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New IBM Technology Brings US Open Tennis Action to Fans Around World

Point Tracker Technology Uses Breakthrough Graphics to Give Fans Virtual Seat at Center Court

ARMONK, NY - 30 Aug 2005: is the exclusive technology partner for the USTA for the fourteenth consecutive year and will use breakthrough new technology to provide tennis enthusiasts a virtual "center court" experience at this year's 2005 US Open Tennis Championships in New York.

"Point Tracker," available exclusively on the official tournament Web site, www.USOpen.org, gives fans a virtual, real-time center court seat for select matches with an animated graphics tool that recreates the trajectory of every shot. On-court cameras capture and record ball position data for every forehand, ace and volley, which is immediately fed into the IBM scoring system. Once integrated with the scoring data, the shot data is then pushed to the Web site to enable visitors to follow the action on the IBM On Demand Scoreboard.

"Point Tracker is an innovative way for the USTA to service our fans by enhancing the overall experience of the US Open," said Jeffrey Volk, Director, Advanced Media, USTA. "With the newly added Point Tracker, USOpen.org will allow fans to follow all the action in real time as if they are sitting in the stands."

Since 1995, the USTA and IBM have collaborated to create and deliver a site that gives tennis fans around the globe a "virtual seat" at the tournament. In fact, 2.8 million fans visited USOpen.org throughout the tournament in 2004. IBM's self-managing autonomic technology enables the infrastructure to sense and respond to changes in the environment, including Web traffic peaks during the event. With this innovation, USOpen.org provides up-to-date information at all times, regardless the level of demand.

This year, IBM also introduced a new component to the US Open's technology solution -- the eServer pSeries system, a POWER5-based server that supports USOpen.org. Two pSeries systems, models p550 and p570, replaced Web and application servers to further automate the infrastructure that supports the Web site. The 2005 US Open Web site traffic will be managed by IBM from a "virtualized" server environment at one of the three hosting locations. The pSeries systems enabled IBM to consolidate a number of servers onto two larger servers to be more efficient for the USTA.

The pSeries p5 systems balance a wide range of workloads for USOpen.org from Web serving to fan polling, feedback and player search applications. These applications are all managed from each pSeries p5 server as a "virtualized" environment for USOpen.org. Advanced POWER virtualization technologies such as Micro Partitioning, Virtual I/O Server and Partition Load Manager consolidate AIX 5L and Linux operating environments onto each secure machine. This can save floor space, drive cost-effectiveness and increase server flexibility and utilization.

"For us, the pSeries p5 system was the best choice for our needs. It is reliable, secure, and flexible and gave us the ability to consolidate our applications onto one server, making it easier for us to manage our technology requirements," said Volk.

Additional IBM technologies behind this year's USOpen.org Web experience include an IBM eServer iSeries system and an integrated xSeries system. The IBM iSeries 520 system will run the new Point Tracker database, as well as the USOpen.org Internet scoring system, content publisher and staging server. The iSeries system also boasts IBM's Advanced POWER Virtualization Engine technologies such as Micro-Partitioning and I/O virtualization to consolidate multiple Linux applications onto a single system.

IBM's technology solution incorporates key innovative technologies allowing the USTA to offer the best fan experience available to the millions of US Open fans expected to attend, watch on TV broadcasts, and visit online this year.

"Once again, IBM is proud to be working with the USTA to deliver one of the greatest and most watched sporting events in the world," said Rick Singer, director, IBM worldwide sponsorship marketing. "Every year, we work to bring the most innovative technologies available to fans around the globe. The new Point Tracker feature, pSeries system and other virtualized technologies, offers fans the most enjoyable experiences available."

At the same time that IBM's technology is powering the US Open, its on site employees will be participating in the World Community Grid (www.worldcommunitygrid.org), the largest technology global humanitarian effort that applies the unused computing power of individual computers to help address the world's most pressing health issues. Throughout the US Open, all idle computing time will be donated, without taking anything away from the tournament, and used for valuable research to tackle diseases like cancer, Alzheimer's and AIDS. In just seven months, over 70,000 persons around the world have joined the effort yielding more than 10 million computational results which would have taken a supercomputer 8-10 years to complete.

Over the past 14 years, IBM has helped the USTA transform the US Open, the USTA's largest fundraiser and most important annual event, into the single largest sports event in the world, with over 632,000 spectators and 1,600 press attending last year. Together, the two organizations have raised the profile of tennis and changed the way fans around the world experience the game. By collaborating with IBM to become an On Demand Business, the USTA has redefined the game of tennis -- providing fans unprecedented access to players and real-time views of every aspect of the tournament. In the last few years alone, IBM has worked with the USTA to enhance the web experience for visitors to USOpen.org, evolving from a static site delivering tour results, to a dynamic site offering a tremendous amount of real-time statistics.

IBM is the official technology partner of the US Open. In addition to USOpen.org, the company provides equipment and services for match results and statistics collection, information and graphics to television broadcasters and other media, and tournament data to on-site locations at the USTA National Tennis Center.

Contact(s) information

Michael Maloney
IBM Media Relations
516-578-5535
maloney2@us.ibm.com

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