HP bundles Unix offerings

While IT belts continue to tighten, cash-strapped enterprises are on the hunt for lower-priced network gear that doesn’t scrimp on functionality. Hewlett-Packard Co. Canada said it has the answer.

Last month, the Mississauga, Ont.-based company launched its new 05 series line of servers that come preconfigured with up to eight processors running the HP-UX 11i operating system.

According to HP, the standard configurations come in three flavours and are powered by the PA-8700 processor. The HP rp2405 starts at $7,838 and comes with one or two processors; the rp5405 starts at $47,447 and comes with two and four processors; and the 7405 at $82,705 comes with two, four and eight processors. Each model is in-chassis upgradeable to new PA-RISC processors, and the rp7405 and 5405 are also capable of in-chassis upgrades to future Intel Itanium processors.

Steve Shaw, enterprise systems program manager for HP Canada, said the new bundled offerings bring decent performance to customers without a hefty price tag.

“What we are seeing in the marketplace are customers that are looking at price as a key factor…but are also looking for ordering simplicity,” Shaw said. “In other words, people are looking for something that is relatively current that can provide them flexibility so that in six months to a year-and-a-half later, as their company grows, they can upgrade those servers to something that is higher performing with more capabilities.”

Shaw added that the new offerings have the same management tools, interfaces and operating systems as existing HP servers.

“As customers get into these models, if they need to grow, they can grow in terms of performance into those faster models right within the system itself,” he said.

From a manufacturing perspective, Shaw said that because the 05 series is preconfigured, HP can produce these servers faster and more efficiently and, as a result, can turn them out into the field more quickly.

The 05 servers also plug into HP’s OpenView enterprise management platform and can be monitored, managed and deployed using a system many HP customers have come to know.

“There are also manageability tools built right into the servers to help (customers) with better and quicker deployments,” Shaw explained. “We have some management tools like Secure Web Console and service control utilities that help them manage these servers wherever they may be deployed from a single console.”

According to Alan Freedman, research analyst for servers, storage and workstations at IDC Canada Ltd. in Toronto, what HP is doing is offering customers a lower price point that keeps it competitive with other offerings available on the market.

“In essence they are competing with two separate camps,” Freedman said. “They are competing with the PC server, which is the Intel space, and they are competing with Sun, who has done very well in what we call the entry-Unix space. There are a couple of different markets that this could be ideal for, mainly companies that are managing their way through the downturn in the economy and are looking for…not necessarily the best price performance or the best set of features, but they are looking for something that will meet their needs at a reasonable price point today.”

The 05 series from HP is available now. For more information, visit the company online at http://www.hp.com.