IBM has previewed the latest in next generation client computing with the new BladeCentre 'Workstation Blade', developed in collaboration with Blade.org partner Devon IT. The new offering will include the new IBM Workstation Blade and its associated 'eco' system of connection broker software and desktop device from Devon IT, designed to help customers host workstation environments remotely to significantly reduce energy consumption in the workplace.
The new blade-based solution from IBM and Devon IT will be ideal for traders in financial services and CAD design engineers, who find themselves traditionally surrounded by several workstations generating heat and noise. By moving desktop and applications to blade servers designed to more efficiently dissipate heat, and utilising a desktop device with no spinning hard drives for storage or fans needed to dissipate heat, the energy consumed desk side can be reduced by up to 90%. While a typical workstation can consume up to 300 watts, a desktop device from Devon IT consumes merely 15 watts, the equivalent of the amount of energy consumed to run an electric shaver.
"Prior to the desktop PC boom 25 years ago, desktop client computing was hosted by networks of connected servers. By the 1990s PCs became connected and played a driving force in server and networking advancements," said Bevan Lock, business development manager, System x, IBM South Africa. "Today, new advances in servers and networking are helping to enable efficient hosting of complex client environments on servers allowing centralised management and security under the control of the data centre. With its highly efficient design, IBM BladeCentre has arrived as the ideal platform for server-hosted client computing."
The new solution will also help improve business security and privacy by moving desktop assets and corporate IP back into the data centre.
Business productivity can be realised by providing users with a more flexible environment with free seating, and a robust infrastructure that enables access at ranges up to 2500 miles, comparable to the distance between San Francisco and New York. Lower management and traditional desk side support costs can also dramatically reduce IT operating costs.
The IBM Workstation Blade will also offer unique, breakthrough and leading edge remote display and graphics acceleration. Unlike competitive offerings, IBM's Workstation Blade relies on hardware compression techniques in the render and transfer of I/O and graphics from blade server to desktop device, drastically improving the quality of image delivered and the performance and speed of the process. In addition, end users will be able to use a full array of USB devices, beneficial for less demanding graphics applications.
The IBM Workstation Blade will extend the infrastructure integration capabilities of IBM's family of BladeCentre systems, and will complement IBM's Virtual Client Solution, introduced in 2005. IBM can offer customers a wide range of 'remote desktop' computing options. These include, publishing server-based applications, offering a server based Virtual Client Solution, as well as the ability to offer a high end workstation class blade computing environment.