ClearCube Technology Inc. is making it easier for IT administrators to manage and secure their PC blade environments.
The Austin, Texas, company last week unveiled Switch Manager Version 4.5, a cornerstone of the ClearCube Management Suite of software. The upgraded Switch Manager is designed to help users as their PC blades extend into their enterprise environments, said Ken Knotts, senior technologist at ClearCube.
"Were way past where all of our customers have 100 blades running here and 100 blades running there," Knotts said. "We have some customers with up to 5,000 blades."
ClearCube builds blade computers that sit in a chassis stored in a central location. The blades are connected to the desktop keyboard, mouse and monitor via command ports that sit on the desk.
Key among the upgrades is an enhanced search capability, Knotts said. Previously, users could search for particular blades using three criteria. However, that search has now been expanded to 16 criteria.
Switch Manager 4.5 also enables administrators to remotely reboot the PC blades if software doesnt automatically reboot them. In addition, ClearCube is integrating Microsoft Corp.s Active Directory into Switch Manager 4.5, which enables users to create log-in permissions from the companys existing directory services. That makes it easier for larger businesses that cant create a new user name for every user or application, Knotts said. Other improvements include support for SQL databases for better scalability of enterprise PC blades and increased security through HTTPS (HTTP Secure).
Duncan Regional Hospital, in Duncan, Okla., has been using ClearCube PC blades for about two years, said Roger Neal, director of IT. He said the HTTPS capabilities and the ability to remotely reboot and auto-populate the blades will make getting the systems up and running a lot easier.
Given the number of blades the hospital is adding on a regular basis, not having to manually load everything onto the blades saves time, Neal said. "Now we just do it on the fly," he said. "Heres the cage, heres the new info. ... Its a lot more intuitive."
Managing the PC blades
ClearCube enhances Switch Manager 4.5 with new features:
- Remote Hardware Reset Remote blade reboot capability
- SQL database support Put all information related to the blades into a SQL database
- Active Directory integration For better management of log-ins
- Improved search functionality Users have 16 criteria for searching devices