We Got Served is reporting that HP has upgraded its interesting-looking ProLiant MicroServer series with a new model that sports Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials. (I was previously considering buying one of these things for Windows Home Server 2011, coincidentally. Or as others would say, "ironically.")

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What we're looking at here is a nice, small form factor with four drive bays (so, up to 8 TB of storage at 2 TB per drive, but I believe 3 TB drives are available now too; if so, that's a possible 12 TB. Yay!) The processor is a 1.5 GHz AMD Turion II Neo, up from the 1.3GHz AMD Athlon II Neo chip in last year’s model, according to We Got Served (but only on the mid-level and high-end versions). 2 to 8 GB of RAM. Expansion via eSATA (good) 7 USB 2.0 (also good, but some USB 3.0 would be nice), and a couple of internal slots. Here's a link to the specs in PDF format.

The HP ProLiant MicroServer series starts at $329, and I'd still consider that one for a basic WHS 2011 set up. In fact, what the heck. I'm ordering one right now, the mid-level model for $349, or about $390 after taxes and shipping. (I'm not sure yet if I'll use this for WHS or SBSE, but if it works out, perhaps I'll get another and use it for both.)

Note: the Windows Home Server Blog reported recently that a similar machine, from Acer and pre-installed with WHS 2011, will be available soon as well. If you're looking for a new WHS box, you might want to wait on that. (Here's a link to the specs in PDF format.)