July 26, 2005 13:29 ET

IBM and Network Appliance Target Virtualization and Blade Solutions

Companies Focus on Storage Virtualization; NetApp to Join Forces With IBM and Industry Leaders to Collaborate on Blade Technologies

SOMERS, NY and SUNNYVALE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 26, 2005 -- IBM and Network Appliance (NASDAQ: NTAP) today announced their intention to extend their strong relationship to encompass the growing technologies of virtualization and blade solutions. The focus is on combining IBM's storage virtualization technologies and the full line of NetApp® V-Series and FAS storage systems into integrated solutions, signaling the beginning of efforts to collaborate to exploit the synergies between the companies' respective virtualization technologies.

NetApp also announced today that it plans to join IBM as one of nine founding members in the new industry community. The community was conceived to enhance the relationships between the founding members and to serve as a catalyst for the industry to create new blade technology. NetApp is already providing back-end storage systems for IBM eServer® BladeCenter™.

"IBM is pleased to enhance its already strong relationship with NetApp to extend virtualization solutions across key customer segments," said Rich Lechner, vice president, TotalStorage Solutions at IBM. "Together, IBM and NetApp will be better positioned to provide clients with proven enterprise-scale virtualization solutions based on open standards, allowing customers to leverage their existing IT investments."

"Customers today need to simplify their infrastructures and reduce complexities," said Patrick Rogers, vice president of partners and products at Network Appliance. "Virtualization and capabilities such as thin provisioning in our V-Series are key enablers to help companies reduce costs. Network Appliance is pleased to extend its relationship with IBM on this front."

The companies today announced three planned elements for their combined approach to virtualization:

--  Supporting interoperability between IBM TotalStorage SAN Volume
    Controller (SVC) and NetApp V-Series virtualization systems, as well as IBM
    branded products manufactured for IBM by NetApp based on the V-Series
    technology.  The use of the SAN Volume Controller and the NetApp V-Series
    based products will provide customers with the opportunity to combine the
    best features of V-Series (multiple protocols including NFS, CIFS and
    iSCSI) with the best features of SVC (single, scalable, heterogeneous pool
    of block storage).  This is a combination that is unmatched by EMC in their
--  Supporting interoperability between IBM TotalStorage SAN Volume
    Controller (SVC) products and NetApp storage systems which support the FCP
    block protocol, as well as the IBM branded products manufactured for IBM by
    NetApp that support the protocol.  The combination of the SAN Volume
    Controller products and the NetApp storage systems is intended to allow
    customers to take advantage of NetApp RAID storage advances such as RAID-DP
    in conjunction with SAN Volume Controller's current capabilities, including
    dynamic migration between the supported heterogeneous arrays.
--  IBM and NetApp will explore additional opportunities to collaborate to
    exploit the synergies between the companies' virtualization technologies.
    The goal will be to provide virtualization across client's heterogeneous
    storage infrastructures.
Storage virtualization can help simplify infrastructures by managing the complexities of the underlying storage environments and dramatically reduce costs associated with IT management by enabling the creation of a single virtual pool of information across the enterprise. Storage virtualization is a key component of IBM's Information On Demand strategy which is helping clients to integrate their business processes to better meet core functional requirements.

IBM TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller is designed to increase the flexibility of storage infrastructures by enabling changes to the physical storage with minimal or no disruptions to applications. Now with the expanded support for many non-IBM storage systems, including NetApp, SAN Volume Controller can enable a tiered storage environment to better allow customers to match the cost of the storage to the value of their data. SAN Volume Controller combines the capacity from multiple disk storage systems into a single storage pool, which can be managed from a central point. The coupling of NetApp V-Series and SAN Volume Controller will enable the simplified management and data protection of the virtualized storage environment through the IBM TotalStorage Open Software family products.

The NetApp V-Series and storage systems brings the rich suite of Data ONTAP™ software including Snap and Flex technology for data management, data protection and disaster recovery to a virtualized pool of storage across multiple vendor arrays. This combines with the block virtualization and data migration/replication capabilities of the SAN Volume Controller for a comprehensive storage management solution.

The IBM TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller products are available today through IBM and IBM Business Partners. NetApp V-Series is available today through NetApp and NetApp channel partners.

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. Drawing on resources from across IBM and key IBM Business Partners, IBM offers a wide range of services, solutions and technologies that enable customers, large and small, to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. For more information about IBM, visit

About Network Appliance

Network Appliance is a world leader in unified storage solutions for today's data-intensive enterprise. Since its inception in 1992, Network Appliance has delivered technology, product, and partner firsts that simplify data management. Information about Network Appliance™ solutions and services is available at

IBM, the IBM e-business logo, and TotalStorage are trademarks of IBM Corporation. NetApp is a registered trademark and Network Appliance and Data ONTAP are trademarks of Network Appliance, Inc. Other products names may be trademarks of their respective owners. Statements concerning IBM's and Network Appliance future development plans and schedules are made for planning purposes only, and are subject to change or withdrawal without notice.

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