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ICB Banks On IBM Blades

IBM BladeCenter, Storage and Software to Power Online Banking at Independence Community Bank

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ARMONK, N.Y. - 20 May 2003: IBM today announced that Independence Community Bank (ICB), a provider of a wide range of banking services in the New York metropolitan area, has chosen IBM technology including blade servers, storage and software to power its rapidly expanding online banking service. ICB plans to utilize this new cost-effective blade server infrastructure to consolidate existing server resources and reduce its total number of servers by half.

By selecting IBM's eServer BladeCenter, ICB, which manages more than $8 billion in assets for retail clients and small and commercial businesses in the tri-state area, will be able to provide a reliable technology backbone that allows its customers to view accounts, transfer funds, stop payments of checks, pay bills, and apply for loans online.

"IBM was the vendor that could offer ICB the performance and functionality that we required for this important expansion of our online banking services," said Ron Cruz, FVP, Manager, IT Engineering of Independence Community Bank. "We evaluated blade technologies for more than a year and discovered that IBM's blade server was the only one that could meet all our requirements."

ICB worked with IBM business partner, Saturn Business Systems, to develop the solution, which also employs a fibre-channel storage area network powered by IBM's FAStT Storage Server and IBM WebSphere Internet infrastructure software. The combination of BladeCenter with IBM TotalStorage FAStT storage eases SAN management and reduces storage costs. ICB uses WebSphere as the platform for processing back-end systems integration and business logic.

"IBM's eServer BladeCenter proved to be ideal for ICB since HP and Dell were not offering integrated technology," said Tom Heger, Saturn Business Systems. "These new ultra-dense systems offer exceptional performance while meeting the overall requirements of an entire IT infrastructure that includes both storage and software. When the time came to deploy the systems, Saturn assisted in the blade implementation while IBM provided guidance and resources in the storage initiative."

The IBM eServer BladeCenter, based on Intel's powerful Xeon processor, is ideal for the consolidation of existing servers onto a more compact platform. A single BladeCenter chassis (7U) is able to accommodate up to 14 blades, effectively doubling the server density of standard rack-based server architecture. By reducing the number of servers on the network, customers are able to save on cabling, switching, real estate, IT administration and management in addition to actual hardware costs.

"The integration of IBM servers, storage and software on the IBM eServer BladeCenter platform provides ICB with a simple IT infrastructure without compromising reliability or scalability," said Jeff Benck, director, IBM eServer xSeries. "This highly available platform will allow ICB's customers use rich security to access the network from any location from any desktop."

Other financial services companies have also realized the benefits of IBM's eServer BladeCenter. In the UK, Virgin Money, a financial services firm moved from Sun servers to IBM blade servers running Linux to help with Web serving.

"With IBM's help, we've already moved our Web servers from Sun servers to low cost IBM eServer BladeCenter systems running Linux," said Andy Makings, Virgin Money. "The new Linux solution, which just took three weeks to deploy, is 20 percent quicker than our previous setup and gives us the flexibility to add new blades so the system can easily scale to meet the needs of various projects."

Contact(s) information

Lisa Lanspery
IBM Media Relations
(212) 745-2304
lisalans@us.ibm.com