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Ideal Hardware has announced the launch of a series of open storage solutions events across the UK supported by more than 20 of its top vendors. Bringing together the biggest ever collection of vendors in the SAN market, 'SANblast' will showcase a fully interoperable Open SAN using a variety of vendor components and will also feature a SAN master class to give an overview of Open SAN.

Ideal Hardware Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bell Microproducts Inc., is the UK's leading storage distributor and has designed the events - planned for London, Manchester and Birmingham - to incorporate presentations and demonstrations on the impact of Open SAN solutions using the "Best of Breed" elements from SAN.

The 'SANblast' day-long events will be open to both resellers and corporate end-users. Commenting on the announcement Ian Lockhart, Ideal's enterprise business manager, said: "SANs is a strategic issue which cannot be ignored. We realised that despite the significance of SAN to the corporate environment, there is a massive lack of awareness on selection and implementation of both software and hardware environments. With more than 20 major vendors participating, this will be a unique opportunity for resellers to understand the crucial points in selling and implementing SANs solutions. Additionally, a limited number of corporate end-users will be invited to the event."

"Ideal's dedicated resource, the Enterprise Solutions Group, combined with UniSolve, Ideal's technical and configuration arm, is well positioned to deliver open SAN solutions to meet customer demands,” adds Ian Lockhart. "With five seminar tracks at each event running simultaneously, we will be focusing on solutions providers, components, disaster recovery and storage management. We are delighted that our key vendors in the storage market have supported us in this venture. It emphasises once again that our strong relationships with brand leaders in this sector has secured us the Storage Distributor of the Year 2000 award for the second year in succession."

Companies supporting the event are: ADIC, ATL, BakBone Software, Brocade, CA, Chaparrel, Ciprico, Compaq, Crossroads Systems, Emulex, Fujitsu Siemens, Gadzoox, Hewlett Packard, Highground, JNI, Legato, Overland, Quantum/ATL, Quantum Snap, Sagitta, Stor-Age, Storagetek, Veritas and Vixel.

The free, invitation only events will be held at the following venues:

18th April 2001 The Cumberland Hotel, London.

24th May 2001 The Lowry Hotel, Manchester.

19th June 2001 The Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham.


For further information please contact:

Liz Stanford Ideal Hardware 020 8286 5143

Geoff Ellis Ideal Press Office 020 7375 3633

Editor's Note:

Ideal Hardware Limited the wholly owned subsidiary of US based Bell Microproducts Inc., is a leading UK based value-added, storage-centric distributor focusing on the high end of the storage market. Ideal is also a leading distributor of Compaq servers, PCs and storage products and is one of only 12 Compaq distributors worldwide to be awarded the prestigious CIP accreditation for high-end products. Ideal has strategic relationships with approximately 80 suppliers of Enterprise storage, computer systems, software and media products. These strategic products are packaged with Ideal's value-added programmes and services to provide complete NAS, SAS and SAN solutions.

Bell Microproducts Inc is an international value-added provider of a wide range of high technology products, solutions, and services to the industrial and commercial marketplace. The company's offering includes semiconductors, computer platforms, peripherals, and storage products of various types including desktop, high-end computer and storage subsystems, fibre channel connectivity products, RAID, NAS and SAN storage systems and back-up products.

Bell Microproducts is an industry-recognized specialist in storage products and is one of the world's largest storage-centric value-added distributors. The company's products are available at any level of integration from components, to subsystem assemblies, to fully integrated, tested and certified system solutions. The company adds value with a broad range of services including testing, software loading, kitting, mass storage system integration, and computer system integration. Trained and certified technical personnel complete each of these processes at Bell Microproducts' ISO 9002 facilities. Bell Microproducts markets and distributes more than 150 brand name product lines, as well as its own BellStor storage and Trademark(R) computer brands, to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), contract electronic manufacturing services (EMS) customers, value-added resellers (VARs) and system integrators in the Americas and Europe. More information can be found in SEC filings, or by visiting the Bell Microproducts Web site at

Note: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company's current views of future events and financial performance, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or facts to differ materially from such statements for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: the ability to successfully integrate the operations of recent acquisitions, industry conditions, changes in product supply, pricing, and customer demand, competition, other vagaries in the computer and electronic components markets, changes in relationships with key suppliers, foreign currency fluctuations and the other risks and information described from time to time in the company's reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (including the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Current Reports on Form 8-K regarding this and other transactions). Investors should take such risks into account when making investment decisions. Shareholders and other readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. The company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements.

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