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Ideal Hardware today announces it has been officially appointed as a Compaq SAN System Integrator (SSI) following a comprehensive audit undertaken by Compaq. This prestigious accreditation will only be held by a small number of Compaq channel partners in the United Kingdom.

We are extremely proud to have been awarded this accreditation,” comments Mark Walker, systems and enterprise director at Ideal Hardware. “Our SSI status is an endorsement of our skills, signifying we have met Compaq’s requirements in being able to deliver complex Open SAN solutions. A key part of the SSI accreditation is the capability to plan, design, configure, install and test complex SAN solutions.”

“In fulfilling our criteria for Compaq SSI accreditation, Ideal Hardware has demonstrated that it is able to successfully manage its customers’ SAN requirements,” says David Sedgwick, Compaq storage business manager.

“The SAN market is growing rapidly, and it is important for customers to have confidence tht they are dealing with companies that can manage their requirements effectively. Compaq audits SSI accredited companies stringently to ensure they remain capable of building and implementing appropriate SAN solutions.”

“This accreditation means Ideal Hardware can assist resellers who want to move into the SAN market yet lack the skill set to do so,” continues Mark Walker. “SSI status puts Ideal Hardware firmly on the map as a Enterprise solution provider.”

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For further information please contact:

Wai Tang Ideal Hardware
020 8286 5000
wtang@ideal.co.uk

Sharon Smith
Ideal Press Office
020 7375 3633
ssmith@metro-media.co.uk




Editor’s Note:

Ideal Hardware Limited www.ideal.co.uk, 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-recognised 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 compl!
ete 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 and Rorke Data 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 the company’s SEC filings, or by visiting the Bell Microproducts Web site at http://www.bellmicro.com

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.

About Compaq

Compaq Computer Corporation, a Fortune Global 100 company, is the largest supplier of computing systems in the world. Compaq designs, develops, manufactures and markets hardware, software, solutions and services, including industry-leading enterprise computing solutions, fault-tolerant business-critical solutions and communications products, commercial desktop and portable products and consumer PCs.

Compaq products and services are sold in more than 200 countries directly to businesses, through a network of authorised Compaq marketing partners, and directly to businesses and consumers through Compaq's e-commerce Web site at http://www.compaq.co.uk.

Compaq was established in the UK in 1984 and is headquartered in Richmond, Surrey. Compaq markets its products and services primarily to customers from the business, home, government, and education sectors. Customer support and information about Compaq and its products and services are available at http://www.compaq.co.uk

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