Blade servers have been widely perceived as an enterprise play, with their appeal to big companies trying to maximize expensive data center real estate.
But now HP is introducing an all-in-one server called c3000 BladeSystem that allows SMBs to consolidate all of their servers, storage and backup systems into a single box. "(SMBs) want to simplify their infrastructure and not have to worry about servers, storage, all of the interconnects," an HP executive tells internetnews.com.
The C3000, which HP execs have nicknamed "Shorty," can accommodate from two to eight blades. It uses any of the blades from HP's higher-end C7000 series, which yields up to 138,000 potential combinations, according to the internetnews.com article.
One of the knocks against blades has been the heat they generate. But HP execs say the C3000 system is so heat-efficient, it can be stowed in a room with 100-degree ambient temperature and still remain cool. A nice feature, to be sure, but Shorty's lack of cabling and interconnects and its highly simplified configuration is probably more important to most SMBs.
"(The C3000) is built and directed toward people who don't have highly specialized people on-site; it is geared toward the business owner working 80 to 90 hours a week to stay successful. It takes away concerns about power, budget, a lack of a tech staff, and allows them to go back to the main issue of making money," says a hardware and services provider interviewed in the article.
Since Shorty's simplicity is based on the fact that all of its components recognize each other, HP becomes the de facto supplier. The company is pitching this as convenience rather than lock-in. "Customers in mid-size companies have storage and servers and networking all from different providers, and they have a hard time figuring out, 'Who do I call if something breaks?' Now they have a solution that's integrated as one. Now a reseller can sell it as one," says the HP exec.
HP is also rolling out a services package called Total Care Initiatives that includes financing, maintenance, system design and setup, education, training and a 24/7 support option, according to the article.