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IBM Introduces New BladeCenter and "Business-in-a-Box" Solutions for Small and Medium Businesses

New Blade Server Offerings Help Cut Costs and Speed IT Implementations

ARMONK, NY - 22 Oct 2004: Furthering its leadership in the blade server market, IBM today announced a new low-cost IBM eServer BladeCenter chassis and a unique set of "business-in-a-box" solutions to help lower the cost and speed the time it takes for a small to mid-sized business to purchase, deploy, and implement BladeCenter servers in an IT infrastructure.

Designed with mid-sized businesses in mind, the new entry-level BladeCenter Express model allows smaller businesses to gain access to superior IBM eServer BladeCenter technology for an extremely affordable price. Along with this new low-priced Express blade chassis, IBM SMB clients can take advantage of special solutions, financing and services designed to help reduce acquisition and deployment costs for a rapid return on their IT investments.

"We are dispelling the industry notion that blade servers are only a large enterprise play. We have seen phenomenal demand from our SMB client base and our BladeCenter offering has clearly addressed their pain points," said Jeff Benck, vice president for IBM eServer BladeCenter. "Today's announcement is in response to this demand, and another example of our unwavering commitment to leverage our investment in innovation to create and deliver practical and affordable products and services that help SMB clients meet their IT and business needs."

Blades are the world's fastest growing server segment, growing 60% compounded annually from 2003-2007, and are estimated to account for one of every four servers by 2007, according to analysts firm IDC. Recent IDC data shows IBM as the world's number one blade server vendor with 43.8 percent of revenue share, gaining 18.0 points of share during the second quarter of 2004 and growing share faster than any other vendor, including HP.

Today, IBM also announced a set of innovative "Business-in-a-Box" BladeCenter solutions to make it easier for mid-sized clients to implement simplified infrastructure solutions, to make it easier to deploy and manage resources, and to provide greater flexibility for clients to scale infrastructure to meet business objectives, while helping reduce their overall operating costs. They include:

Business in a Box with Linux Solutions -- For price sensitive customers, business in a box can be built with Linux and open source applications to handle every aspect of a business, including file, print, email, Web, database, storage and connectivity. When additional functionality is required, such as for mySAP Small Business Suite, customers can choose a business in a box with a Linux and IBM DB2-based infrastructure.

Business in a Box with Microsoft Solutions -- Built with IBM Director, which helps mid-sized firms more easily manage their infrastructure, this Microsoft-based solution is designed to help customers handle their core business needs. The combination of BladeCenter and Microsoft® products enables integration of servers, storage and networking, and supports applications such as e-mail and file/print sharing in a flexible, resilient environment.

IBM is the world's number one blade server provider and has one of the industry's most extensive portfolios of blade, networking, storage and software offerings. Helping meet the needs of businesses worldwide are hundreds of hardware and software partners participating in the IBM BladeCenter Alliance Program, which gives BladeCenter customers access to a wide variety of hardware and software offerings supported on the BladeCenter platform. Among the solutions introduced today is LifeKeeper, a high-availability solution from SteelEye Technology, Inc. that provides integrated application availability and data replication solutions at a fraction of the cost and complexity of conventional, proprietary systems. In addition, a new Citrix hosted-client solution provides mid-sized customers an easy way to manage their applications from a central location and the ability to access them from virtually anywhere. Clients can use this solution to help lower PC acquisition and operations costs while maintaining the ability to quickly add resources.

BladeCenter allows customers to collapse the complexity of their corporate datacenters by integrating servers, networks, storage and applications in one server. In addition, integrated components and modules on BladeCenter alleviate the need for additional switches, power supplies or cooling, and reduce overall cabling requirements by as much as 80 percent. Reduced complexity helps reduce total cost of ownership, a key pain point for many small and medium businesses.

IBM eServer BladeCenter for BioInformatics
IBM additionally unveiled a BladeCenter system for the Bioinformatics sector of the Life Sciences industry. The IBM eServer BladeCenter JS20 with IBM POWER processors, Linux and open sources solutions, gives Life Sciences researchers and IT organizations a powerful, high-performance platform capable of processing multiple applications, which helps drive system utilization rates, speed the pace of bioinformatic research, and deliver significant potential savings in time and money.

The new solutions and BladeCenter chassis can be purchased through IBM Global Financing for interest rates as low as 3.7%. Clients can also take advantage of a specialized IBM leasing structure with longer terms for the chassis to help reduce monthly payments. IBM also offers a two-and-a-half day BladeCenter JumpStart Services program that provides hands-on training and implementation services to help customers install, configure and exploit all the capabilities of BladeCenter. The comprehensive training is structured to provide participants in-depth knowledge of their BladeCenter environment and its powerful capabilities with a minimum amount of time invested. In addition, IBM Global Services offers SMB clients a full array of unmatched technical expertise and end-to-end services to support their entire IT environment, which includes designing, building, integrating, optimizing and managing infrastructures -- from initial strategy and planning through day-to-day technical support and maintenance.

BladeCenter Entry Model Availability
The BladeCenter entry model server for small and medium businesses will be generally available on November 24 from IBM and IBM Business Partners. The Business in a Box Solutions will be available through IBM Business Partners, including Avnet, a major global IT distributor. In addition, clients who need their servers quickly can buy certain BladeCenter models and have them shipped the same day. Available models can be purchased via IBM.com.

IBM Small and Mid-Market Clients are Already Reaping the Benefits of IBM eServer BladeCenter

ADESA, Inc. of Carmel, Indiana is North America's second largest provider of automotive auctions and used vehicle dealer floorplan financing. ADESA turned to IBM BladeCenter scalability and reliability to run an IBM Websphere Business Integrator pilot on Linux. This project will allow ADESA to integrate its critical legacy applications, provide faster and more responsive communication to its customers.

Imagi of Hong Kong has installed 388 BladeCenter systems running Linux as an on demand platform to provide flexible, affordable and easy-to-manage processing power for rendering digital animation. Using BladeCenter and other storage systems, Imagi created the new 3D animation series television show airing in the U.S. in the autumn, "Father of the Pride."

NeuStar, Inc. of Sterling, Virginia is the leading provider of neutral, third-party clearinghouse services to the telecommunications industry, providing an array of services that enable diverse communications networks to interoperate. In order to meet rapidly increasing service demands, NeuStar converted its Dell web server farm to IBM eServer BladeCenter in April 2004. In addition to providing industry leading performance, BladeCenter also freed valuable datacenter floor space, decreased power and management requirements, and provided much greater flexibility in adapting to customer requirements.

Contact(s) information

Jim Smith
IBM Media Relations
(914) 766-4231
smithje@us.ibm.com

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

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