ClearCube Technology on Tuesday announced centralized computing software and hardware products to help thin clients behave more like PCs and to aid administrators in deploying and managing virtual environments.
The company announced the R1350 PC Blade, which stores data and resources accessible to remote thin clients. The blade establishes a secure connection with a thin client and delivers data, graphics, and complete PC functionality, including support for USB drives attached to the thin client.
Implementing Teradici's PC-over-IP technology, the new PC blade can deliver 32-bit graphics, which overcomes network latency to provide real-time graphics to thin clients, said Rick Hoffman, CEO of ClearCube. Teradici's technology compresses the graphics output on the PC blade and sends it over a network, and a Teradici chip on the thin client decompresses the graphics.
The R1350 blade runs Intel's Core 2 Duo processors and supports PCI Express graphics cards. It includes support for Trusted Platform Management 1.2, a hardware-based authentication technology for system security.
The company also announced two thin clients, the I9420 I/Port and C7420 C/Port, which take advantage of Teradici technology to deliver better graphics.
The I9420, which supports two monitors, connects to the PC blades using a copper-based Ethernet connection. The C7420 C/Port, which also supports two monitors, accommodates fiber-optic Ethernet connections. The new hardware offers support to connect more USB devices like printers, USB drives, and webcams to the thin clients, Hoffman said.
Designed for financial and public sector organizations, the new products combine security, connectivity, better graphics, and longer distances of connectivity, Hoffman said. In case of a disaster, a broker in a financial organization can shift work to a thin client at home that connects to a PC blade. The data sits on the blade, keeping it secure, Hoffman said.
ClearCube also announced Sentral v5.6, an update to its virtual environment management software that allows the deployment and management of physical and virtualized desktops. The software supports the new thin clients, enables better graphics and allows a server to establish connections over longer distances, Hoffman said.
Sentral 5.6 works with virtualization products from vendors including VMware and Xen.
ClearCube, which started off as a hardware company, is shifting its focus to software, said Roger Kay, president of industry analysis firm Endpoint Technologies Associates. ClearCube's hardware doesn't have legs to stand on its own because it isn't particularly proprietary, and the company has regrouped itself around its proprietary software stack, Kay said.
"If you look at virtualization as a piece of computing to apply to IT infrastructure -- virtual storage, virtual networking, and virtual displays -- their [software] covers different pieces," Kay said. "ClearCube is morphing from a solutions company to a software company. They are willing to unbundle their software and sell it."
ClearCube competes with multiple vendors, including Hewlett-Packard, in the thin-client space.
The company will continue to focus on selling both hardware and software, Hoffman said. ClearCube is selling unbundled software to allow users to take advantage of ClearCube's knowledge in the thin-client area, Hoffman said.