Mobil Travel Guide Awards On-Demand Computing Contract To IBM

IBM To Provide Leading Travel Service with Utility-Like Access to Server Processing, Storage and Networking Capacity

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Armonk, N.Y. - 04 Oct 2002: IBM announced today that it has been awarded a contract by Mobil Travel Guide to provide the company with large-scale computing infrastructure on-demand over the Internet. The contract for on-demand mainframe and storage computing services is the first of its kind in the travel and transportation industry.

Under terms of the 5-year agreement, IBM will provide the Illinois-based travel guide service with on-demand access to Linux-based server processing, storage and networking capacity from IBM e-business hosting centers in the United States. Instead of the physical Web, database and application servers they currently rely on, Mobil Travel Guide will tap into "virtual servers" on IBM zSeries mainframes and Enterprise Storage Servers running Linux, paying only for the computing power and capacity they require.

Mobil Travel Guide will utilize the IBM computing resources to support the expansion of a new web-based service -- Mobil Companion -- which offers customized service for auto travelers. The Mobil Companion travel program targets upscale leisure auto travelers with benefits that include state of the art web-based travel planning, 24 hour enroute travel support services, upgraded services and preferred rates from hotels, restaurants and other travel service providers.

The Mobil Travel Companion Service will launch later this year in the United States.

"Linux Virtual Services from IBM provides us true on-demand computing power that is flexible and cost efficient," said Ralph Giannola, senior vice-president, Mobil Travel Guide. "For Mobil Travel Guide, gaining utility-like access to IBM's worldwide computing infrastructure is akin to accelerating from a one lane country road onto the Autobahn."

"IBM advances in technology now enable customers to tap into virtual computing, networking and storage components within the data center," said Jim Corgel, general manager, IBM e-business on Demand Services. "By creating a virtual, yet resilient infrastructure, IBM enables smart e-businesses like Mobil Travel Guide to get rapid access to computing power in a flexible and secure on-demand model."

Linux Virtual Services -- Computing On Tap from IBM
As an IBM e-business on demand service, Linux Virtual Services is available to customers as either a supplement to their existing capacity or as a flexible alternative to owning the physical hardware. At the core of the service is an IBM innovation that creates "virtual servers" from the computing capacity of IBM zSeries mainframes and IBM Enterprise Storage Servers running Linux in IBM e-business hosting centers. By partitioning the processing, storage and network capacity for each customer, IBM isolates individual demand on the system and maps resources to that demand, while providing a level of separation between customers similar to that of a a physical server.

Linux Virtual Services is ideal for businesses that are looking to deploy Linux servers in a cost effective, utility model. Customers can now purchase processing power on-demand, by the "service unit," a measure that equates to the processing power being utilized. Since service units are based on a customer's anticipated demand, there is no need to over deploy capacity, enabling customers to avoid wasting money on unused capacity. IBM helps customers to determine the number of service units to order depending on processing requirements.

As part of today's agreement, Mobil Travel Guide also announced the selection of IBM's WebSphere Application Server, the industry's leading business integration software, to develop and deploy their Web-based applications running on Linux. In addition, IBM will provide on-demand storage services for Mobil Travel Guide that will enable the company to purchase storage capacity and management services on a subscription basis.

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