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Channel prepped to boost mid market blade system adoption

HP expands its BladeSystem offerings, and taps the channel to help it deliver the solutions

Hewlett Packard’s Canadian channel partners will help local businesses adopt the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company’s new data centre technology that’s geared towards the mid market’s specific needs.HP announced this month the newest member of its BladeSystem family, HP BladeSystem c3000 enclosure for smaller sites, branch offices and remote locations. Along with it, HP StorageWorks All-in-One SB600c Storage Blade (for use in c3000 and c7000) with backup, archiving and disaster recovery capabilities. The products are shipping now at $4,944 and $11,424 for the BladeSystem and storage blade, respectively.

The launch also included HP Solution Blocks, or tested application “blue prints” – available through channel partners – to facilitate the integration of multiple application and data protection solutions into c3000. Also available through the channel are HP Care Pack services, packaged services that include installation and support designed to reduce implementation time.

The company said it has trained 5,000 HP BladeSystem channel partners around the world to work with mid-sized clients with the new products.

“The channel is key to us serving the mid market,” said Paul Miller, vice-president of marketing, enterprise storage and servers, during a keynote.

The products were designed in response to channel partner demand for a solution that could be customized for mid market clients, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach, according to Mark Potter, vice-president for industry standard servers of the technology solutions group.

Actually, the products give medium-sized businesses the ability to deploy the same technologies to which enterprises typically have had access, said Valerie Reamer, president and owner of Vancouver, Wash.-based channel partner Gekkotek Inc. “HP has leveled the playing field for all mid market businesses.”

In general, mid market customers, observed Reamer, have limited IT budgets and staff, yet seek technology that is reliable, customizable, and has the ability to deliver the functionality of enterprise services.

HP is working with its channel partners to provide mid-sized businesses added value by giving them a reasonably-priced complete package that’s a straight plug-and-play, said William Terrill, associate senior research analyst with London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group.

“When you get the unit, you get everything,” he said. “The software is installed, the hardware is ready to run, and what you have to do is plug it in.”

Typically, large enterprises have the advantage of having either in-house experienced IT staff who can assemble the hardware and software, or an agreement with a reseller to perform full integration before delivering to the client.

As well, this sort of technology – blades, storage, memory – has typically been delivered to the mid market client in separate boxes requiring assembly, but with this launch, said Terrill, complete integration is another value add through the channel.