Blades For Banks


IBM is convinced certain vertical industries are looking for blade server
packages.


The systems vendor’s latest foray? A BladeCenter system tailored to help
financial services firms and banks consolidate the computing gear they use
into one system.


The system, also designed to help retail banks make sure branches stay in
the loop in the face of Internet and telephone banking, will enable wireless
networking, local storage backup and restore and automated teller machine
(ATM) management.


Code-named Bank in a Box, the pre-configured package offers customers a
BladeCenter or xSeries server as a base computing platform and IBM Director
server management software to guide the plumbing, said Tim Dougherty,
director of IBM’s BladeCenter strategy.


Dougherty said IBM is also offering customers the option of using its
Virtualized Hosted Client Infrastructure software, which is allows
companies to host upwards of 15 users on one blade server.


For the Bank in a Box configuration, IBM is using Virtualized Hosted Client
Infrastructure in conjunction with software from ClearCube to condense PC
infrastructure while improving system manageability, availability and
security. Specifically, ClearCube’s I-port software will be deployed to
virtualize all of the clients in a branch and host them on blades.


Available now, the Bank in a Box supports Windows, Linux, VMware and Altiris
Deployment Solution. The IBM Virtualized Hosted Client Infrastructure will
be delivered by IBM Global Services (IGS) in the first half of 2006.


Banking isn’t the first industry-specific blade package. Big Blue has also
tailored
blades for the telecommunications and security arenas.


With roughly 40 percent of the market and 300,000 installations, IBM easily
leads the blade server arena over rivals like HP, Sun Microsystems, Egenera
and Dell, according to figures from Gartner and IDC.


Big Blue has been working hard to become the de facto standard for a space
that is one of the last frontiers on the server market that has yet to
mature.


More than 300 companies have signed up to receive specifications and develop
products and solutions for BladeCenter since IBM and Intel opened
them
to the industry in September 2004.


In July, IBM announced pledged to form an industry community around
BladeCenter called Blade.org, which includes Brocade, Cisco, Citrix Systems,
Intel, Network Appliance, Nortel, Novell and VMware.

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