IBM Launches the Industry's Most Advanced Storage System for the Enterprise

Also increases performance of industry-leading tape storage products

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NEW YORK, NY - 26 Jul 1999: -- IBM today announced the IBM Enterprise Storage Server (ESS) -- code-named "Shark" -- a new generation of enterprise disk storage systems designed to provide world-class performance, scalability and universal access to data across all enterprise computing environments. With the introduction of the Enterprise Storage Server, IBM is reasserting its position as the most comprehensive and innovative supplier of storage solutions in the industry.

The IBM Enterprise Storage Server is the new flagship of the company's continually growing line of open hardware and software solutions for enterprise storage and data management. Built on the foundation of IBM's Seascape(1) Storage Enterprise Architecture, the Enterprise Storage Server is designed to exploit IBM leadership in storage technologies to meet the growing data management needs of enterprise customers.

According to Ron Kilpatrick, general manager of IBM Storage Systems Division, e-business, enterprise resource planning, data mining and business intelligence applications are focusing customers on the importance of storage and information management to their enterprises. "There is tremendous business value in the massive amounts of stored data that already exist -- and are being created every second. IBM's Seascape architecture addresses the challenges of managing that information and data explosion. The Enterprise Storage Server completes the Seascape Family with a powerful, high-end disk solution for the enterprise. Now, our enterprise customers have a new choice for their growing disk storage requirements.

"While other storage suppliers attempt to eke out new functionality from aging storage architectures, the ESS offers customers real choices when designing an enterprise storage infrastructure for the future," said Kilpatrick. "With the Enterprise Storage Server, IBM is delivering a clear vision and technology road map that customers can count on as they continue to implement data-intensive applications."

The Enterprise Storage Server is designed to grow with customers' needs and to easily incorporate the latest storage innovations. It incorporates a "snap-in" design that allows users to add capacity, performance and connectivity over time using the same platform. This design allows customers to evolve their storage systems well into the future, making the ESS particularly well-suited to server and storage consolidation activities and offering unparalleled investment protection.

Unmatched features and function
The Enterprise Storage Server builds upon IBM's Storage Area Network (SAN) initiative announced last month. SANs are separate networks of storage devices dedicated to managing and storing data without tying up the computing resources of the server. The Seascape architecture, with its powerful storage server and modular technology building blocks, is ideally suited to the emerging world of SANs.

The IBM Enterprise Storage Server offers customers scalability and performance second to none: it can scale from 420 gigabytes to over 11 terabytes, by far the highest capacity in the industry. The performance of the system is even more impressive -- with two four-way symmetric multiprocessors (SMPs), Serial Storage Architecture (SSA) and a large cache with additional nonvolatile (battery-backed) memory. Most important, though, is its ability to work with heterogeneous hosts -- S/390, UNIX, Windows NT and AS/400 -- and with a variety of interfaces, including ESCON, Fibre Channel and Ultra SCSI. "This combination of performance, openness and flexibility is unprecedented in the world of high-end disk storage systems. Redundant hardware and components provide added reliability. Now customers on all platforms can expect to receive unsurpassed availability," said Kilpatrick.

Other features, such as IBM's industry standard Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy (PPRC) and FlashCopy functions, as well as the new, innovative Parallel Access Volumes technology, are already winning extremely high praise with customers, software application vendors and industry analysts (Editors: Quote sheet). Recent benchmark testing at Prudential Securities resulted in a substantial performance improvement when compared to a competitor's current flagship offering.(2)

"Based on our initial testing of the new performance accelerators on the IBM Enterprise Storage Server, this new offering appears to have the throughput necessary for implementing our new business continuation strategy," said William H. Anderson, executive vice president and CIO, Information Systems & Communications Division, Prudential Securities Incorporated. "One of our key criteria for this kind of system was performance, and since we've installed it, we have been impressed with its speed. In addition, it's very easy to manage. Altogether, we are happy to be implementing such an extraordinary system at Prudential Securities."

Team IBM
The ability to bring advanced storage technology to the market is the result of IBM's uniquely broad experience in enterprise storage. "Quite simply, no other vendor has IBM's breadth of storage expertise in disk and tape subsystems, storage management software, hard disk drive technology, systems integration and support services. Many competitors in the storage industry have only one card to play -- they are disk storage companies, tape companies or software companies. No other vendor can bring together such a full suite of hardware and software solutions to market -- backed by the world's largest service and support organization -- as IBM," said Kilpatrick.

To help customers meet the challenges of SAN and other storage implementations, IBM Global Services has established a storage solution interoperability lab at the IBM National Testing Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland. IBM will offer a full range of services, including performance evaluations and stress testing, to help customers evaluate and test their SAN and storage solutions. The interoperability lab features the new IBM Enterprise Storage Server, 50 terabytes of disk storage and 6,000 MIPS of processing power on S/390, UNIX and NT platforms. In addition to IBM storage products, the lab also tests configurations using equipment from other server and storage vendors.

The Team IBM advantage extends to the technology inside the box as well. Capitalizing on the strength of IBM's Technology Group, the ESS features advanced semiconductor products from IBM Microelectronics -- the industry's technology and system integration leader. The ESS is fueled by IBM PowerPC microprocessors, custom logic (ASICs), memory (SRAM and SDRAM) and advanced packaging.

IBM is also announcing a worldwide 1999 deferred payment program from IBM Global Financing for qualified customers who finance their installation of Enterprise Storage Servers. This special offering gives customers a free payment deferral for up to 110 days, so they can install and use the new storage technology without impact to their 1999 budgets. Customers who take advantage of the program won't have to make their initial lease payments until January 1, 2000, or as late as March 30, 2000, depending on when they install.

"Customers of our high-end storage devices recognize the benefits of financing this technology and have a high propensity to lease. IBM Global Financing's special 1999 acquisition offer adds compelling reasons to install our Enterprise Storage Servers this year," said Kilpatrick.

Software key to data management
IBM's storage vision involves more than just the storage of information -- it focuses on the intelligent management of information. Software is a crucial piece of the puzzle and through products from the Storage Systems Division (SSD) and IBM's Tivoli unit, the IBM Enterprise Storage Server will incorporate a full range of intelligent storage functions such as data partitioning, peer-to-peer remote copying, extended remote copying, Parallel Access Volumes and FlashCopy. IBM's storage management philosophy, which is at the heart of the IBM Enterprise Storage Server, centralizes management of enterprise storage assets, using a combination of storage management software and intelligent storage subsystems, for easier and more efficient use of storage facilities.

Tape enhancements
IBM also announced today the next generation of IBM Magstar Virtual Tape Server (VTS), a prime example of the classic Seascape(1) upgrade concept from which the Enterprise Storage Server was developed, that enables rapid integration of new technologies. Magstar VTS combines disk, tape and software building blocks that can be individually upgraded as technologies improve, benefiting the entire system. This enhanced VTS will provide an up to 100 percent increase in sustained performance(2) and control of more enterprise data within a single VTS. This will result in reduced storage costs and a decrease in data backup time.

IBM is also boosting the efficiency of its leading 1/2-inch tape drive, the IBM Magstar 3590E, by increasing performance and the number of servers the drive can support at once. (See separate release).

For more information on IBM storage products, visit

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IBM is a registered trademark of the International Business Machines Corporation. All other trademarks are the properties of their respective companies.

(1) Seascape is IBM's storage enterprise architecture, a blueprint for comprehensive storage solutions optimized for a connected world. The Seascape architecture outlines next-generation concepts for storage by integrating modular "building block" technologies from IBM, including disk, tape and optical storage media, powerful processors, and rich software. Integrated Seascape solutions are highly reliable, scalable and versatile, and support specialized applications on servers ranging from PCs to supercomputers.

(2) Performance information contained in this press release is based on measurements obtained in a controlled environment. Actual performance results may vary.

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