Blade PC specialist ClearCube Inc is teaming up with IBM Corp to combine its management software with IBM’s BladeCenter as part of the latter’s Virtualized Hosted Client Infrastructure plan.
While IBM’s Virtualized Hosted Client Infrastructure appears to pose a competitive threat to ClearCube’s position in the nascent market for blade PCs, ClearCube’s chief marketing officer, Raj Shah, maintained there is room for both.
What you’re seeing is a broader play that companies want a centralized system for client management, he said, adding that the ClearCube infrastructure maintains a one-to-one relationship between the client and the PC blade, whereas the IBM infrastructure enables a shared hardware and virtualized clients.
Shah said the companies have been testing a combination of ClearCube’s Grid Center software and BladeCenters running EMC Corp subsidiary VMware Inc’s virtual machine technology for the last six months, and that the combination will be targeted at branch banking environments and demonstrated at the Banking Administration Institute conference.
The resulting System Solution for Branch Banking is currently in the pilot stage and is likely to be available in the first quarter, according to Shah, while other target markets also being considered include call centers and development centers.
Shah conceded that the solution is not suitable for everyone, but said that it made sense where desktop users sharing PC resources would make the most efficient use of the available processing power.
Earlier this year, ClearCube’s president and CEO, Carl Boisvert, told Computer Business Review that the company was considering extending its Management Suite blade management software to blade servers, and Shah maintained: this further validates the software piece we’ve been working on for the past few years.
IBM’s Virtualized Hosted Client Infrastructure was announced in mid-October and is designed to deliver desktop functionality to any client. Partners include VMware and Citrix Systems Inc, as well as thin client hardware and software vendors Wyse Technology Inc and Neoware Systems Inc.
The Virtualized Hosted Client Infrastructure is currently in beta testing with general availability scheduled for the first quarter of 2006, and will be delivered by IBM’s Global Services organization, with which ClearCube is a long-time partner.
While ClearCube’s relationship with IBM is part of the overall Virtualized Hosted Client Infrastructure, Shah noted that ClearCube’s technology will not be deployed with Citrix’s client access technology. This is not connected per se to the [IBM] Citrix announcement, that is primarily targeting Citrix users, he said. This is for the 90% of people who do not have Citrix in their infrastructure.