IBM BladeCenter Ecosystem Swells With New Customers and Open Specification Partners

Incorporating Technology From McDATA and VMware, IBM eServer BladeCenter Continues to Deliver Unrivaled Integration

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ARMONK, NY & SANTA CLARA, CA - 23 Mar 2005: Server Blade Summit -- IBM, the leading blade vendor, announced today a new IBM eServer BladeCenter switch from McDATA and a VMware bundle designed to facilitate IBM's continued delivery of the most highly integrated blade offering on the market. IBM's work to deliver the most open, advanced blade offering available enables both enterprise and SMB customers to better manage their total IT infrastructure and build stronger on demand business environments.

IBM also announced that new customers have adopted BladeCenter including Siebel Systems, FusionStorm and Dean Health System.

"IBM BladeCenter is not just leading the blade market, it's creating it. Broad customer acceptance, partner participation and industry share data show that the BladeCenter brand is becoming synonymous with blade technology," said Jeff Benck, vice president and business line executive for IBM eServer BladeCenter. "Strategic relationships with technology providers such as McDATA and VMware increase the value proposition of BladeCenter and make it ideally suited to serve as the foundation of any on demand business."

IBM now owns 49.5 percent of the blade server market, and grew revenue 123.2 percent year-to-year, according to IDC.* Driving this growth are new customers including:

IBM has seen overwhelming interest with the Open Specification and now has more than 215 partners who have signed on to receive the BladeCenter specifications to build and design their own products for the ecosystem, since IBM and Intel opened the hardware specifications for BladeCenter on September 2, 2004. Among the latest are:

IBM adds McDATA to its Industry-Leading Switch Offerings
Previously first-to-market with embedded Fibre Channel switching for blade servers, IBM is now first-to-market today with a McDATA switch module further expanding our portfolio of embedded SAN switches. BladeCenter continues to deliver on its strategy of providing industry leading Storage Area Network (SAN) switch support.

Co-developed by McDATA and QLogic, this new switch provides seamless integration into McDATA based enterprise data centers and centralized McDATA management. By embedding the SAN switch, customers who depend on McDATA for fabric connectivity can realize a reduction in infrastructure complexity, ease of deployment, and increased SAN manageability.

"This is an exciting time for McDATA -- entering the rapidly growing embedded storage market at this critical point enables us to deliver optimized solutions for customers with a one-stop-shop for their SAN infrastructure needs," said Jonathan Buckley vice president of software, internetworking and blade switch business lines, McDATA. "We are very proud to work with IBM to integrate the McDATA switch -- a collaborative effort with QLogic -- into BladeCenter and further enable customers with products that can help them deploy a tiered storage architecture for always-on access to information."

In addition, IBM offers network and storage technology from numerous other industry leaders including Brocade, Cisco Systems, Nortel, QLogic and Topspin in its BladeCenter systems.

IBM is also announcing today an agreement to bundle evaluation copies of VMware virtual infrastructure into IBM eServer BladeCenter shipments worldwide. With the new VMware bundle, customers purchasing IBM eServer BladeCenter will receive six-month evaluation copies of VMware ESX Server, VMware Virtual SMP and VMware VirtualCenter with VMotion.

"VMware virtual infrastructure increases the efficiency of the IBM BladeCenter," said Carlo Bonura, technical system analyst for Dean Health System, a Wisconsin-based provider of integrated medical services, insurance and research. "It makes our server environment more manageable and redundant, and it also boosts efficiency because blades take up half the space of traditional 1U rack servers. And virtual machines share resources such as switches and interface cards, making management simpler and more centralized."

Pairing BladeCenter with VMware virtual infrastructure enables server consolidation, rapid deployment of new servers, higher availability and simplified management, helping to improve hardware utilization as well as space, IT staffing and hardware costs reduction. VMware provides the partitioning technology for IBM's industry leading Virtualization Engine technology, which allows customers to save more than 20 percent on hardware purchases.

Finally, as part of IBM's continued efforts to increase the momentum of BladeCenter, Benck today is delivering the opening keynote at the Server Blade Summit in Santa Clara, California. More information about the conference is available at