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New systems broaden mid-tier opportunities for channel

Chessington, UK . – February 9, 2004 – Ideal today welcomed the new line of next-generation CLARiiON CX networked storage systems.

Mark Walker, enterprise director, Ideal, said: “The CLARiiON CX series remains the cornerstone of our EMC business as resellers continue to take advantage of our professional services for commissioning and installation. Not only do these new products highlight the continued development of the CLARiiON range, but also the ongoing development of EMC’s software integration tools.”

Channel sales are driven by great price performance and investment protection which are inherent in the latest CLARiiON CX300, CX500 and CX700 systems. Alongside EMC’s enhanced software capabilities for increased data replication and powerful backup and recovery this will further open up the mid-tier market to high performance storage solutions.

Neil Strenge, technology strategy manager at VAR, Omnetica, comments “This is great news for companies such as Omnetica. EMC is pushing high end functionality down the range which in turn will broaden the number of application environments which we can sell into.”

Next-Generation CLARiiON CX Series

The next-generation CLARiiON CX series includes:

• The CLARiiON CX300 - the new entry-point of the CX series is targeted for workgroup environments that require direct-attached and full SAN functionality in a small package. The CLARiiON CX300 delivers 25% more performance than the CX200 it replaces and the broadest range of host operating system support in its class including UNIX*, Windows, Linux and Netware. The CX300 now offers customers array-based local replication capabilities via EMC SnapView software. The CX300 is also available as a data-in-place upgrade from any previous-generation CLARiiON CX system.

• The CLARiiON CX500 - targeted for departmental applications that require more horsepower as well as local and remote replication. The CX500 delivers 100% more performance, connectivity and capacity compared to the prior generation CX400, and is a data-in-place upgrade from any previous-generation CLARiiON CX system.

• The CLARiiON CX700 - represents the most powerful mid-tier storage array available today. The CX700 delivers 33% more performance than the CX600 and is the first system in its class to deliver 200,000 IOs per second. Targeted at data center applications, the CX700 offers double the number of back-end channels, allowing linear performance scaling up to 240 drives. The CX700 is also available as a data-in-place upgrade from any previous-generation CLARiiON CX system.

All current and previous CLARiiON CX models can now support 73GB 15,000 RPM Fibre Channel drives. The new CLARiiON CX systems continue to offer customers the unique ability to mix and match both Fibre Channel and ATA disk technology within the same system to help customers achieve a broad range of service levels in tiered storage environments.

New Replication Functionality

Today, EMC also announced two new replication software capabilities that help CLARiiON customers reduce cost, and increase the frequency of local and remote replications. The new functionality adds to the mid-tier storage industry's broadest range of software. The new software functionality includes:

• SAN Copy software has been enhanced to offer incremental point-in-time copy function, allowing customers to reduce transmission costs, while increasing the frequency of data replication. Customers can use this innovative, array-based data movement software to move information between EMC and non-EMC systems. New SAN Copy support for Sun and IBM arrays has been added to existing support for HPQ and EMC arrays.

• SnapView Integration Modules for Microsoft Applications offer customers new ways to leverage storage capabilities directly from applications to simplify key tasks of replicating and recovering information. SnapView Integration Module for Exchange 2003 and SnapView Integration Module for SQL Server. Supporting Microsoft Volume Shadowcopy Services (VSS), these software modules simplify and automate the backup and recovery process in Microsoft environments. Customers can exploit the benefits of SnapView replication with an easy-to-use graphical interface.

All software enhancements are available on current and previous CX generations.

About Ideal

Ideal is the UK division of Bell Microproducts Europe. Bell Microproducts Europe is a unique channel focused supplier of hardware and software products and services ranging from components to high-level consultancy.

Each Bell Microproducts Europe business operates in the following key technology markets:

Enterprise Solutions - Focusing on high-end storage solutions. Branded as Ideal Enterprise Solutions in UK and Bell Microproducts Solutions in all other European territories.

Systems - Focusing primarily on the Intel based server, desktop and mobile


Software - Focusing on the sales of software, primarily through its on-online licensing tool LDi (Licence Desk internet);

Mass Storage - Focusing on disk drives and storage components;

Professional Services - Storage consultancy engaging with end users to create a market for resellers.

Bell Microproducts Europe is headquartered in Chessington in the UK with operations in France (Paris) Germany (Munich); Italy (Milan); Netherlands (Amersfoort); Belgium (Brussels); and Sweden (Stockholm).

Bell Microproducts Solutions is headquartered in Almere, The Netherlands with operations in Belgium (Brussels), Germany (Frankfurt) and Austria (Vienna).

Bell Microproducts Europe is part of the $2 billion NASDAQ listed Bell Microproducts Inc, one of the world's largest storage focused IT companies operating from more than 40 locations, and employing over 1,100 people across the US, Canada, Latin America, the UK and Europe.

In the UK Bell Microproducts Europe owns and operates Ideal Hardware. Ideal Hardware was voted Storage Distributor of the Year at the Computer Reseller News Channel Awards 2002 for the fourth consecutive year.

About Bell Microproducts

Bell Microproducts is an international, value-added provider of a wide range of high-technology products, solutions, and services to the industrial and commercial markets. The company is an industry-recognized specialist in storage products and is one of the world's largest storage-centric value-added distributors with offices 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

Safe Harbor Statement

This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the 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 described from time to time in the Company's reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (including the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K). Investors should take such risks into account when making investment decisi
ons. 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.


EMC, CLARiiON and Symmetrix are registered trademarks and MirrorView, SAN Copy, SnapView are trademarks of EMC Corporation. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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