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IBM Outlines Universal Storage Future

Storage Tank TM Initiative Promises Universal Access to Data

ARMONK, NY - 05 Dec 2000: IBM announced today a new technology initiative, code-named Storage Tank, that will deliver the promise of storage networking --- a universal storage system capable of sharing data across any storage hardware, platform or operating system.

Clearing the next major hurdle for e-business, this technology addresses the need to simplify complexity created by the explosive growth of the e-business infrastructure. With an ever increasing number of diverse storage and host computer systems on a network, Storage Tank will act as the common language that enables them to freely communicate, regardless of file format.

"The e-business infrastructure is built upon a variety of applications running on different platforms across different networking protocols -- and they all need to share data," said Linda Sanford, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Storage Systems Group. "Universal access to data is a quantum leap towards the industry's goal of interoperability."

Storage Tank is a software management technology that unleashes the flow of information across a storage area network, providing universal access to storage devices seamlessly, transparently and dynamically. Currently, disk and tape storage subsystems are designed to work with specific host systems, logical volumes or file systems. This fragmented arrangement results in an inefficient usage of storage resources on a network. By using Storage Tank to create a consolidated storage environment,the power of each storage subsystem can be leveraged across the network, enhancing performance and data availability.

This new technology, three years in the making, was developed by researchers at IBM's AlmadenResearch Center in Californiaand further developed by IBM subsidiary,Tivoli Systems. Storage Tank is the latest technology breakthrough in a storied history for IBM. Just last week, the White House awarded IBM the National Medal of Technology -- which recognized the lasting contributions to America's competitiveness and standard of living -- for the company's leadership in developing and commercializing data storage technology.

"The concept of an open system-managed storage solution with a single pool of virtualized storage enables the most efficient use of storage resources," said industry analyst Michael Karp, director of storage management systems, The Hurwitz Group. "Customers need scalable multi-system storage solutions that offer high availability, application portability and economies of scale that previously only host systems have provided."

Storage Tank will enable policy-based management of data storage, providing:
·Heterogeneous, open system platforms with the ability to plug-in to the universal storage system and to share both data assets and data storage resources, regardless of physical location.·Management, placement, access and usage controlled by policies determined by the administrator.

·Host systems that no longer need to configure storage subsystems as individual devices. Instead, they oversee and acquire storage capacity needed, with bytes allocated accordingly. This alleviates fragmentation and inefficient usage of storage resources due to pre-allocation of storage devices to specific host systems, logical volumes or file systems.

·Virtualized data storage resources -- called storage groups -- that enable new storage devices to be added and old ones removed without affecting access to data by applications. This provides for transparent scaling and ensures uptime by allowing new storage devices to be added dynamically, without manually cross-mounting volumes to a specific server.
In addition to maximizing the efficiency of the storage area network infrastructure, Storage Tank promises to reduce the cost of managing storage -- widely documented to far outweigh the cost of the initial hardware.

"Effective management of digital information is rapidly becoming the key to successful competition and continued business growth," said Larry Orecklin, vice president and general manager, Tivoli Storage Management Solutions. "Storage Tank arms IT managers with a powerful new set of management tools that not only help them cope with the extraordinary growth of this information, but also simplify the rapid exploitation of networked storage technologies."

Tivoli also plans to provide an open-sourceLinux version of the Storage Tank client technology.

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM creates, develops and manufactures the industry's most advanced information technologies, including computer systems, software, networking systems, storage devices and microelectronics. For more information about IBM storage, visit www.ibm.com/storage.

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IBM and Tivoli are registered trademarks of Tivoli Systems Inc. or IBM Corporation. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

Storage Tank is a trademark of the IBM Corporation.

Contact(s) information

Clint Roswell
IBM
(914) 766-3675
roswellc@us.ibm.com

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