weather.com Turns the Tide With Linux and IBM

World's Leading Weather Web Site Braces for Hurricane Season and Gale Force Web Traffic with Linux Web Servers from IBM

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SOMERS, N.Y - 21 Jun 2000: -- weather.com, one of the top 25 Web sites, today announced that it will use IBM(R) technology and services to serve its massive volume of maps and images on the popular Linux(R) operating system. IBM solutions will become part of the Internet infrastructure for weather.com, The Weather Channel(R) Web site and the world's leading source of weather on the Web, in an effort to meet the site's extreme traffic demands.

"Our page views can soar from five million to 25 million in a matter of days," said Mark Ryan, Chief Technology Officer, weather.com. "The IBM solution is cost-effective and takes advantage of an emerging industry trend -- Linux. By moving to IBM's Netfinity(R) servers running Linux to serve images and maps, we are confident that we will be able to scale quickly to meet future peak site demand during the busy hurricane season."

"Linux is changing the way people run their businesses," said Dr. Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Vice President of Technology and Strategy at IBM. "Because of its low cost of entry and its easy portability across many types of system platforms, Linux is the ideal solution for many of our Internet customers like weather.com. We are committed to providing our customers Linux-enabled solutions that can help them meet their changing business needs."

weather.com will implement IBM's Netfinity 4000R servers running Linux to deliver the high availability, scalability and performance needed to support its growing Web site, which can see large traffic spikes during the heat of the hurricane season. The design approach, which was recommended by IBM Global Services, will include IBM's WebSphere(TM) Application Server software that will allow weather.com to create dynamic content tailored to people's lifestyles and habits.

The WebSphere Application Server, which runs on a non-IBM platform, will allow weather.com to offer its weather-related information to more than 77,000 worldwide locations in a personalized fashion. For example, site visitors interested in golf can access current weather conditions, dew points, heat indexes, winds and gusts, and lightning strikes -- which help predict the best conditions for a golf outing. Additionally, visitors can view the weather conditions and schedules for all PGA TOUR events.

weather.com's decision to partner with IBM was driven in part by IBM's ability to offer combined Linux-enabled solutions and an e-business framework. IBM has made the commitment to Linux-enable all of its solutions -- from ThinkPads(R) to mainframes -- to help customers take advantage of emerging opportunities. weather.com also recognized the growing population of Linux programmers emerging from schools and start-up e-businesses and the importance of embracing open source technology. Industry analysts such as IDC estimate that Linux has jumped to the second most popular server operating systems in sales in less than one year.

Later this year, IBM and weather.com will be exploring other opportunities as weather.com expands its wireless applications. A technology leader, weather.com plans to increase its stronghold in the wireless arena by offering new wireless weather products accessible through phones, personal digital assistants and pagers with software from the WebSphere software platform.

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