A PC architecture that houses multiple PC modules ("blades") in a single chassis. It takes the machines off the users' desks and houses them in rack mounted cabinets in the datacenter similar to blade servers (see blade server
). The user's keyboard, monitor and mouse plug into a device at the desk that is wired via a TCP/IP or direct connection to the assigned blade in the datacenter.
More Security and Flexibility
Having the physical PCs in the datacenter reduces noise and heat at users' desks and takes advantage of the inherent security in a locked room. PCs cannot be pilfered from cubicles, and data cannot be uploaded or downloaded because there is no access to USB ports and drives.
Instead of a hardware relocation, moving a user to a new station requires only an adjustment to the management software. If a PC fails, a spare blade may be available in each chassis for hot swapping, which is also a software function. In addition, repairs are always performed in the same place, and technicians do not have to travel throughout the building.
Eight Blade PCs
This ClearCube cage contains eight fully functional PCs, each with its own storage. A six-foot rack can hold 112 PCs. ClearCube was the first to make blade PCs, which were introduced in 2000. ClearCube management software backs up the data to spare network drives, and if a blade fails, the software is used to switch the user to a spare blade and restore the data. (Image courtesy of ClearCube Technology, Inc., www.clearcube.com)