back to article HP punts MicroServer for SMBs

Hewlett-Packard is keen on scaring up some business at small and medium businesses, and today will dust off the old MicroServer brand from Digital Equipment and slap it on a new entry ProLiant x64 server aimed expressly at cheapskates who don't want or need a full-on ProLiant tower, rack, or blade box. It may look a bit like a …

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Paris Hilton

Late to the game?

I'm not sure if IBM makes these for anything other than Lotus, but they already have turnkey mini-appliance servers available:

http://www-01.ibm.com/software/lotus/products/foundations/start/hardware.html

...Paris, because who doesn't like sloppy seconds?

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Welcome

HP: some decent products, but not much of a clue otherwise

Go to hp.com, search for microserver, and get no answers except a single reference to the long-obsolete DEC Microserver (which was actually a network routing box). Thanks, HP.

For anyone who wants the Quickspec, it is http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/13716_na/13716_na.html (via www.hp.com/go/microserver).

I'd be interested to see how HP position this against another not-so-low end Proliant for a corporate customer with lots of tiny branches (eg many retail chains etc want cheap systems but also want a long term stable software platform).

E.g. For the technology-challenged, what's the difference between an Athlon and an Opteron ? At this end of the market, does it matter?

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@ Anonymous Coward

..."I'm not sure if IBM makes these for anything other than Lotus"...

They make them for Tivoli too - there is a "plug and play" IT Help Desk appliance and at least one other Tivoli one (e.g. "IBM Tivoli Foundations Service Manager" and "Tivoli Foundations Application Manager").

The Lotus brand has a few of them - one for UC2, one for general SMB and one for disparate locations within larger orgs. They're pretty neat appliances IMO, based off the the acquisition of Nitix for those who remember it before it was swallowed up by big blue. Simple to set-up, trivial to maintain, self-healing and comes with VMWare as well as an XEN/KVM like virtual Linux capability bundled in.

Disclaimer: I work for IBM.

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Disclaimer here too

...from the other A.C.

I work for HP :)

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Pirate

ok then

so this little box only uses SATA drives, has a single power supply, and no PS/2 keyboard/mouse ports. How, again, does HP consider it a "server"? Just because they say it is? Still looks like a glorified desktop to me... Oh, it does support the optional "remote access card" - I'm guessing that's similar to the iLo stuff in the bigger Proliants?

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Not bad

The one with the base price is not bad. If you get some server features in, such as ECC, at least it's not exactly the same as using a pc of the shelf. I don't know about the top end price - it's certainly a heck of a difference.

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Silver badge
WTF?

I don't work for either of them but...

...I just cannot wrap my head around this thing: ONLY mirroring? Unless you start dropping very serious money on large SSDs it's as useless as any networked external HDD when it comes to dead slow speeds. Dead on arrival, thanks for nothing.

Someone really has to pull out his head from his bottom part - HP keeps releasing these SMB-aimed things but keeps screwing up every single product: HP MediaSmart sounded good first but it turned out only shipping with some weirdo home version of Windows Server, first stricken by a data corrupting bug and, of course, it does not do any kind of RAID, rather just 'backups' and now this...

...man, nobody wants to order this instead of a ProLiant, stop being afraid offering actually USEFUL features eg RAID5, proper memory speed etc - - you know, things like actual SERVERS SPORT.

PS: the configured price is a complete ripoff, it only shows how out of touch HP became recently due to <<insert pun about Hurd's UNDERWARE here>>...

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Paris Hilton

MediaSmart in Business?

How can you suggest that the HP MediaSmart is an SMB-aired product?

What kind of person would suggest a company would put a product powered by something called Windows HOME server into their business? I've never seen the MediaSmart offered as anything other than a home server, anyone wanting to put one of those into a business is an idiot.

Or did you get fired for suggesting the above as a great idea?

This server is cheap (Well, cheap if you buy the base product and add your own gear to it!), and small, the kind of thing small businesses (Yes, the ones with 1-9 people working at it) want to see. It would sit nicely in the corner and act as a NAS with a few optional extras.

Paris, because she would put a MediaSmart into a business environment.

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WTF?

MediaSmart != WHS, you fool

As in the title - learn to read before you post bollocks.

FYI plenty of small business - as in SMB, y'know - use MediaSmart-level hardware or a white box machine as server, running Win 2k3...

...which should give you two hints:

1. MediaSmart is not the OS but the HW so it's just the question of decision to ship it with any OS

2. you don't understand crap about this whole thing called SMB.

Ahh and your comments about this server is just as clueless as yours about MediaSmart, mind you.

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Anonymous Coward

Yawn

More HP shit which won't work.

Meh.

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"All the things that make a ProLiant machine trustworthy"

I'm drawing a blank, here.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

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re: All the things that make a ProLiant machine trustworthy

They used to have pretty good fans. Yeah, fans. Deltas that would make a helluva lot of wind. nice big 120mm fans. Stacked two-deep for redundancy.

And the chassis was always far heavier than it looked. You knew there was no way that fully decked-out 5500 was going to walk out of the data center by itself... I never knew what Compaq used to ballast their chassis, but I suspect it was matter from a neutron star.

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Anonymous Coward

It isn't the big fans

It's the rest of the proliant that sucks.

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Linux

"the proliant that sucks."

Really? Proliants I have known have generally been decent machines, even the low end one-per-retail-shop ones. I'm now in a different role, at a different company, where Dell Poweredge is the Wintel server of choice, and I see nothing in the Dell that would make me want to buy them in preference to Proliant, especially given recent news re the commercial relationship between Intel and Dell (and despite my natural reluctance post-Fiorina to buy anything bearing an HP logo). But it's not my decision, so Dell it is.

Perhaps other readers would like to contribute some specific details where they feel Proliant is lacking in comparison with the rest of the market? Let's take Fiorina-related (and other similar) stuff as read.

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IT Angle

Uhhh?

"(and despite my natural reluctance post-Fiorina to buy anything bearing an HP logo)"

Ehhh? Are you seriously saying you stopped buying HP because they fired the clueless PR lady?

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Happy

@Levente re Carly

"Are you seriously saying you stopped buying HP because they fired the clueless PR lady?"

No, quite the opposite, sorry for any confusion - post-Fiorina meaning "after she arrived", rather than after she went...

When they put Carly Fiorina in charge I got yet another reason to not buy HP. Her likely long term impact on HP was clear based on the impact she'd had at previous outfits that had been foolish enough to put her at the top (AT+T/Lucent), as reinforced by what I saw of her early days at HP.

Shame really, because afaict from personal experience, and contrary to unsupported assertions here from other contributors (unhappy former CPQ customers maybe?????), a lot of Proliants are actually nice servers. Even the low end ones.

Don't take my word for it, ask the folks who actually buy servers, as reported by IDC. Pick any given quarter and Proliant will be the clear winner, likely closely followed by IBM (if you include their non-x86 servers), with Dell's servers getting less than half CPQ's Proliant revenue.

e.g. May 2010 report:

http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS22360110

An ARM-based low end Proliant would be an interesting development in due course. Right now, there'll likely be a lot of x86-specific code for hardware initialisation etc in Proliant BIOSes, but the technology inherited from DEC made VGA BIOSes and the like work on non-x86 systems with Alpha CPUs so could presumably do the same in an ARM box, especially if it's in a server with restricted hardware options.

How much would that save end users on electricity and cooling?

Anyway, that's another topic.

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