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HP's entry-level server finds home in labs: News in review

Hewlett-Packard's ProLiant MicroServer targets very small businesses but is drawing interest for home labs. Plus: VMware-Novell acquisition rumors heat up, and more.

Hewlett-Packard's new entry-level server for virtualization targets very small businesses. While there are questions about whether these companies need virtualization, the server has drawn interest from home lab users, according to

With a base-model price of $329, the HP ProLiant MicroServer ships with a dual-core, 1.3 GHz Advanced Micro Devices Athlon II processor, two dual inline memory module slots for up to 8 GB of RAM, and up to four SATA drive bays for 8 TB of storage.

There are benefits to compartmentalizing applications, even for small businesses. But it remains to be seen whether these businesses even need virtualization, which requires a significant investment in equipment and personnel. Additionally, hosted and cloud services can provide many server virtualization features -- such as disaster recovery and high availability -- without the costs associated with an in-house infrastructure.

Meanwhile, some IT professionals are eyeing the ProLiant MicroServer for their home labs. Most home labs are either built from whitebox components or consist of ESX running on VMware Workstation, and those configurations can be tricky. The other option is to buy a preconfigured server, which is often expensive.

HP's ProLiant MicroServer provides an affordable alternative, but you get what you pay for.

This week's VMware news also included the following stories:

Is VMware buying Novell?
Novell is selling itself in two parts, with its SUSE Linux division going to a "strategic buyer," according to the New York Post. And VMware is the odds-on favorite to buy Novell, according to the SearchServerVirtualization Blog.

As of right now, it's only speculation, fueled mostly by June's exclusive virtual appliance deal announced by VMware and Novell. But an acquisition of Novell's stature isn't VMware style. The virtualization behemoth usually targets smaller growth companies.

There are a number of other potential "strategic buyers," including Oracle, Microsoft and Red Hat.

Heineken goes virtual with VMware
Heineken Netherlands has upgraded its storage area network (SAN) to bolster its new virtualized infrastructure, according to

The brewer of the popular pale lager switched from the Hewlett-Packard EVA SAN to a Compellent SAN, which supports tiered storage, solid-state drives and VMware integration. Heineken said it has already migrated 60% of its physical servers to VMware virtual servers, resulting in lower power and cooling requirements. Since moving to the Compellent SAN infrastructure, the company said it has also improved disk utilization by 60%.

Virsto upgrades storage tool; still no VMware support
Virsto Software has upgraded its storage management tool for Microsoft Hyper-V. Virsto One's latest version feeds multiple I/O streams from guests to disk systems, which reduces storage bottlenecks, according to

The small storage vendor doesn't support VMware, but says it eventually will. Virsto's reasoning: It's hard to stand out in the saturated VMware storage management market. As a result, its focus remains on Hyper-V for now.

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