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IBM Delivers Breakthrough Storage Capability on Blade Computing Solution Designed for the Office

More Than 4,000 Retail Stores Plan to Run Operations on IBM BladeCenter S by Holiday Season

ARMONK, NY - 01 Oct 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today a storage breakthrough in blade computing that will allow small and medium-sized customers and branch offices to consolidate multiple storage devices onto a single blade computing system. Building on the leadership design of IBM's office-ready blade solution, customers can now share information across all blade servers in a single system to help improve utilization and reliability while reducing costs.

IBM is adding industry-first shared storage to the exceptional features of its BladeCenter S system, bringing enterprise-class storage capabilities to smaller firms and branch offices that lack the IT staff and budgets to manage expanding volumes of business information. With this innovative new approach, IBM is cutting the cost of shared storage technology by 30 to 40 percent and -- supported by new, complementary features -- making it easier to set up and own. (1)

First launched in 2007, BladeCenter S is specially designed to simplify the management of technology needed to run a business -- from servers, to phone systems and business applications -- in a single system. BladeCenter S can help reduce the 25 to 45 servers used by an average mid-size company by up to 80 percent. (2) With the addition of shared storage, a requirement for many business applications including IBM Lotus Notes, Microsoft Clustering Services, Oracle, SAP and VMware VMotion, BladeCenter S can now support nearly any business need.

BladeCenter S has demonstrated market success with over 4,000 retail stores planning to run operations on the system by the holiday season and 130 Business Partner centers featuring BladeCenter S, including more than 80 primarily dedicated to its promotion.

In addition to delivering breakthrough shared storage, or Storage Area Network (SAN) technology, IBM is also the only blade server vendor in the industry to offer rapidly growing businesses access to up nine terabytes of shared storage, equivalent to that needed to store the print collections of the U.S. Library of Congress and six times the storage capacity of competitive blade offerings for small and medium-sized customers and branch offices.

Like many small and medium businesses, companies with branch offices and stores such as retailers or healthcare networks seldom have data centers in which to store and manage the technology they need to run business operations. With limited IT resources on-site, these companies face unique technology requirements and require integrated solutions that simplify IT at the office:

Harley-Davidson Motor Company is planning to use BladeCenter S to run multiple sites. One BladeCenter S currently operates at the office of Harley-Davidson's subsidiary, Buell Motor Company, where its capacity to run outside the data center and plug in to standard power is essential.

Harley-Davidson plans to send a fully configured BladeCenter S with shared storage capability to their Talladega Test Facility in Lincoln, Alabama where they do not have dedicated local IT staff. The Harley-Davidson corporate IT team will fully configure the system and send it to the facility, where all they need to do is plug it in.

Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center is a private, non-profit community health center that provides health services to the poor, medically indigent and or medically under-served residents of Queens County, New York.

"As a non-profit organization committed to providing low cost healthcare to our community, we have to make every dollar count," said Henry Dong, system support engineer, Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center. "We selected the BladeCenter S running with the new shared storage feature to allow us to virtualize our IT environment, wringing maximum return from our investment. In addition, BladeCenter S has the low power and small footprint needed to fit within our existing server room, further protecting our investments."

Other new BladeCenter S features IBM is announcing today include the BladeCenter Start Now Advisor, which provides clients guided setup so they can set up the BladeCenter S chassis in 30 minutes or less, and the BladeCenter Service Advisor, an automatic "call home" feature that alerts IBM or the customer's authorized service provider to any issues -- think OnStar for servers.

Business Partners Select IBM BladeCenter S to Grow Profitability To help Business Partners better reach SMB clients, IBM launched the BladeCenter and Storage Solution Center (BSSC) program 14 months ago. IBM and Business Partners have opened more than 80 such solution centers around the world, showcasing the benefits of IBM storage and blade technology like BladeCenter S. Some early successes include:

Tipton
"Since last year, we've increased our IBM sales by 205 percent, the majority of which came from blades like IBM's BladeCenter S," said Jay Tipton, CEO of Tipton. "Part of the appeal of blades is that it eliminates the need to rip and replace. Clients can get started with blades on the BladeCenter S and continue to grow their businesses with IBM."

Unistar
"IBM's BladeCenter S already offers a competitive advantage over other SMB blade solutions thanks to appealing features including compact size, locking door, dust filter and noise reducing capability," said Soo-Tsong Lim, president of Unistar-Sparco Corporation. "The new shared storage feature will further enhance this superior system, while allowing us to offer both existing and prospective customers the ability to more easily migrate and expand data."

KDSA
"Our customers, many of which are local Massachusetts non-profit organizations, have been able to cost-effectively replace and consolidate old tower servers on to BladeCenter S, increasing the simplicity and reliability of their infrastructure," said Donald Reczek, Director, Technology Solutions KDSA Consulting, LLC. "We're seeing an increased number of customers using virtualization on the BladeCenter S to further reduce their footprint and gain savings in cooling and power."

SIS
"SIS operates a mobile BSSC that we'll use to show clients how the new storage capabilities on BladeCenter S will allow them to address all the needs of their business on a single, integrated system," said Steve Sigg, CEO of Software Information Systems (SIS). "We tell clients that BladeCenter S is a data center in a box. With shared storage, clients can now have a virtualized data center in a box."

Pricing and Availability
The new IBM BladeCenter S shared storage capability is expected to begin shipping in volume later this month. It's available for new or previously purchased BladeCenter S systems. BladeCenter Start Now Advisor is available now, as are many other new features. For more information visit: http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/info/bladecenter/

BladeCenter S starts at $2,599, which includes power supplies, fans, rack rails and a DVD/CD combo drive. This is at least $2,000 less than the closest current comparable competitive offering.

About IBM BladeCenter
IBM has the broadest portfolio of blade offerings in the industry, including five blade enclosures, five compatible server blades and five I/O fabrics with a common architecture that allows clients to mix and match offerings. IBM has also taken a unique approach in the industry by opening up the IBM BladeCenter hardware architecture, which has created market and revenue opportunities for hundreds of companies selling peripherals like network and storage cards, switches and software. Since opening the BladeCenter specifications in 2004, 500 companies have downloaded the specifications at no cost. For more information about IBM BladeCenter, please visit: www.ibm.com/bladecenter.

Contact(s) information

Joanna Brewer
IBM Media Relations
Office: 415-545-2270
jmbrewer@us.ibm.com

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Servers
System i, System p, System x, System z, BladeCenter, and Supercomputers

1 (1) When compared with a comparable Fibre Channel-based Storage Area Network. (2) Server reduction achieved through the use of virtualization inside BladeCenter.

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