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Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ - Analyst Report) or H-P recently announced a free version of HP StoreVirtual Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) with the purchase of HP ProLiant Generation8 (Gen8) servers. The package is targeted at small and medium business (SMB) owners that should as a result see enhanced performance and flexibility.

That’s because this cost-effective bundle helps to reduce complexities, protect privacy and reduce data loss and also accelerates data transfer. It is available across multiple locations.

Additionally, the new HP StoreVirtual VSA features data optimization with product offerings ranging from 4-to-50 TB capacity. This offering will also help H-P to simplify the complexity associated with the management of IT assets and consumer electronics, in accordance with environmental and data security regulations.

According to a recent survey by Gartner, 82% of server workloads will be in virtual environments by 2016. This could increase management complexity and operational costs. The introduction of HP’s VSA lowers costs by up to 60% per user as compared to the prior generation product, thus helping to mobilize the entire workforce. Moreover, IDC predicts that 80% of applications will be virtualized by 2015.

Apart from this, H-P also recently unveiled a new HP mt41 mobile thin client. The offering provides enhanced performance and secure connectivity.

H-P remains focused on shifting its focus from its PC-centric business to the high-margin server, storage and cloud computing space. The back-to-back launches of a new BPO (business process outsourcing) solution, a host of desktop printers, two media players and the Moonshot server in the past few months indicate that H-P’s plans are well on track.

However, increasing competition from companies like Accenture plc (ACN - Analyst Report), IBM Corp. (IBM - Analyst Report) and Oracle Corp. (ORCL - Analyst Report) coupled with continuing macroeconomic challenges and tepid IT spending will pose challenges, going forward.

Currently, H-P has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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