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IBM Unveils New Blade Computing Offerings for Small and Mid-Size Businesses


IBM Delivers New Blade-Based Switch, Simple Windows Management for System i Clients, and Service and Financing Packages for SMBs

ARMONK, NY - 10 May 2006: IBM, the industry’s leading blade vendor, today announced new BladeCenter offerings that deliver easier, more affordable management capabilities to small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs).

By integrating servers, networks, storage and applications in one system, IBM BladeCenter simplifies computing environments significantly and helps lower IT costs by providing businesses of all sizes access to highly efficient computing capabilities at an affordable price point.

Included in IBM’s announcements today are:

-The industry’s lowest-priced, entry-level networking switch -- the IBM Server Connectivity Module for IBM BladeCenter -- designed for SMBs that have limited on-site networking skills;

-The availability of Windows management technology that helps customers to combine the benefits of BladeCenter and the IBM System i business computing platform, using System i’s virtual storage, networking and tape resources to simplify Windows server management;

-A new service offering -- the IBM Implementation Services Servicepac for BladeCenter -- from IBM Global Technology Services that helps SMBs “jump start” and quickly deploy a BladeCenter infrastructure; and

-A financing package for SMB customers or smaller department acquisitions, with low monthly payments from IBM Global Financing.

“IBM is delivering the industry’s top SMB technology, customized to speed customer migration from sprawling servers and quickly drive the benefits of integrated computing,” said Doug Balog, vice president and business line executive for IBM BladeCenter. “BladeCenter gives SMBs simplicity and the flexibility they need to compete against larger businesses and drive business innovation.”

The new option for Windows management enables BladeCenter to integrate with System i through an industry standard iSCSI connection. Group Dekko LLC, a supplier of wiring products to the office furniture, appliance, medical device and automotive industries, is using the technology to connect its IBM System i520 to BladeCenter, running a Windows application that distributes desktop application updates to end-user workstations.

“System i and BladeCenter integration allows us to more easily manage our datacenter by consolidating our Windows infrastructure,” said Chris Edwards, vice president of systems, Group Dekko. “Also, BladeCenter will provide us extremely efficient computing resources at a price that is attractive for our mid-sized business.”

“Oracle’s JD Edwards customers want flexibility in their IT environments. By providing solutions based on the strength of System i and BladeCenter technologies, IBM demonstrates that it provides a wide range of choice for our SMB customers’ critical business applications,” said Judson Althoff, vice president, global platform and distribution alliances, Oracle. “Oracle and IBM continue to address the requirements of choice and lower total cost of ownership for our joint customers.”

SMB is the fastest growing market segment for blades, helping IBM to continue its momentum in blade market. IBM’s Business Partners have played a crucial role in the increased sales of BladeCenter, delivering more than 70 percent of overall BladeCenter sales.

Pricing and availability

The new Server Connectivity Module for IBM BladeCenter is available from IBM today, priced starting at $999 in the U.S.

The IBM Implementation Services Servicepac for BladeCenter is available in May through IBM Global Technology Services and IBM Business Partners in the U.S. and Canada for US$6,999. IBM is offering select Business Partners a $500 rebate for the sale of each Servicepac, through June 30, 2006.

The Flexible Choice Offering, available through the end of 2006 from IBM Global Financing, includes the option to lease a BladeCenter chassis for 60 months and blade servers for 36 months at great financing rates. In addition, customers can “scale up” and lease additional blades throughout 2006 at low financing rates.

The System i management feature for Windows is planned for availability on May 19, starting at $999.

IBM BladeCenter and System i have a large portfolio of Express configurations designed specifically for SMBs. BladeCenter Business Express allows customers to use an affordable approach for creating and deploying powerful solutions that fit their own individual business environments or industries. IBM BladeCenter has been the industry’s top selling blade offering for 10 consecutive quarters.* For more information about IBM BladeCenter, go to:


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