HP Gives Smaller Firms IT in a Box

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Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) has unveiled a new solution to help midsize businesses — which HP defines as between 100 and 999 employees — upgrade or add to their existing IT infrastructures more easily.

The HP Adaptive Infrastructure in a Box for Midsize Businesses is a suite of products that combines the hardware, management and IT support components needed to overhaul back-end server and storage architectures or to equip branch offices.

Encompassing servers, storage, management, automation, power and cooling technologies and security, HP said the Adaptive Infrastructure is designed for businesses that have limited budgets and IT resources.

“In smaller companies, the IT guys are usually generalists, rather than specialists that focus on particular areas such as security or storage,” noted Joe Leung, worldwide program manager for HP ProLiant Business Advantage. “We wanted to make it easier for these companies to overcome the barriers inherent in adopting a new architecture.”

To keep the cost down and to make it easier for IT personnel to deploy and manage, HP has based the Adaptive Infrastructure solution on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (which handles Active Directory support for network users, messaging support through Outlook, a domain controller for intranets and Web sites, and more) and HP BladeSystem hardware components.

The HP BladeSystem consists of individual computing components in a long, thin form factor (hence the term “blade“) that slides into a single chassis. You can have server blades, storage blades and other components in a single enclosure, rather than having individual boxes for each component.

HP Adaptive Infrastructure
The BladeSystem c3000 Enclosure and associated server and storage components forms the heart of the HP Adaptive Infrastructure .

In the new Adaptive Infrastructure solution, HP delivers its BladeSystem c3000 Enclosure, which can accommodate up to eight individual blades and is available in either a rack-mount configuration or a floor-standing tower setup.

Computing power comes from the HP ProLiant BL260c server blade, which the company claims is the most energy-efficient and affordable two-processor blade on the market.

Rounding out the hardware, the HP StorageWorks All-in-One SB600c Storage Blade provides network file serving, shared network storage and data protection and backup functions.

Since the largest expense in rolling out a new infrastructure is the ongoing administrative costs, one of HP’s goals with the new solution was to minimize the burden on IT administrators.

The solution eliminates the need for specialized skills through automated infrastructure deployment and easy administration, HP claims. “It takes out the complexity, so IT staff can do more in less time,” said Leung.

HP also claims that the Adaptive Infrastructure will reduce unplanned downtime, thanks to the system’s built-in backup and recovery features, as well as improve server security thanks to available data encryption. “The management software will automatically detect server vulnerabilities and generate a task list for IT staff to mitigate the risk,” explained Leung. The blade architecture is also scalable, letting admins add more hardware as their company grows.

The solution is available through certified HP resellers, since each deployment requires customization for an SMB’s particular business. Pricing starts at approximately $18,000 for a core infrastructure solution serving up to 300 people. Leasing and financing options are available from HP Financial Services.

Article courtesy of Small Business Computing

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