to 60TB, and offer Fibre Channel (2000fc), SAS (2000sa) or iSCSI (2000i) connectivity. Pricing starts at $5,100.

The new HP Virtualization Bundle lets small businesses start their own server virtualization environments by packaging together VMware (NYSE: VMW) vSphere, HP Insight Control Suite, ProLiant G6 servers, ProCurve networking technology and HP LeftHand SAN appliances or software, with pricing starting at $6,000.

Lee Johns, HP's director of marketing for unified storage, called the bundles "everything you need to start a server virtualization environment in your SMB."

HP says the solutions turn "existing server disk drives into highly available shared storage," and eliminate "the need for external storage to support application high availability."

HP is also offering Secure Remote Access solutions for mobile workforces, powered by Citrix (NASDAQ: CTXS) XenApp Fundamentals and including servers, storage, networking, PCs and printers. And HP Total Care Branch Office Consolidation solutions offer "customizable configurations of servers, storage, networking, PCs and printers to help SMBs significantly reduce the time needed to consolidate multiple branch sites into a single location."

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