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IBM wields blades for banking

Big Blue's Systems Solutions for Branch Banking aims to help managers streamline PC and server operations at a branch level.

IBM on Monday launched a new service for harried banking managers eager to streamline their PC and server operations at a branch level. The program, called IBM Systems Solutions for Branch Banking, is an extension of IBM's Hosted Client Infrastructure, launched in October. The new program uses IBM BladeCenter and xSeries servers, and software from VMware and ClearCube, to connect multiple PCs to one blade server instead of a "one blade server per PC" approach.

IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems are inundating the multitrillion-dollar banking industry with offers to help shave costs and consolidate resources. Big Blue is currently running its pilot programs with a handful of banks. Hardware, software and a limited branch test rollout starts at less than $100,000, IBM said. The announcement was made to correspond with the financial-services industry's BAI Retail Delivery Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla.