IBM Raises the Stakes in Storage Area Networks, Declaring SANs "Open for E-business"

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SOMERS, N.Y - 28 Mar 2000: -- IBM today announced a $400 million initiative to harness the explosive growth of data generated by e-business. Offering total solutions to the storage area network (SAN) market, IBM is announcing new products, services, global and regional testing facilities, and a significant expansion of its sales force to provide SAN solutions based on open industry standards. These solutions and services will help customers manage information and transactions efficiently across increasingly complex, multi-vendor networks.

With its SAN initiative, IBM is leveraging its position as the only company that has the products, open systems capability, services and systems management experience to weld information assets into an integrated resource.

"IBM's SAN initiative is about leveraging every division of the company to deliver on the promise of SANs for our customers -- interoperability between vendor systems and true data sharing," said Linda Sanford, general manager, IBM Storage Subsystems Division. "Any industry vendor not committed to open standards for SANs is driving their customers into a proprietary dead-end."

Highlights of today's announcement include:

- Establishing more than 50 SAN Solution Centers with IBM Business Partners worldwide to develop SAN solutions and demonstrate them to customers;

- New SAN testing facilities in Montpellier, France and Makuhari, Japan;

- Expansion of IBM's storage solutions sales force with more than 1,000 additional sales specialists;

- Establishment of SAN and Storage Services consulting practice by IBM Global Services;

- New models of the "Shark" Enterprise Storage Server, offering up to a 100 percent improvement in performance;

- New fibre channel-based SAN solutions, including support for Netfinity servers.


IBM Global Services is delivering a portfolio of new services to help customers implement SANs and other storage solutions. They include:

- Enterprise Storage Assessment - review customers existing storage strategy and identify storage business needs and requirements;

- Planning and Design Services - build a complete storage and SAN solution using a wide variety of industry-leading technologies;

- Implementation Services - conduct proof-of-concept storage and SAN tests, evaluate SAN solutions and assist with the SAN implementation;

- Support Services - help customers operate their storage and SAN configurations, including troubleshooting and problem resolution, as well as upgrades and solution management;

- SAN Testing Facilities - IBM will open new SAN testing facilities in Montpellier, France and Makuhari, Japan that allow customers to evaluate and prototype SAN solutions for reliability, performance and security. IBM also has SAN testing facilities in Gaithersburg, Maryland and Mainz, Germany.

- Customers can finance their SAN solution through IBM Global Financing.


IBM is announcing new models of its "Shark" Enterprise Storage Server with the IBM 64-bit RISC processor, 16 gigabytes of cache, and additional PCI buses, resulting in up to a 100 percent increase in throughput.

With the IBM building-block architecture, existing Shark customers can upgrade to the new processor to gain performance advantages. The enhanced Shark software will support advanced copy services and native fibre channel connectivity as those features become available. They can be added in a non-disruptive mode to the new Shark models.

IBM is also announcing new enhanced, industry-standard, fibre channel-based routers, gateways, switches and managed hubs that enhance SAN connectivity in an enterprise. In addition, IBM Magstar tape products can now connect in a SAN using the IBM SAN Data Gateway, allowing them support the sharing of tape drives within a SAN.

On April 4, Tivoli will announce Tivoli LAN-free SAN management software, the only software that allows information to be shared across different application programs, servers and storage devices. With this software, users will be able to retrieve files faster than on a Local Area Network (LAN). In addition, it will free network bandwidth on the LAN.

IBM also introduced a SAN solution using a cluster of two Netfinity servers with fibre channel connections and Legato mirroring extension software. The cluster can be separated by as much as 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). IBM's SAN Fibre Channel Managed Hub creates high-speed interconnections for such applications as high-availability clustering, storage consolidation, and LAN-free backup.

Additional information on today's announcement can be found on the Internet at

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Magstar and Netfinity are trademarks of IBM.

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