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Survey Says IBM Tops EMC In Standards Push for Storage Industry


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ARMONK - 23 Jan 2001: -- IBM's commitment to open standards and interoperability in Storage Area Networks has been embraced by resellers and system integrators, according to an industry survey. IBM ranked first among 15 hardware vendors, including HP, EMC, Compaq and Sun, in defining open storage standards.

In the survey, sponsored by BakBone Software, IBM emerged as the most trusted choice among data storage-centric system integrators - the individuals and businesses closest to customers at the deployment level - to define SAN standards, according to an industry survey IBM topped the list with 25.2% of respondents, followed by HP (23.8%), EMC (8.4%), Compaq (7.5%), and Sun (1%).

According to Linda Sanford, IBM's vice president and group executive, Storage Systems Group, the findings reflect the industry's impetus towards interoperability via open storage standards due to the demands of e-business.

"Clearly, IBM's efforts to galvanize the industry towards the widespread adoption of open standards resonates with resellers and customers," said Sanford. "The e-business transformation requires openness and customer choice. Companies who encounter interoperability issues realize they are potential roadblocks to their success. "

"Our channel partners and other resellers understand where the data storage market segment is headed, based on their relationships with their clients," said Tony Cerqueira, Chief Executive Officer of BakBone Software, the developer of NetVault (TM) backup and restore software. "They know that issues such as SAN/NAS convergence and storage virtualization are of increasing importance, as are robust performance and ease of use throughout the entire product lifecycle. A commitment to open standards is an important factor to them; our survey reveals that they believe IBM is and will be a leader in that arena."

Despite the positive findings that show SANs are being adopted by more companies than ever before as a way of dealing with their increasing data management functions, as many as two-thirds of respondents were concerned by the complexity of SANs and compatibility issues among software and hardware vendors.

Also, 67.3% agreed with the statement that "the majority of my customers have expressed an interest in implementing a storage area network but have immediate concerns about issues such as complexity and interoperability".

At last year's Storage Networking World in Orlando, Florida, Ms. Sanford issued a challenge to the industry's storage vendors to put aside their differences and work together toward open standards and interoperability. Asserting that storage networking will never reach its full potential without open standards and interoperability, Ms. Sanford underscored the importance of interoperability, not only for devices that work with multiple servers, but also with all other storage solutions, devices, applications and services.

"We have recognized that complexity and the lack of standards is hindering the industry and we have made it one of our missions to drain the complexity out of storage networking by pulling the plug on proprietary networks," added Ms. Sanford.

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 2000 revenues of more than $88 billion. IBM, the global leader in e-business solutions, has more than 316,000 employees and does business in 160 countries. The recipient of the Medal of Technology for its world leadership in storage systems, software, services and patented technology, IBM invented the magnetic hard disk drive in the mid-1950s and is responsible for nearly every major breakthrough in disk storage technology since then. In the last 20 years IBM innovations have increased the storage density of disk drives 4,000-fold. Today, annual global production of hard disk drives by IBM and its subsidiaries exceeds 170 million units. For more information, visit www.storage.ibm.com.

About BakBone Software, Inc.

BakBone Software (TSE: BKB, OTC: BKBOF) is an international storage management software company that develops and globally distributes industry-leading storage management solutions to the open systems markets, providing data protection and management solutions scalable from workgroup to enterprise that will grow with a company's needs. BakBone's core products include near-line optical and archival, as well as tape backup and restore software for a full suite of storage management solutions to the corporate data center.

BakBone's corporate headquarters is located at 10145 Pacific Heights Boulevard, San Diego, California 92121. Its stock is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and is included on the TSE 300 Composite, S&P/TSE Canadian SmallCap and TSE 200 indices. For more information on BakBone products, call 858-450-9009, e-mail sales@bakbone.com, or access BakBone's web site at www.bakbone.com.

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