IBM addition makes it easier to manage large numbers of PCs

IBM has launched a range of desktop and notebook PCs that offer new security and wireless communication features and include...

IBM has launched a range of desktop and notebook PCs that offer new security and wireless communication features and include technology that could reduce the cost of managing large numbers of PCs, writes Daniel Thomas.

The three new Netvista desktop and four Thinkpad notebook models feature an embedded security subsystem that automatically encrypts user keys, files and e-mails. They also have integrated wireless capabilities for 802.11 and Bluetooth technologies. This will allow users to receive encrypted data over wireless networks.

In addition, the new models feature ImageUltra, a set of software and services designed to simplify the management of PC images - the hardware and software loaded on a PC.

Most large companies maintain many different PC images that represent a variety of hardware, operating systems, languages, network drivers and applications. Each one of these separate "images" has to be developed, tested, managed, maintained and backed up. This can be a costly and time-consuming process, particularly when you are dealing with thousands of PCs.

IBM said ImageUltra, which comes loaded on the system's hard drive, can reduce the number of PC images from thousands to a single "super-image" for all PCs in an enterprise. This would save businesses an average of £70 per PC per year over the life of the system, according to IBM.

"Image management remains one of the biggest headaches for IT managers," said Roger Kay, an analyst at IDC. "Technology that allows system image adjustment to be done on-the-fly contributes to a company's flexibility in maintaining a widely deployed image, leading to a reduction in the total cost of ownership."

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