IBM Introduces New Enterprise-Class Storage Solutions for Medium-Sized Companies

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NEW ORLEANS, LA - 18 Feb 2003: IBM PARTNERWORLD -- IBM today is broadening its line of storage solutions for medium-sized companies with new enterprise-class products, including a new high-end version of its midrange disk and the next generation midrange tape storage. IBM is also adding software support and switches to deliver a complete storage network solution.

As both medium-sized customers and departments within enterprises seek lower cost storage networking solutions with high-end capabilities, IBM is responding with new solutions designed for data intensive applications such as business intelligence, digital media, and life sciences. The addition of autonomic capabilities in these products can also help improve availability and performance, a necessary component as customers advance to fully on-demand operating environments.

"By delivering enterprise-class technology to customers, IBM is enabling them to consolidate storage networks to help simplify storage management and ultimately improve business efficiency," said Roland Hagan, vice president of storage marketing, IBM Systems Group. "IBM's ability to offer an integrated set of storage networking solutions will help customers evolve to an on-demand operating environment, where they are able to respond with flexibility and speed to any customer demand or market opportunity."

IBM Business Partners are an important sales channel for these new products. More than 50 percent of IBM storage sales move through IBM Business Partners. These new products will help IBM Business Partners address customer needs for higher performing, yet easier to manage, lower cost products.

Highlights of today's announcement include:

The FAStT 900 and LTO Ultrium 2 products are part of IBM's recently announced Small and Medium Business Advantage initiative that consists of channel enablement activities, incentives, demand generation tools and teaming opportunities, all provided under IBM's PartnerWorld program.

Acxiom Impressed With Early Testing Results of IBM FAStT 900 Storage Server
One early customer of the FAStT 900 has experienced dramatic performance improvements on initial tests. Acxiom, a global provider of customer and information management solutions, has more than 100 terabytes of information in the data center. One of the services Acxiom provides includes business intelligence applications running on the IBM FAStT and IBM eServer pSeries to help financial institutions and other clients provide better services. Acxiom tested the performance of the FAStT 900 in business intelligence workloads scanning multiple-terabyte tables and found it to be consistently 90 percent faster than the previous FAStT 700 model. This significant performance improvement can translate into an important competitive advantage for many Acxiom clients running data warehousing applications.

"The outstanding performance of the new IBM FAStT 900 storage server provides our customers with enterprise class performance at lower a cost. Our customers are demanding more performance to support their mission critical business intelligence applications, and that's exactly what the FAStT 900 delivers," said Frank Caserta, Senior Technical Leader, Acxiom. "Our performance hungry customers will quickly see the benefits offered by IBM's new offering."

Up to 120 Percent Performance Improvements With FAStT 900
The new FAStT 900 will offer up to 120 percent improvements in disk read/write performance over previous offerings, helping to provide faster access to data for customers. The FAStT 900 delivers high performance with 2 Gbps Fibre Channel technology and the ability to scale from 36GB to more than 32TB, supporting growing storage requirements created by e-business applications and data-intensive image files, particularly in the business intelligence, digital media and life sciences industries.

Highlights of the IBM TotalStorage FAStT 900 include:

Compared to the FAStT 700, the FAStT 900 performance benefits include a 28 percent disk write improvement and a 40 percent disk read improvement for database applications, as well as a 98 percent disk read and a 120 percent disk write improvement for imaging applications used in digital media and life sciences.

The FAStT 900 will be generally available March 14, 2003.

Next-Generation LTO Technology Doubling Speed & Capacity
IBM is also announcing today that it will begin shipping the IBM TotalStorage Ultrium 2 Tape Drive in both the IBM TotalStorage UltraScalable Tape Library 3584 and the IBM TotalStorage Ultrium External Tape Drive 3580. The new Ultrium 2 tape drives double the capacity (up to nearly a petabyte of compressed data in the 3584) and more than double the performance over the first generation of IBM Ultrium offerings. Compared with competing LTO 2 drives from Hewlett Packard, the new IBM drives are 17 percent faster.

"As a long-time LTO customer, we have been impressed by the doubled speed and performance improvements we've seen since implementing our UltraScalable Tape Library with Ultrium 2 drives," said Vanson Ngo, Systems Engineer for MTS, the leading telecommunications provider for Manitoba, Canada. "Interoperability was a key issue for us, and the ability to get up and running quickly knowing our tape library would work with our existing storage software provided great ease of implementation and peace of mind."

In addition to improved data reads and writes, many parts of the drive have been optimized for faster performance, including tape loading and unloading time, so that even the basic mechanics of the drive result in higher performing archival solutions. Another new addition with Ultrium 2 technology is a "sleep" function, which switches the drive to a lower power setting when it is not in use, helping to maximize energy efficiency.

Key highlights of the announcement include:

IBM is also adding new autonomic computing enhancements to the UltraScalable Tape Library 3584 to include control path failover, where one communication path is substituted for another in the event of a disruption, for greater self-healing capabilities.

The new drives can read and write to first generation Ultrium cartridges, helping to protect customers' investment in LTO technology. In addition, new Ultrium 2 tape drives can process first generation Ultrium tape cartridges at improved performance rates, up to 20 MB/s, a 33 percent performance improvement.

The new systems began shipping on February 14, 2003.

IBM Offers New Cisco Switches
IBM is also announcing general availability of Cisco's MDS 9000 family of storage area networking products, which can be purchased from IBM and its IBM Business Partners. Under the terms of the agreement, IBM and IBM Business Partners will offer customers Cisco's MDS 9000 family of products, beginning with the Cisco MDS 9509 Multilayer Director, Cisco MDS 9216 Multilayer Fabric Switch and associated modules, beginning on March 21, 2003 in the United States.

The new Cisco MDS Family can help customers consolidate geographically dispersed SAN islands into a large enterprise SAN. These products round out IBM's current SAN switches with the addition of advanced partitioning features, as well as the ability to extend SANs across IP infrastructures.

The previously announced agreement between the two companies leverages their already successful relationship and allows IBM, and IBM Business Partners, to deliver the latest in open storage networking solutions to customers looking to reduce cost and increase quality of service for computing environments with heavy data storage and distribution requirements.

Interoperability and ISV Support for IBM Storage
Finally, IBM is also announcing more than 21 new additions to the IBM TotalStorage Proven program announced one year ago. The TotalStorage Proven program helps identify storage solutions and configurations for customers that have been pre-tested for interoperability helping to support faster and more reliable installations for customers. With this announcement, there are now more than 250 Storage Proven products and solutions available, demonstrating strong support from participants and high interest from end user customers.

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