HPE makes flurry of new solutions up and down SMB portfolio

In addition to new SMB-focused server, storage, networking and hyper-converged product, HPE has brought their Consume IT OPEX pricing model from the enterprise to SMBs as well.

The HPE ProLiant ML350 Gen 10 server

Hewlett Packard Enterprise [HPE] has made a large number of announcements, which span the gamut of their SMB portfolio, from small businesses to larger ones which could be classified as midmarket. They also encompass a broad range of infrastructure solutions.

“This is a large release across our entire portfolio,” said Vish Mulchand, senior director, storage product management at HPE. “We have a large SMB portfolio, and these announcements cover a huge breadth of it, across hyper-converged [HCI] servers, storage and networking, including consumption models.”

Mulchand said that the impact of flash cuts through the announcements.

“Flash has become a mainstream tier for business apps, not just in storage but in servers and HCI,” Mulchand said, “Customer experience with flash has been better than expected, not just with performance, but with productivity and reduction of backup windows. As a result, it is now permeating into small and medium business.”

The news around HPE’s SimpiVity HCI offering is the availability of the HPE SimpliVity 380, a smaller configuration explicitly pitched at the enterprise ROBO and SMB markets.

“We are not shy about talking how we see HCI as appropriate for the SMB segment,” Mulchand said. The SimpliVIty 380 provides a smaller single-socket configuration for SMB and ROBO that may not need the same level of performance. It also has integrated data protection, deduplication, compression and disaster recovery.” HPE also says that it is priced at 20 per cent lower than leading competitors, although street pricing is not provided for it, unlike all the other products announced.

The news around the HPE Nimble Storage Flash Arrays was telegraphed by HPE earlier in the year. Initially, a limited Nimble SKU selection was made available to the broader HPE channel, with availability of the full Nimble product line with all the SKUs set to come later, on November 1. HPE has announced they have kept to that schedule.

“As more HPE partners have gotten enabled, we have been able to bring these things together, and now the whole product line will be available to them on November 1,” Mulchand said. “We have also announced a six-nines availability guarantee.

Mulchand said that predictive analytics, which have always been a key part of the Nimble solution, is of particular value in the SMB space.

“Nimble isn’t just for SMB, but for SMB, predictive analytics is critical because it takes the guesswork issues away from the customer,” he said. 54 per cent of reported problems are SATA storage, and performance analytics pinpoint where those are.”

Nimble’s Predictive Analytics are being extended throughout the HPE storage portfolio, but that hasn’t happened yet.

“We are just getting started there,” Mulchand said. “We will be extending it across the rest of the HPE portfolio.”

HPE earlier announced their MSA2050 and MSA 2052 hybrid storage arrays. Now they are announcing the MSA1050 Hybrid Storage Array, the entry level model, at a street price of under $USD 5,500. At the same time, they announced the availability of a SAS connectivity option for ProLiant Gen10 servers on all three of these arrays

“The availability of this high speed, low cost connectivity SAS option will facilitate easy access to flash storage,” Mulchand said.

HPE also announced several of the new HPE ProLiant Gen 10 servers as well, the ML110, ML350 and DL580.

“This is the second wave of new ProLiants,” Mulchand said. “The ML110 is a single processor tower server targeted at smaller businesses, while the ML350 has two processors and are also targeted at smaller businesses.” The ProLiant DL580 scales from two to four processors, and is targeted more at midsize businesses. HPE says the ML110 delivering a 21 per cent performance boost over the previous generation, while the ML350  provides a 71 per cent performance boost. The HPE ML110 starts at $USD $1,299, while the HPE ML350 starts at $USD 1,899, and the HPE DL580 begins at $USD 15,449.

Another small business-specific offering is the HPE OfficeConnect OC20, a Wi-Fi solution which HPE is positioning below Aruba in the market. The HPE OfficeConnect OC20 Access Point is available to order now at a list price of $USD 250.

HPE also announced new StoreFabric M-series Ethernet switches, OEMed from Mellanox. These are HPE’s first Ethernet storage switches, and offer a lower cost alternative to Fibre Channel network infrastructure for flash systems especially likely to appeal to SMBs. Their street pricing starts at $USD 7,990.

“An $8,000 price point for 8 ports is something that SMBs can afford, especially if they have a need to get high-performance shared storage,” Mulchand said.

“We are also working on target-based orchestration, where you can orchestrate the entire network from the storage array, making it simpler and quicker to configure the storage network,” Mulchand said. “That’s another future –  bringing this to the Ethernet side as well as Fibre Channel.”

The StoreFabric M-series switches are also available with a Ports on Demand option, part of the Consume IT pricing now being offered to SMBs.

“Consume IT for SMB is consumption-based pricing for servers, storage and networking,” Mulchand said. “This is something that we have had on the enterprise and are now bringing to the SMB, providing them with cloud-like pricing for those who want to buy in an OPEX fashion with a monthly subscription fee.”