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Dell Leading Small Business Virtualization Charge

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

Dell  which introduced five new servers today in the hopes of capturing a larger share of the small and medium sized business (SMB) market, sees this trend encompassing even such enterprise-oriented strategies as server virtualization.

Jay Parker, director of Dell PowerEdge servers, said that 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 noted that the new servers offer dramatic increases in performance, scalability and power efficiency.

PowerEdge
9th generation family.
Source: Dell

For instance, according to Parker, the PowerEdge 1900 provides a 211 percent greater performance than 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.

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

Frank Muehleman, vice president of Dell's U.S. small business division, noted that 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 this morning.

Laurie McCabe, an analyst with consultant AMI-Partners, was somewhat more restrained in her view.

"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 said that companies with more than 100 employees are certainly 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.