HP today announced availability of the HP Blade PC bc1000 as part of the HP Consolidated Client Infrastructure (CCI) solution, originally unveiled in December. HP is the first major technology vendor to develop and market its own virtual PC solution that truly improves return on IT investment for enterprise customers.

Building on HP’s leading virtualization solutions and the industry’s broadest blade server portfolio, CCI offers a virtualized PC solution enabling businesses to consolidate and optimize computing and storage resources for better security and manageability while maintaining a high-quality, personalized desktop experience for end-users.

“HP’s CCI moves all the infrastructure into the data center, where it’s more secure and can be easily maintained,” said Keith LeFebvre, vice president of business PCs, North America Personal Systems Group, HP. “Today, according to recent studies, enterprise companies may spend as much as $8,000(1) to maintain a traditional PC throughout its lifecycle; CCI can cut that IT spend in half for customers, and save up to $1,200 in support costs per user each year versus a traditional desktop PC.”(2)

The industry-standard HP CCI solution consists of an access device – an HP Compaq Thin Client is recommended – that connects through a secure log-in to an HP blade PC bc1000 and network storage located in a centralized data center.

“Blade PCs represent a highly viable substitute for standard desktop PCs in enterprises that value tighter security, better optimized floor space and lower operating costs,” said Roger Kay, vice president of Client Computing at technology market research firm IDC. “Lower operating costs can result from labor savings on installations; moves, adds and changes; security patch distribution; software updating; and other centrally managed tasks.”

Overall benefits of CCI include:

*Reduces cost of maintenance and support: IT desk-side support is virtually eliminated with CCI, enabling operating system updates (hot fixes, security patches, etc.) to be deployed overnight to reach 100 percent of the target blade PCs in the data center – all without visiting a single end-user desk. Implementation of new blade PCs can quickly and easily be done in under an hour. The new blade PCs are automatically re-configured and entered into the blade pool, reducing set-up and ongoing maintenance costs.

*Dynamic allocation keeps users operational – The dynamic allocation engine automatically assigns the next available blade to users as they log on, as well as automatically re-assigns users in the unlikely event of a blade failure. Dynamic allocation takes advantage of blade PC downtime, allowing companies to only purchase the number of blades needed to support the number of end-users that are working at any one time (usually about 70 percent of a company’s total user base).

*Reduces business risks – CCI decreases business risks associated with viruses, security/theft, lost data and compliance with software licenses by consolidating clients in the data center for easy IT access and management. Greater virus protection – and easy, invisible eradication if infected – is provided through data center centralization. Blade PCs also can be implemented at great distances from end-users and in different data centers to serve the same end-users, thereby enhancing any corporation’s disaster tolerance and recovery programs.

*Improves productivity – Increased end-user productivity results with reduced downtime from software glitches and component failures from days to minutes or seconds. CCI provides a solution for end-users to work from virtually anywhere they can connect to the corporate network, whether at home, in the office or on the road.

Product specifications, pricing and availability

The HP Blade PC bc1000 features a 1.0 gigahertz Transmeta Efficeon ™8000 processor, 40-gigabyte ultra ATA/100 hard drive and up to 1,024 megabytes of double data rate SDRAM.

“Transmeta’s Efficeon processors provide HP Blade PC bc1000 users with an exceptional combination of the high performance they expect from the latest PC technology and energy efficiency to lower operational costs,” said Arthur L. Swift, senior vice president of marketing, Transmeta. “The Efficeon processor is instrumental in enabling very high compute density for these innovative HP systems in a market where performance per watt in a given unit of space is critical to customers.”

The bc1000 is available in North America and is planned to be available in other regions at a later date. Pricing for the bc1000 starts at an estimated Internet list price of $820(3) per blade.

Customized CCI solutions including HP Blade PCs, HP Compaq thin clients, network storage, complete solution implementation, training and a support contract start at less than $1,399 per seat.(3)

Recommended HP Services offerings that will optimize and expedite a CCI deployment include implementation services, project management, installation, and customer orientation and training. The support contract includes telephone support, problem analysis and resolution, software and operational support, and more. With extensive CCI training and delivery expertise, HP Services will work with customers to customize the best design and implementation of the CCI solution as well as quantify the potential cost savings upfront.

Additional information about the HP Blade PC bc1000 and the HP Consolidated Client Infrastructure solution is available at http://www.hp.com/go/cci.