May 02, 2006 22:50 ET

IBM Extends Lead in Storage Virtualization; Surpasses 2,000 Virtualization Customers With ShopKo

ShopKo's Storage Virtualization Solution Reduces Back-Up Times by Up to 67%

ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 2, 2006 -- IBM today announced it now has more than 2,000 storage virtualization customers, further extending its lead in the marketplace with the addition of ShopKo.

"This is a milestone event, as ShopKo is one of 2,000 clients who have turned to IBM to simplify their infrastructures with IBM's virtualization engine software," said Kristie Bell, vice president, IBM System Storage. "No other vendor can match IBM's heritage in virtualization or ground-breaking solutions that simplify our clients' infrastructures. IBM's virtualization software is providing customers with improved total cost of ownership, better utilization, increased application availability and flexibility."

ShopKo has completed implementation of a tiered storage infrastructure based on IBM disk and virtualization technology. The information on demand environment has reduced backup time for major applications by as much as 67 percent and improved overall application response time. The IBM virtualization solution is expected to provide ShopKo with nearly $2 million in additional savings over the next four years.

ShopKo, a retailer of quality goods and services headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, reconfigured its storage infrastructure to create a flexible storage virtualization environment that is designed to improve total cost of ownership, reduce application downtime for data movement, and enable simple data migration within the infrastructure. Additionally, it aimed to improve application availability and performance and increase the productivity of their storage administrators with heterogeneous device management.

Working with IBM Business Partner Berbee, ShopKo implemented a migration plan based on IBM technology that allowed the company to achieve its desired goals in as little time as possible. The migration of data used IBM's Piper for Open Systems, and the overall implementation was completed in three months.

ShopKo implemented IBM TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller (SVC) as its virtualization engine solution to simplify the overall infrastructure, as well as to combine the capacity from multiple disk storage systems into a single storage pool, allowing for storage management from a central point of contact.

"Storage virtualization was a key priority in the restructuring of our storage infrastructure," said Ray Petersen, vice president of operations and technology, ShopKo. "We ultimately chose IBM because its virtualization engine offering was clearly ready for primetime. We wanted to take advantage of the capabilities SVC offers for heterogeneous management, and we are already seeing a vast improvement in performance and availability, as well as significant cost savings."

"ShopKo is known for its dedication in identifying and implementing leading-edge solutions that will help drive its business," said Brian Truskowski, vice president and chief information officer, IBM. "By adopting SVC storage virtualization technology, ShopKo has been able to obtain an improvement in performance that is designed to deliver significant business benefits."

Along with SVC, the ShopKo consolidated storage environment includes IBM TotalStorage DS8100 and IBM TotalStorage DS4800 storage servers. Additionally, the solution included the High Availability option for IBM TotalStorage 3484 Tape Library and ShopKo has plans to implement IBM Tivoli Productivity Center (TPC) Version 3.

For their project involving the implementation of IBM's SAN Volume Controller virtualization software, ShopKo received the first place award in the category of "Innovation and Promise" at Storage Networking World.

About IBM

For more information about IBM and IBM storage, visit

About ShopKo

With more than $2.2 billion in annual sales, ShopKo is a retailer of quality goods and services headquartered in Green Bay, Wis., with stores located in 13 states throughout the Midwest, Mountain and Pacific Northwest regions. Retail formats include 135 ShopKo stores, providing quality name-brand merchandise, great values, pharmacy and optical services in mid-sized to larger cities and three ShopKo Express Rx stores, a convenient neighborhood drugstore concept.

ShopKo is an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc., a leading private investment firm focused on leveraged buyouts, equity, debt, and other investments in market-leading companies that can benefit from its in-house operating professionals and experience. Sun Capital affiliates have invested in and managed more than 110 companies worldwide with combined sales in excess of $27.0 billion since Sun Capital's inception in 1995. Sun Capital has offices in Boca Raton, Los Angeles, New York, London, and Shenzhen.

For more information on Sun Capital Partners, visit its Web site at For more information about ShopKo or ShopKo Express Rx, visit our Web site at

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