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IBM Announces Netfinity SAN Enterprise Storage Solutions and Strategy

Netfinity Servers Drive IBM SAN-Ready Initiative into Large Enterprise on Intel-Based Platform

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New York, NY - 22 Jun 1999: . . . As part of IBM's SAN-Ready initiative launched today at PC Expo, IBM* announced plans to offer thoroughly-tested Netfinity* SAN enterprise storage solutions and its strategy for Storage Area Networks (SAN). With these announcements, IBM will provide resellers, distributors and large enterprise customers with the confidence to implement robust SAN solutions tested and optimized for Netfinity systems in industry-standard, heterogeneous environments.

In an e-business world, there is an increasing need for storage and the ability to manage it. IBM Storage Area Networks are designed to help e-businesses manage, track and more easily share complex and ever increasing volumes of data. IBM and Netfinity servers will implement disaster-tolerant, anywhere, anytime access to highly-available and easily-managed data.

Netfinity SAN Enterprise Storage Solutions
IBM began delivering its first generation of Netfinity enterprise storage solutions in September 1998. Based on shared Fibre RAID(1) storage subsystems and incorporating Fibre Channel and SAN technology, the earlier Netfinity SANs supported enterprise applications, such as the Microsoft** Cluster Server and the Oracle** Parallel Server.

Today IBM announced plans to offer second-generation SANs based on Netfinity servers, Netfinity storage subsystems and SAN fabric components, as well as key third-party SAN technologies and software applications. The new IBM Netfinity SANs address specific enterprise storage requirements such as:

-- Fibre Channel Attached Tape Storage -- a highly available and scaleable building block for external storage centralization offering centralized backup of remote sites while providing disaster tolerance.

-- Microsoft Cluster with Tape Pooling -- a two node, entry-level configuration that enables servers in diverse locations to share one or more tape drives or libraries, while maintaining a single point of control and management.

-- Server Consolidation with Tape Pooling -- a highly available and scaleable storage solution that can help reduces the total cost of ownership by sharing one or more tape libraries.

"The IBM SAN-Ready initiative is leveraging IBM's technology leadership and experience in enterprise computing across all platforms," said James Pertzborn, IBM general manager of Network and Personal Computers for the IBM Personal Systems Group. "We're combining Netfinity servers, Fibre Channel solutions and Netfinity storage Options with technologies from industry partners to provide large enterprise customers with highly-available, flexible and affordable SAN solutions."

Several other Netfinity SANs will support the 8-node IBM Availability Extensions for Microsoft Cluster and the 8-node Netfinity Advanced Cluster Enabler for Oracle Parallel Server.

These Netfinity SANs are thoroughly-tested configurations for hardware and software compatibility. They will be available through IBM resellers and distributors beginning in late third quarter of this year. Pricing and warranty information will be announced at that time.

Netfinity SAN Enterprise Storage Solution Strategy
IBM will provide e-businesses with enhanced data storage management by: combining the best of IBM and industry-standard technologies; leveraging IBM's experience in enterprise server UNIX and Intel-processor-based computing; and developing strategic relationships.

IBM plans to enhance the current offerings as well as introduce a wide range of new SAN hardware and software components to support deployment of complete SAN enterprise storage solutions. Large enterprise customers can use IBM Global Services' comprehensive storage services to help design and implement their solutions.

The growth in technology of four- to eight-way Intel** Xeon**-based systems makes IBM Netfinity servers uniquely positioned to overcome the barriers for the Windows NT** server environment to excel in the enterprise space, an arena traditionally reserved for midrange UNIX and enterprise server computing.

The long-term vision of IBM's SAN-Ready initiative is to provide interoperability across computing platforms and operating systems.

SAN Technology and Software Providers
In developing Netfinity SAN enterprise storage solutions, IBM has licensed SAN technologies from several companies including:

-- Brocade Communications Systems, Inc.** -- IBM will incorporate Brocade's Fibre Channel switch technology into Netfinity SAN enterprise storage solutions. Brocade is a leading provider of Fibre Channel switches.

-- Pathlight Technology Inc.** -- IBM will use Pathlight's bridge technology for the IBM SAN Data Gateway Router in Netfinity SAN enterprise storage solutions. Pathlight is one of the leading manufacturers of storage bridges.

In addition, IBM is working with several leading software companies to provide storage management applications for Netfinity SAN enterprise storage solutions.

For additional information about Netfinity SAN enterprise storage solutions, visit: http://www.pc.ibm.com/us/accessories/storesvr.html For information about IBM's SAN-Ready initiative, visit our Web site at: http://www.ibm.com/san.

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(1) RAID is short for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. RAID is a category of disk drives that employ two or more drives in combination for fault tolerance and performance.

* IBM, and Netfinity are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation.

** All other product and/or company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

IBM news releases are available on the Internet, via the IBM Home Page at http://www.ibm.com/pc .

For general information about IBM and this or other IBM products, dial the IBM Personal Systems Group HelpCenter at 1-800-772-2227. For technical-related and customer support questions, end-users and customers may call the IBM HelpCenter at 1-800-772-2227 and enter the appropriate number for Options products.