HP unveils network, storage gear to feed SMB demand

Increasingly lean small businesses need greater capabilities with easier management, the company said

Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday introduced a variety of products for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), a segment that worldwide spends an estimated US$234 billion per year on IT products, the company said.

The company announced the products at an event in Cupertino, California, where executives said HP had a broad portfolio across PCs, servers, networking, storage and printing, but one that can sometimes be overwhelming to SMBs.

Small businesses are beginning to emerge from the global economic downturn, but that recovery will not be steady, said Chad Thompson, an analyst at Access Market International Partners in New York, who spoke at HP's event.

"This is not a nice, linear curve moving out of the recession," Thompson said. Especially for SMBs, future conditions can be hard to predict, he said.

And like enterprises, small IT departments now have to do more with less, because many small companies have had to cut a single IT staffer to half-time or eliminate dedicated technology staff completely, Thompson said.

As a result, HP aims to help its SMB customers manage their infrastructure, using simpler products as well as some new help tools.

Though HP's offerings are broad, on Wednesday the company focused mostly on networking and storage, both areas where investment is expected to rise over the next few years. While SMB technology spending overall will grow at a rate of 3.6 percent per year until 2014, spending on LAN hubs and switches will grow by 29 percent per year and network-attached storage by 30 percent, AMI's Thompson said. Fibre Channel SANs (storage area networks) and server-attached storage also will grow at several times the overall pace, Thompson said.

HP updated its V family of LAN gear for SMBs by introducing the HP V1410 Switch Series, a more energy-efficient evolution of the V1400 that offers more configuration choices and use options. The V1410 is available in fixed-configuration designs with eight, 16 or 24 ports of 10/100/1000M bps (bits per second). No 16-port version was available for the V1400.

The switches now include a slot for a Kensington Computer Products lock, the inserted locks often used to secure personal computers. This feature is critical for some small businesses, where network switches may be kept on a desk in an open area, according to HP. The V1410 series is shipping now, with starting prices from US$109 (eight-port) to $379 (24-port).

The company also boosted the capacity of some SMB storage platforms, including the StorageWorks X1000 Network Storage System and P2000 G3 SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) Modular Array.

The latest generation of the X1000 allows for double the capacity of previous versions in half the space, according to HP. Enhanced HP Automated Storage Manager software allows companies to enable file sharing between client systems in 20 minutes or less, compared with 60 minutes in the previous generation, HP said. The StorageWorks P2000 adds 6G bps SAS capability, as well as software that can replicate snapshots of data to a different set of disks in the array.

HP also rolled out the StorageWorks X310 Data Vault, a system for SMBs with limited IT staff. Its user interface is based on Microsoft Windows Home Server, for ease of installation and management, HP said. The X310 can accommodate as much as 15T bytes of storage when external drives are attached via eSATA and USB ports. It can perform automated daily backup for as many as 10 client PCs or Macs.

The X310 Data Vault carries a starting list price of $549. The X1000 Network Storage Systems begin at $3,152 and the P2000 series starts at $8,970. All are available now.

Also on Wednesday, HP announced it is working with Microsoft to help channel partners configure HP hardware platforms with Microsoft collaboration software such as Exchange Server, Communications Server and SharePoint. Together, the companies will advise channel partners on the best configurations and will jointly market the hardware and software for collaboration within and between small businesses, said Duncan Campbell, vice president of converged infrastructure and SMB marketing at HP.

HP also pointed to increased use of online support resources as well as purchasing for SMBs. The company plans to increase the offerings available through its direct online sales site for "micro offices" of less than 10 people, to include storage, networking and mobile products. It currently offers PCs, printers and ProLiant servers.

The company also plans to tap into cloud-based SMB support through 48Upper, an online platform through which people with IT responsibilities in small businesses can share expertise with their peers through social networking. It is coming later this year, Campbell said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags HPsmall businessNetworkingstorageSMBs

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?