‘The trend is clearly towards virtualization’

Dietmar Wendt, vice president for system sales and technology group, Asia
Pacific, IBM, began his stint at IBM in Germany in 1981. An IBM veteran of 25
years, Wendt is currently based at the technology giant’s Asia Pacific
headquarters in Shanghai. In Delhi, Wendt met Bhaswati Chakravorty of Dataquest
and spoke about the changing nature of business, key trends in storage and
servers, focus areas of growth for IBM in the servers and storage space, and IBM’s
performance in India.

What are the key trends in the storage space today and what is IBM’s
strategy to align IT with business?
The trend in storage and servers is clearly towards virtualization. As
businesses turn more to IT to improve business efficiency and competitiveness,
the IBM Systems & Technology Group has set the stage for virtualization and
the alignment of its storage and servers products. We launched the Power5-based
DS8000 and DS6000 in October last year, which introduced broader capabilities
for services, software, and finance business units geared toward meeting demands
for simplified data management, storage and other systems needs of enterprises.
We will further simplify overall storage infrastructure through virtualization.
We intend to put an end to the downtime that application servers experience with
the help of our virtualization products.

What are the areas IBM would be focusing on in terms of growth?

Dietmar Wendt

Virtualization is an area of growth for IBM and we intend to maintain strong
focus in this area. We will also focus on information lifecycle management (ILM),
which will gradually move from management of hierarchical data to analyzing data
and enforcing data policies. Another strong area of focus is data resiliency and
disaster recovery, which are big concerns in the banking industry where money is
being stored as data. All of these issues can be addressed with the Tivoli
Storage Manager, our TotalStorage SAN File System and Data Retention Server 450.
We will continue to push breakthrough technology combined with the fundamental
use of open, modular, standards-based architecture to our enterprise and
mid-market customers.

IBM is today the leading vendor in the server market according to IDC
Asia/Pacific Quarterly Enterprise Server Tracker. What kind of growth has the
company seen on the server front in the last fiscal?
Our overall server revenues grew 16% in 2004 compared to 2003, which makes
us the market leader with 30.5% revenue share. IBM led the x86 server market in
India with 35.7% revenue share in 2004, compared to 2003. A 20% year-on-year
growth in IBM’s x86 server revenues increased the revenue market share
difference between IBM and its nearest competitor. IBM is also the leader in the
Linux server market in India.

The fact that we have managed to sustain our leadership is because of our
strong focus on the volume server market and key competitive winbacks.
Pioneering efforts in leading technologies like blades and dedicated marketing
focus on the SMB segments have definitely contributed to the annual revenue
growth. We intend to further consolidate our market share this year and extend
our business focus to offer solutions for the government, telecom and FSS

IBM Systems Group offers customers worldwide the most comprehensive range of
servers and storage products available in the market today. Beyond the breadth
of its product line, IBM is integrating three key innovations across its servers
and storage systems: Linux, Autonomic Computing and Grid Computing.

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