HP launches mid-sized blade chassis

HP has launched a blade chassis for mid-sized companies, following in the footsteps of IBM's BladeCenter S, which Big Blue pre-announced in June.

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HP has launched a blade chassis for mid-sized companies, following in the footsteps of IBM's BladeCenter S, which Big Blue pre-announced in June.

The new BladeSystem c3000, codenamed "Shorty", is aimed at smaller technology sites, branch offices and remote locations. According to HP, implementation requires no special power, cooling or staff.

It accepts up to eight blades and other peripherals, which are identical to those accepted by HP's larger, enterprise-level BladeSystem c7000. On the c3000, however, power supplies and other common components are scaled down to suit the smaller loads that the c3000 will encounter. For example there are only six fans. Unlike the c7000, it sports a DVD-ROM drive that can be allocated to any server blade, which product manager Peter Mansell said was more appropriate for smaller or branch office environments.

HP calculates that the breakeven point is between three to five server blades, compared to buying discrete servers.

There will be a tower version of the c3000 available in the first quarter of 2008 with the same features, occupying two square feet of floor space. There'll also be a castor-mounted version at some point, said Mansell.

The UK price is £2,200 and it will ship from today.

The c3000 was the flagship of a forest of products and services launched simultaneously for mid-sized companies – what HP called the Global 500,000.

Also in the forest was the new StorageWorks All-in-One SB600c Storage Blade, which works in both the c3000 and c7000. The company said the product helps customers offers easy-to-use backup, archiving and disaster recovery capabilities with no storage expertise required. It is the only storage blade solution available today that delivers bladed network-attached storage, iSCSI SAN capabilities and data protection in a single device, according to HP.

Additionally, HP has released new application “blueprints,” Solution Blocks, which HP claimed simplify and accelerate the integration of multiple application and data protection solutions into the new c3000 enclosure.

HP said its research indicates that two-thirds of mid-sized businesses want technology offerings that meet their needs and are created just for them. In addition, almost 9% of senior business and technology executives at mid-sized companies say their company is doing more with less by using technology, according to HP's research.

“Midsize customers don’t want watered down enterprise solutions,” said HP VP Ann Livermore. “They want complete solutions built uniquely to address their needs.”

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