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IBM Unveils Austria's First Green Data Center at kika/Leiner

From "Green Philosophy" to "Green IT" at kika/Leiner

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ST. PÖLTEN, AUSTRIA - 31 Mar 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and kika/Leiner today announced the construction of a new energy efficient "green" data center which will reduce electric power consumption by up to 40 percent. The new data center offers kika/Leiner a way to extend their environmental vision beyond traditional business areas.

As kika/Leiner expands throughout central Europe and the Middle East, their need for information technology (IT) services has increased considerably. To meet this demand, the market-leading furniture retailer in Austria turned to IBM to design an energy efficient data center using new "green" technologies that are part of IBM's Project Big Green. The new data center is planned to begin operation in May.

"In IBM we have an IT partner who meets our ideal expectations for sustainable business," said Dr. Herbert Koch, manager of the kika/Leiner group.

IBM Site and Facilities Services team started out with a risk analysis, then developed a data center concept, drafted the construction plans, and as the general contractor established the entire data center infrastructure, including the electrical system, emergency power supply and the climate control system. IBM will support kika/Leiner in moving equipment to the new location and also will take over a major part of the IT operation.

The building is a free-standing cube with about 1,000 square feet of IT space that fulfils all state-of-the-art technical security requirements of a data center. It is locked, has no windows, is equipped with an automatic fire-extinguishing system, and is protected against flooding. The data center does not contain any working space and entrance is restricted. Free cooling will be used in cold months, meaning the air conditioning for the data center will come directly from the cold outside air. Only on warm days will the data center be automatically cooled.

"kika/Leiner perfectly combines ecology and economy," said Leo Steiner, general manager of IBM Austria. "The additional work and expense for green technology pays off within a few months, and the benefit for the environment pays off from the very first day."

A separate high density computing area ensures the separation of IT equipment with higher or lower heat emissions and optimizes the cooling calculation, capacity and efficiency. This area of the data center features racks with the newest IBM BladeCenter technology. IBM BladeCenter integrates servers, networks, storage and business applications in highly efficient one-inch systems that sit in a rack like books in a shelf. IBM BladeCenter uses up to 24 percent less energy than competitive systems.

IBM Cool Blue technology provides a method to control and monitor BladeCenter power and heat requirements. Hot air from the IT equipment is reduced to room temperature by water-cooled heat exchangers attached to the BladeCenter racks. The high density area covers about a third of the data center IT space and, if required, can be extended. Another third of the data center is space for conventional computing servers with low heat emissions. The last third will remain empty for future expansion.

kika/Leiner centrally operates the IT for all their international locations from St. Pölten. This covers merchandise management, the compilation of electronic catalogues, e-mail traffic, time recording, the data warehouse and much more. The various furniture stores and branches in the eastern European countries and the Middle East are connected with the data center. Local sites connect to the network via thin clients and are ready to go -- an instant model for quick expansion.

The new data center also contributes to increased IT security and business continuity because the old data center serves as a backup location to the new center.

IBM's partnership with kika/Leiner plays to both companies' beliefs in environmental sustainability. For example, by implementing well-directed lighting and by using energy-saving lights, kika/Leiner managed to reduce its own electric power consumption by 18 percent in Austria in 2007. In new stores in Brünn and Pilsen in the Czech Republic, a completely new lighting concept has been implemented using energy efficient lighting.

Sustainability is paramount to kika/Leiner's "Grüne Linie" (Green Line). Their furniture is made with natural materials and the company provides one of the most distinguished and best known ecological furniture trademarks in Austria. All "Grüne Linie" products are certified with internationally approved environmental seals, including the "Österreichisches Umweltzeichen" (Austrian Environmental Seal of Approval) and the "Europäische Umweltzeichen" (European Environmental Seal of Approval). Consumers are offered more transparency and it also raises the awareness for lasting products. The brand was recently re-launched and is available in 50 kika and Leiner furnishing stores.

About IBM Project Big Green
Announced in May 2007, Project Big Green is a $1 billion initiative to dramatically reduce energy use by IBM and its clients. The initiative includes new energy efficient IBM products and services and a five step approach to energy efficiency in the data center. If followed, this approach can sharply reduce data center energy consumption, transforming clients' technology infrastructure into "green" data centers and provide energy savings of up to 42 percent for an average data center. More information about IBM Project Big Green is available at www.ibm.com/press/projectbiggreen.

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