Blade computing specialist ClearCube has nearly halved the price of an entry-level PC blade to $999 (£540) with the launch of its A Series blades and chassis and I8330 I/Port.
The new hardware is supported by ClearCube's Sentral management software and virtualisation technology that can drive down costs to $899 (£490) a seat, ClearCube chief technical officer Ken Knotts told vnunet.com.
IDC analyst John Humphreys said: "With centralised computing continuing to gain in popularity among enterprises, this lower-cost offering will allow ClearCube to tap into new markets.
"And the desktop virtualisation capabilities enabled by these hardware products creates an even more compelling reason for businesses to embrace centralised computing."
The lower price will obviously be of benefit to large companies using blades to virtualise and consolidate servers. Given the lower price they will be able to accelerate this process.
SMEs have not adopted blade computing in large numbers because they do not usually have the high number of servers to make it cost effective. But the lower price should encourage more efficient IT and security management.
Consolidation also lends itself to selective outsourcing where a provider can take over a number of processes from the client company and then sell spare capacity, for example during the night, to offer computing resources to clients in other time zones.
The new Model A1010 PC blade uses an Intel Pentium 4 Model 531 processor, 80GB Serial ATA hard drive and 512MB of DDR memory.
The new I8330 I/Port uses Transparent Desktop eXtension technology in place of RDP to improve video and multimedia performance, and to enable transparent USB device redirection over Ethernet.
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