SMB Space Gets High-End Feature Boost

by Michael Hickins

There's nothing small about virtualization for the SMB space. Dell's newest systems aim to serve this and other high-end features to the SMB market.

Like kids following in their big brothers' footsteps, smaller enterprises often take IT spending cues from their larger brethren.

Dell is no exception to this. On Wednesday, the OEM introduced five new servers in the hope of capturing a larger share of the small and midsize business (SMB) market. The new systems offer a number of capabilities more frequently found in enterprise-oriented products, such as server virtualization.

Jay Parker, director of Dell PowerEdge servers, said SMBs can use virtualization to consolidate multiple applications on a single server, thus saving themselves money and, just as importantly, a considerable amount of space.

During a press conference, Dell detailed the PowerEdge 1900, 860 and 840 and Dell PowerEdge SC1430 and SC440 servers, all of which feature dual-core Intel Xeon processors.

Parker said the new servers offer dramatic increases in performance, scalability and power efficiency.

9th generation family
Source: Dell

For example, according to Parker, the PowerEdge 1900 provides more than twice the performance of a PowerEdge 1800.

Parker also predicted that new products will hit the market in the next 12 to 24 months with "hardware capabilities targeting virtualized environments and SMBs simultaneously."

"You'll see us cater more to the SMB market over time," he added.

Dell is shipping the servers with versions of Microsoft Small Business Server software preinstalled.

The PowerEdge 1900, 840 and 860 servers are priced at $1,399, $749, $949, respectively, while the PowerEdge SC1430 and SC440 servers are priced at $1,049 and $599, respectively.

Frank Muehleman, vice president of Dell's U.S. small business division, noted Dell is lowering price points to help small businesses adopt technologies used by larger companies, including virtualization.

"We're seeing an increasing rate of adoption of these technologies," he said during a conference call Wednesday morning.

Laurie McCabe, an analyst with consultant AMI-Partners, was more restrained.

"The term virtualization itself is confusing to small business owners," she told internetnews.com.

But she said agreed that they would be interested once they learn about it "in plain English," and companies with more than 100 employees are primed to adopt it.

Muehleman said the Round Rock, Texas computer maker has increased its share of the SMB market in unit terms from 10 percent in 2000 to 30 percent today.

That's not insignificant, as those businesses will spend $98 billion on IT products and services this year, according to AMI-Partners.

This article was originally published on internetnews.

This article was originally published on Thursday Sep 28th 2006
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