HPE Targets SMBs with New Servers and ClearOS Linux

HPE ProLiant servers

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) on Monday turned its focus to small and medium size businesses (SMBs) with news of a partnership with ClearCenter to bring ClearOS, a Linux-based operating system, to HPE Proliant servers. The vendor also announced that it’s refreshing and broadening its Proliant server portfolio.

HPE's Tim Peters

HPE’s Tim Peters

“SMBs are always looking to have an easier way to manage their IT or simplify and they want to do it in a secure and affordable way,” Tim Peters, vice president and general manager of Proliant Rack and Tower Servers and SMB Solutions at HPE, told us.

Peters took aim at the allure of public cloud services, and dissed Microsoft when a while back it raised the entry point for Microsoft Windows ’16, saying that the cost of compute on premises went up. HPE, he noted, is offering the channel a way to fight back in the SMB space.

ClearOS, for example, was designed specifically to meet the needs of SMB organizations, Peters said. It has a simplified, web-based user interface, it’s open source, and HPE is providing it preloaded on targeted SMB servers, in an integrated solution, at no additional cost.

For HPE partners, the integrated ClearOS/server sale comes at a lower cost compared to a Windows server platform — which HPE will continue to support, Peters said.

“Since the ClearOS is preloaded, all the customer has to do is decide which services they want with that platform,” he said.

The HPE SMB market is 100 percent channel-led. With the new Linux product, partners can deliver more value-add versus dealing with the nuts and bolts of installing and configuring the system, Peters suggested.

In a return of the Proliant MicroServer, HPE announced a new Gen 10 portfolio that includes the ProLiant ML30 and ProLiant DL20 servers with the new Kaby Lake Intel processor. The new SMB servers come preloaded with ClearOS.

Some new server features: AMD graphics embedded in the chip; dual-display port connectors; and optional GPU support on a PCIe slot, according to the vendor.

HPE offers pre-loaded ClearOS on the HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen 10, as well as the ML 110, ML 30 and DL 20.

The third piece of Monday’s announcement addresses intelligent provisioning of ClearOS on HPE’s broad portfolio of Proliant Servers, including the DL 60, DL 80, Tower products such as the ML 110, ML 350, ML 150 and up through the DL 360 and 380.

“We believe that this [announcement] addresses the need of minimizing the complexity of IT [for SMBs], of cloud and on premise[s] in a lower-cost way,” said Peters.

ClearCenter also offers an application marketplace for ClearOS. Individual apps run as cloud, server, network and gateway services on ClearOS.

The ML 30 and DL 20 are shipping now. The preloaded ClearOS servers and the Proliant MicroServer will ship in June.

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