HPE Expands SMB Push With New Solutions Suites

The new SMB bundles, targeting businesses with up to 250 employees, run the gamut from a starter bundle to serve as a small business' first IT infrastructure to large offerings bringing virtualization and hybrid cloud to SMBs.


Hewlett Packard Enterprises on Wednesday signaled a major push into the IT SMB market with the unveiling of a large number of multi-product solution suites aimed at making it easier for the vendor's channel partners to sell bundled server, storage, and related product offerings.

The new turnkey bundled offerings, which also include HPE networking, software, and cloud technology, expand on HPE's fall introduction of new solutions bundling SMB servers with Aruba networking, said Tim Peters, vice president and general manager of HPE's Transactional SMB Group.

"We want to make it fast for our partners to identify the right solutions for the right needs," Peters told CRN. "These are validated solutions, with added financial services and priced aggressively. And they feature no-touch deployment."

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The new HPE SMB bundled solutions are focused on additional external storage, and will target new SMB workloads based on the storage component, Peters said.

"In the past, our SMB solutions had a little external storage," he said. "Now we've started rollout solutions to address the needs of customers in the 25 to 250 seat range. For businesses like that, there's not a lot of internal IT competence. Those businesses rely strongly on our partners."

HPE is taking complexity out with its new offerings, said Steve Tepedino, president and CEO of IT Partners, a Tempe, Ariz.-based solution provider and longtime HPE channel partner.

"Taking complexity out of the SMB is the name of the game," Tepedino told CRN. "SMBs don't have the IT staff for do-it-yourself IT."

SMB clients need strong IT infrastructures, but building them is different for SMBs vs. larger clients, Tepedino said.

"For smaller clients, it's important to take complexity out to make it work," he said. "For larger customers, custom solutions are more important."

Mark Semadeni, manager for HPE's SMB solutions, told CRN that his company is working with SMB-focused channel partners at several levels with its new bundles.

The most critical need for small businesses is guidance in determining how their first IT infrastructure will look, which is why HPE is introducing a bundle aimed specifically at small office deployments, Semadeni said. For a company with up to 25 employees, each of which is using two devices, HPE bundles an HPE ProLiant ML30 Gen10 server with the HPE OfficeConnect 1920s managed networking switch and two HPE OfficeConnect OC20 802.11ac wireless access points.

For slightly larger offices with up to 100 employees each with two devices, HPE is bundling the HPE ProLiant DL20 Gen10 server with the HPE StoreEasy 1660 NAS file server, two Aruba 2530 networking switches and five Aruba iAP 303 802.11ac Wave 2 enterprise access points.

Semadeni agreed that those bundles with only one server makes the server a potential single point of failure. "But usually when we talk with customers, we try to get in the door with the server, and then once we get our foot in the door, look at backups," he said. "Or a lot of smaller businesses start in the cloud, and already have backups. Affordability wins."

As business' requirements grow, HPE is ready with new bundled solutions for centralizing and protecting data, Semadeni said

One bundle includes a choice of HPE ProLiant Gen10 servers with the RDX external disk for portable storage and/or the StoreEver 1/8 tape autoloader for archiving data, he said.

Scalable storage is provided via another bundle featuring the HPE ProLiant DL360 Gen10 server combined with an MSA 1050 SAS small form factor storage array. For more performance, HPE has bundled solutions including two or more HPE ProLiant DL325 Gen10 servers with the MSA 2052 small form factor SAN array and the OfficeConnect 1950 12XGT 4SF switch with 10-GbE connections including 10GBASE-T copper and SFP+ fiber.

For larger SMBs looking for high availability storage, HPE is offering a choice of Microsoft Azure Stack HCI or VMware vSAN software, which can manage up to eight virtual machines per node. Storage for that offering is based on the HPE ProLiant DL380 Gen10 servers.

HPE also introduced small business solutions for virtualization combining with HPE ProLiant Gen10 servers running either Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware ESXi and Veeam Enterprise Backup and Replication software to help develop a hybrid cloud offering.

All the bundles are configured, tested, and validated with HPE Pointnext Foundation Care technical services, and can include flexible payment options via HPE Financial Services, Semadeni said.