IBM Business Partners Open First Wave of SAN Solution Centers

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PHILADELPHIA - 24 May 2000: -- IBM announced today that 50 of its Business Partner Storage Area Network (SAN) Solution Centers are opening for e-business, as part of IBM's $400 million initiative to harness the explosive growth of data.

The SAN Solution Centers are opening at the rate of five per week in 20 countries around the world. The centers expand IBM's network of locally available SAN expertise and complement IBM SAN testing facilities in the US, Germany, France and Japan.

By using the SAN Solution Centers, customers realize the benefits of linking storage products into networks. The centers offer other SAN services that include testing, designing, education and training.

Features and services the new Solution Centers offer include:

- Centralized storage solutions in a SAN environment
- Tape device sharing
- LAN-free backup and recovery
- Data sharing across platforms and server-free backup and recovery
- High availability server clusters
- Training (including classroom lecture and hands-on SAN technical training)
- Technical demonstrations
- Customer testing
- Benchmarking

"These Solution Centers allow IBM and our partners to promote the widespread adoption of SANs, the best method for storing and managing e-business data," said Jill Kaplan, director of marketing and strategy, IBM Storage Area Networks. "With these SAN solution centers, we show customers the business benefits of SANs." According to "The Promise of SANs," a series of IBM surveys conducted by IDG Research, 64 percent of companies currently have or plan to implement SANs this year. SANs' growing popularity can be seen in the results showing an increase from last year of approximately 40 % in the number of companies considering SANs.

SAN Solution Centers
"The creation of our SAN Center will be a great benefit for our customers," said Tom Morrison, CEO of Midland Systems Integrators (MSI), which recently opened a SAN Solution Center at company headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. "MSI is able to test and demonstrate new hardware and software technologies, validate customer requirements for SAN storage solutions and provide education for the staffs of our customers. All of these capabilities allow MSI to continue to architect and provide world-class storage solutions."

"Our SAN Solution Center provides our customers the opportunity to see the features and benefits of what a SAN can achieve for their storage infrastructure," said Chris Pyle, president of Champion Computer Corporation, referring to its center in Boca Raton, Florida. "By demonstrating the power and management capabilities of an IBM Storage Area Network, our customers are able to make informed storage decisions for their business environment."

"IBM has brought to market the technology that many feel is the next generation in storage with Shark as the stepping stone to SANs. More and more customers are looking for alternatives, for options, rather than committing to a proprietary vendor," said Todd Bowling, president and CEO of Solutions-II, Inc. in Denver, Colorado. "The fact that IBM is committed to open solutions and interoperability is a big competitive advantage."

"SANs will do for data what web serving did for applications," said Mark Waldrep, CEO of Datatrend Technologies, in Minnetonka, Minnesota. "With the opening of our SAN Solution Center, we continue to help our customers in the adoption of SANs."

"The combination of our in-house expertise and our ability to configure made-to-order SAN solutions is already generating an enormous amount of customer interest," said Javed Khan, president of Jeskell in Sunnyvale, California.

Additional information, including a listing of the 50 IBM Business Partner SAN Solution Centers can be found at

Counted among IBM Business Partners are more than 45,000 traditional resellers and distributors; and 45,000 independent software vendors and "Net Generation" companies -- from Web integrators to Internet service providers and application service providers.

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