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ClearCube launches first 'Vista blades'

New dual-core blades with updated software and virtualisation support will cut the cost of deploying a blade farm, ClearCube says

Two new blades with Pentium and Xeon dual-core processors, alongside new management software and virtualisation, should help cut the cost of deploying blade farms, according to ClearCube Technology. With the new blades, ClearCube is aiming to stay a step ahead of mainstream blade suppliers like IBM and HP.

The new additions are the ClearCube R1300 blade, which has an Intel dual-core Pentium processor and the R2200 which has twin dual-core Intel Xeon processors. ClearCube aims to produce high-performance blades and claims that the new blades are "the fastest single and dual-processor PC blades available".

According to ClearCube, both blades are already "capable of running Microsoft Vista" when it becomes available. The two blades are priced from $1,999 (£1,100) and $2,999 (£1,644).

ClearCube's solution is built around secure wired or wireless user connections between centralised blade farms and remote access devices.

The blades use the new ClearCube Sentral management software, which allows IT administrators to manage blade deployments from a single console. Sentral also supports virtualised desktop computing, which helps IT departments to increase the use of their computing resources.

The R1300 is a single-processor blade, and offers the choice between a Pentium D dual-core processor and a Pentium 4 processor with Hyper-Threading. The R1300 also includes dual Ethernet ports to support multiple networks and a custom slot for an optional PCI Express graphics card that supports up to four monitors when combined with the ClearCube Multi-Video eXpander (MVX).

The R2200 also features dual Intel Xeon processors with Hyper-Threading. It is intended for use with applications demanding high performance, such as on financial trading floors. The R2200 has built-in RAID support, dual gigabit Ethernet ports and PCI Express graphics and quad monitor support, the company said.

"Blades are the backbone of any centralised computing solution, and they have to meet the performance needs of users today and in the future," said Carl Boisvert, president and chief executive of ClearCube. "Unlike our competitors, our blades are backward compatible, assuring that (customers') IT investment is designed to scale with their enterprise in the future."