Blade PC start-up manages to nail IBM, ClearCube and Verari
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.
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. ®
Randy s right this a PC not a thin client
This is definitely not a thin client, i saw this at IBM's booth in NY this week, I was blown away, it s more powerful than the PC s we have in our office.
I'm the President of a company , what do I care if my windows PC is under my desk or in our data center, to be honest I'd rather have it where our tech guys are
They said it consumes a lot less power also
PC over IP products are not Thin Clients
Thin Client computing is a win-lose proposition. IT wins with better security, management, etc..., but the end user experience impacts productivity and can't support many of the USB devices end users want and need. Teradici's PC over IP technology turns this into a win-win situation. The end-user cannot tell that the computer is not locally attached since our display compression technology adds less than 10ms latency roundtrip and reproduces perceptually lossless images (which builds to completely lossless when the image stops moving). Software-based Thin Client solutions cannot deliver this type of visual experience anymore than they could encode 1080i content in less than 10ms (and most PC displays are much higher pixel rates than 1080i).
Furthermore, our unique USB hardware bridge allows any USB device to be supported even including interrupt and isochronous devices. No RDP Thin Client can do that. Furthermore, IT can directly control what USB devices are authorized on a user by user basis.
I know most readers will be highly skeptical of these claims, but in side-by-side comparisons, people are unable to tell the difference between the locally connected display and the PC over IP display. Try that with a Thin Client.
The even better news for IT is that the PC over IP desktop device (we call it a Portal) is completely stateless with no operating system or drivers required because everything is bridged in hardware from the host. The Portal is completely maintenance-free (unlike a Thin Client).
Ask your friendly neighborhood OEM for a demonstration. Seeing is believing.
In the long term, the hybrid approach between a local workstation (definitely /not/ a PC) and one or more remote servers (preferably mainframe-class devices) is the only one that's going to survive. However, for that goal to succeed, some practical (r)evolutions need to take place:
1) Transition from NFS -> 9P;
2a) Overhaul of X Windoze;
2b) Remote DRI support;
3) Employing a standard Network Audio System;
4) A better GUI model, like Okudagrams (which employ a semi-direct UNIX-to-GUI mapping). Note that I'm /not/ arguing for the toy BASIC stuff everyone seems to drool on.
With these changes implemented, it is only a matter of time before the industry switches to the mainframe/workstation combination.
DVI being a couple of Gigabits per second on long distance DVI repeaters at 1080i, does this device compress the signal somehow or convert it into IP data?. Are the switches part of the system or just off the shelf.
I was thinking of some Google Utopia where each town has a 40ft shipping container dropped into it and we all go thin client, unlimited storage and with a local copy of all video and music content Internet traffic drops 90% (torrents and stuff), google pick up the newly created slack to avoid laying new fiber and we all get personalised adverts.
Circle of Life
There's a lot of truth to what you say, but there's always room for a paradigm shift. Maybe this time around, energy costs will be the impetus for taking an extra power supply off everyone's desk.
There's really nothing to lose from this model which has remained basically unchallenged since around 1981 ??? Maybe Corporate America will finally take the "personal" out of PC and give everyone "smart terminals" to save a couple of bucks.
Ashlee and you are right, we've been down this road several times without anything catching on, but never underestimate the power of corporate greed. When the CFOs believe they can save a few bucks a year from each user by taking away something personal, they will JUMP at the chance.