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Blade PC start-up manages to nail IBM, ClearCube and Verari

Terawhatchi?

Security for virtualized datacentres

Okay, okay. You've heard this before. The world is ready for a blade PC revolution.

This time, however, the revolution may well be computerized thanks to a Canadian start-up called Teradici. The small firm emerged this week with some big customers, namely IBM, ClearCube, Devon IT and Verari. These companies will use Teradici's new "PC over IP" technology as the basis of their various blade PC attacks.

In the past, the blade PC concept has proved more attractive in theory than in practice. Companies can control all of their PCs from the data center rather than desk-by-desk. Such a model should translate into lower management costs, better security and easier updates. In addition, the user receives a quiet terminal deskside instead of a whirring space heater.

The downside of the blade PC/thin client approach has been the underwhelming performance of the machines.

Teradici has tried to improve the user experience via custom hardware. Companies using Teradici's technology will slot a TERA Host processor into their blade PCs. Then, at the user's desk, a TERA Portal processor fits into a stateless device. Earlier this month, we described the technology in more detail.

All told, you end up with more or less a true PC experience at the user's terminal device, since Teradici has provided a dramatic performance boost for sending desktop software over IP.

IBM has teamed with Devon IT around a "workstation blade" product. Meanwhile, Verari has its new kit here, and ClearCube has started talking up its Teradici-powered gear here.

HP made its own attempt at improving on the performance of RDP (remote desktop protocol) with an in-house protocol that aids the transmission of graphics-heavy software over IP. It remains to be seen how well HP's new gear stacks up against Teradici's flash.

We're still cynical about blade PCs simply because the systems, along with thin clients, let us down time and again. Even with a perfect user experience, the systems fail to appeal to stodgy corporations used to the space heater model.

That said, Teradici has impressed by picking up so many big name customers, including the major pure play blade PC vendor ClearCube, fresh out of the stealth gate. ®

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