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IBM's SAN Initiative Puts Data to Work for e-businesses


NEW YORK - 22 Jun 1999: -- IBM today advanced its Storage Area Network (SAN) initiative, with new SAN-ready server and storage technology, software and services to help enterprises of all sizes centrally manage, build, access and store business-critical information.

Storage Area Networks put storage on a separate, dedicated network to allow businesses of all size to provide access to important data, regardless of operating systems, as a significant step towards helping customers cope with the explosive growth of information in the e-business age.

"Information is the currency of an e-business, and must be managed as a valuable corporate asset," said Dr. James T. Vanderslice, Senior Vice President and Group Executive, IBM Technology Group. "SANs are the digital bank for that information. This makes SANs one of the most important IT advancements since the emergence of Network Computing."
"IBM is committed to be the industry's premier total SAN solutions provider," Dr. Vanderslice added. "No other company can bring together a combination of storage, services, servers and software to take advantage of this important trend."

By the year 2002, IBM estimates that 70% of all medium and large-sized customers will implement SANs to better manage and share the volumes of data created as they transform themselves into e-businesses.

At a press conference at the PC Expo trade show in New York, IBM will showcase its strategy to provide customers with end-to-end SAN and Storage Solutions for the development and implementation of SANs -- regardless of operating system, server platform or applications.

Unlike other vendors that are pursuing a more closed, proprietary approach to SANs, IBM's announcement today reinforced the company's commitment to open standards and multivendor support. IBM also plans to establish a storage solution interoperability lab for customers, business partners and vendors in the US at the National Testing Center in Gaithersburg, MD (USA).

In addition to the strategy roadmap, highlights of today's announcements include:

-- Netfinity* and NT-based SAN solutions. A SAN optimized enterprise server for the datacenter. Supports up to eight 550MHz Intel Pentium III processors.

-- New multi-vendor tape pooling capability as well as a LAN-free backup, recovery and archiving software solution from Tivoli Systems, an IBM S subsidiary. Both these solutions exploit a SAN environment.

-- New SAN Fibre Channel Fabric hardware, 8 and 16 port Fibre Channel Switch and SAN Data Gateway

-- Services to help enterprises manage their storage solutions, including SAN

-- IBM's full commitment to open standards in the SAN arena.

IBM plans to make available its base SAN Fabric components -- such as switching chips and fast microprocessors -- to third-party SAN vendors. This is part of the IBM Technology Group's ongoing mission to expand original equipment manufacturer (OEM) opportunities for IBM technology and components.

IBM's S/390, RS/6000, and Netfinity servers are SAN-ready today. Next year, the entire line of AS/400e servers will be SAN-ready. Looking ahead, IBM plans to introduce new server, software and storage products that fully exploit the SAN environment.

Customer experiences show positive results with SANs
PJM Interconnection, LLC is responsible for coordinating the safe and reliable operation of the largest centrally-dispatched utility system in North America. To manage the volume of data in its data warehouse application, PJM has installed multi-node, clustered IBM Netfinity Servers with IBM Netfinity Fibre Channel storage as an IBM Enterprise SAN.
"It was important for PJM to establish a storage area network in a highly reliable, highly available configuration for realtime access to business-critical data, at anytime, cross the enterprise," said Mike Bryson, IT systems manager of PJM Interconnection. "IBM is a key supplier to our business and has been an integral enterprise systems partner for PJM to help us manage our information as we migrate and grow our company into an e-business."

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Today's Product Announcements Highlights

Services
IBM Global Services offers comprehensive storage services to help customers design and implement storage solutions:

-- IT consulting services to help customers plan and design storage solutions.

-- Storage services to assist with implementation and migration

-- National Testing Center to provide interoperability testing and verification of storage solutions.

Server
NT server consolidation - Demonstration of a new SAN-ready Netfinity Multi-Server and 8-Node Cluster solution for small businesses which can scale to support larger enterprises. Netfinity 8500R is a SAN-optimized enterprise server for the datacenter. Supports up to eight 550MHz Intel Pentium III processors and 12 hot-swap/hot-add PCI slots in a 8U footprint.

Software
Tivoli*, an IBM subsidiary, provides customers with a comprehensive, open, end-to-end SAN enterprise management solution for both IBM and non-IBM platforms. Integrating with device management software, Tivoli provides a central application view of the business enterprise, including SANs. Starting in the third quarter 1999, Tivoli's SAN solution will include both multi-vendor tape pooling and LAN-free backup with future enhancements to include server-less backup, disk pooling and data sharing. LAN-free backup frees up LAN bandwidth and effectively doubles an existing LAN capacity by more than 100%. Surveys show that more than 60% of LAN data traffic today consists of the backup data stream. Next year, IBM aims to provide a "Server-less" backup offering, fully utilizing SANs without Server invocation. Storwatch*, IBM's Storage Asset Management Software, will support all IBM SAN Fabric products and will provide a seamless control over storage hardware assets.

Storage Servers and SAN Fabric
SAN-ready disk and tape storage servers, and SAN fabric hardware such as switches, gateways, routers, and hubs will be introduced on an ongoing basis, in addition to today's announcement of the 8- and 16-port Fibre Channel Switches and the SAN Data Gateway. Later this year, IBM will announce a SAN-ready Storage server based on IBM's Seascape Architecture. Seascape is the open architecture that is the foundation for all of IBM's enterprise storage solutions, Tape and Subsystems, leveraging IBM leadership technologies. Seascape makes it easier to have interoperability for SAN solutions, using the concept of intelligent storage servers.

"Database Management Systems will benefit positively from the SAN concept," said Janet Perna, General Manager, data management, IBM Software Solutions. "DB2 Universal Database will directly benefit from intelligent Storage Servers being able to share the data between different platforms directly on the Storage Server. DB2 Universal Database will leverage SAN-connected Storage Servers such as IBM's Versatile Storage Server, by directly offloading data, making it easier and more cost effective for customers to manage large amounts of information."

Technology Components
SAN components including hard disks, tape drives, switch technology, microprocessors and custom logic based on IBM's industry-leading technology will also be offered on an ongoing basis. IBM Microelectronics is the industry's leading provider of Gigabit Interface Converters (GBIC), combining its technology and system integration strengths with its optical component design and evaluation capabilities into a line of high-speed transceivers that serve as a laser-based interface for SANs.

IBM SAN Roadmap
IBM's experience and technology leadership enables the company to provide customers with end-to-end SAN solutions and services. IBM is supporting efforts to make all major relational databases SAN-ready. The company is also working with partners to create one of the first multi-platform SAN environments. IBM has collected experience in the SAN arena with ESCON, a SAN standard in the S/390 marketplace, and migrates with FICON towards open Enterprise SANs.

IBM is a charter member of the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA). All IBM's SAN-related products and offerings are expected to be SNIA compliant.

From advanced chip technology, storage and network components, through integrated servers, storage subsystems, software and services, IBM is well positioned to help customers manage and run SANs. IBM has published its SAN roadmap on http://www.ibm.com/san.

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*Trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of IBM Corporation

Contact(s) information

Christoph von Gamm
IBM
914-766-3174
gamm@de.ibm.com

Edward Barbini
IBM
914-766-3537
barbini@us.ibm.com

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