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Zumiez Maximizes Power Efficiency With IBM

Action Sports Retailer Selects IBM BladeCenter Over HP, Reduces Power Consumption and Lowers Costs

ARMONK, NY and EVERETT, WA - 19 Feb 2007: IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today that Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ: ZUMZ) -- a leading specialty action sports retailer -- reduced the amount of electricity it uses in the datacenter by 15 percent by implementing an IBM BladeCenter solution.

Zumiez currently operates some 236 in-mall stores -- growing from 174 this time last year. The company opened a new datacenter facility 18 months ago, but due to the rapid growth of the company, electrical usage quickly doubled from the addition of servers, storage, and networking equipment. Zumiez no longer had enough power to implement the additional servers it needed to keep up with its business. In addition, Zumiez was beginning to hit the limitations of its datacenter and power and cooling problems threatened to limit its growth.

The retailer was faced with a decision -- it could replace the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) device it bought just 18 months ago and buy a series of racks to support additional 1 and 2U servers, or choose a new solution better equipped to handle growth and utilize the company's recent investment in a Storage Area Network (SAN). Recognizing that the company would only continue to grow, Zumiez decided to adopt a flexible system to address its power concerns now and in the future and selected IBM BladeCenter.

"We looked at HP and IBM. We ultimately went with the IBM blades because they consumed less power and generated less heat than HP blades and were, overall, a more energy efficient choice," said Lee Hudson, Technology Director for Zumiez. "We'd never had any IBM technology before, but because of the business advantages BladeCenter has provided Zumiez, we're planning that 100 percent of our server investment moving forward will be with IBM."

Another contributing factor in Zumiez's decision to purchase IBM BladeCenter was its free of charge iSCSI diskless blade option, which allows Zumiez to connect its blades directly to the SAN instead of using on-blade storage. This not only lets Zumiez capitalize on its existing SAN investment and save $500-$1,000 in component costs for each of its six blades, but also lowers the amount of power used and heat generated by the blades. Finally, with fewer moving parts, the IBM diskless blade solution reduces the possibility of system failure.

Zumiez used Virtual Server technology from Blade.org founding member and IBM partner VMWare to consolidate its datacenter, replacing 12 HP 1 and 2U servers with just six IBM blades that use less power per server, moving its HP servers to a remote location to serve as the disaster recovery site. Blade.org is an open community to develop and advance next-generation technologies for blades.

The BladeCenter also runs Azaleos OneServer Exchange 2003 appliance for a highly reliable, available Microsoft Exchange e-mail environment that can boot right from Zumiez's SAN thanks to IBM's diskless blade offering and IBM iSCSI technology.

Moving forward, Zumiez now has the space and power it needs to add additional IBM blade servers into its datacenter to support new retail locations as Zumiez continues its rapid expansion.

"We can manage our IBM blades very easily with our current staff thanks to the Advanced Management Module that comes packaged with BladeCenter," said Kevin Sonney, Technology Specialist for Zumiez. "The management technology provides us with a single point of control for the entire solution, not just individual components."

About Zumiez Inc.

Zumiez is a leading specialty retailer of action sports related apparel, footwear, equipment and accessories. Our stores cater to young men and women between ages 12-24, focusing on skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding, motocross and BMX. We currently operate 236 stores, which are primarily located in shopping malls and our web site address is www.zumiez.com.

About IBM BladeCenter

IBM has shipped over half a million BladeCenter systems since the product's inception in 2002. According to data from industry analyst firm IDC, IBM led in blade server revenue share for the 13th consecutive quarter with 42.3 percent, seven points more than its closest competitor for the third quarter of 2006. (IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, 3Q06, issued on November 21, 2006.) For more information about IBM BladeCenter, go to: www.ibm.com/bladecenter.

For more information about IBM, go to www.ibm.com

Contact(s) information

Joanna Brewer
(415) 545-2270
jmbrewer@us.ibm.com

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Action sports retailer Zumiez chooses IBM BladeCenter over HP for its diskless blade solution.

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