With, only a keyboard, monitor and network connector sit on the user's desk. The actual computer sits in a rack with hundreds of other PCs in a computer room. These bladed systems cut support costs by centralizing management and repair tasks. Bladed PCs, which are linked by high-speed connections, can also serve as back-up storage devices for one another.
pioneered the market and has installed Intel Pentium-based blade systems with Wall Street firms and U.S. military bases. Hewlett-Packard announced late last year that it would begin to sell its own that can accommodate Intel or Transmeta chips in the first quarter of 2004.
Under the deal, IBM Japan will market and distribute the range of ClearCube systems, according to the companies. Support will be provided locally and remotely.
The announcement was made in Tokyo early Wednesday.
"We understand the demanding needs of global companies struggling to manage their PC deployments," Jim Isbell, vice president of strategic alliances for ClearCube, said in a statement.
While the deal will likely give ClearCube greater access to international clients, these deals have, in the past, have been less than permanent. Big Blue initially entered the market by selling blade servers from, which came out with the first such servers in 2001. Subsequently, IBM designed its own blade servers and dropped RLX equipment from its sales roster.