Corporate Liaisons: PlanetCAD & CADKEY Team Up. Icron Signs Supply Agreement With SGI. Andersen & Compaq Strike Agreement.

September 29, 2000

SHORT TAKES

PLANETCAD AND CADKEY ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP

Boulder, COLO. — PlanetCAD, a division of Spatial Inc., a leading developer of Web-hosted engineering application services and solutions and component 3D modeling technology, announced an agreement involving two of PlanetCAD’s application services and CADKEY Corporation’s comprehensive CADKEY Web Store. Under the terms of the agreement, PlanetCAD’s 3Dshare.com and Bits2Parts.com application services will be accessible from the CADKEY Web Store ( http://www.cadkey.com/webstore ). As application services, 3Dshare.com and Bits2Parts.com will allow manufacturing and design engineers seamless access to advanced model healing and interoperability services and request-for-quotation (RFQ) solutions via the CADKEY Web Store.

“The CADKEY partnership further extends PlanetCAD’s outreach in the engineering world. The tremendous traffic numbers that the CADKEY site bring to the table will greatly increase PlanetCAD’s visibility,” said Bruce Morgan, president and CEO of Spatial. “The acceptance of 3Dshare.com within the manufacturing and design engineering community speaks for itself. But what really excites me is the fact that Bits2Parts.com is now turning heads. The CADKEY alliance is proof positive that industry leaders see the value in the PlanetCAD services, and soon, so will their customers.” The advanced 3D geometry file translation and healing capabilities that have attracted numerous industry players to ally with 3Dshare.com will now be made available to the thirty thousand unique monthly visitors of the CADKEY site, which recently recorded its highest Web traffic in history with two million hits per month. PlanetCAD’s 3Dshare.com now has similar partnerships with four CAD and manufacturing industry sites that will reach more than three million potential users.

ICRON SIGNS SUPPLY AGREEMENT WITH SGI

Vancouver, CANADA — Icron Systems, Inc. announced that it has signed a supply agreement with SGI to integrate its USB Ranger family of products, powered by ExtremeUSB technology, into the recently introduced SGI 3000 family of systems. SGI will integrate the USB Ranger 400 into the SGI Onyx 3000 series of visualization systems. It will also be the latest advanced computer systems from SGI, employing a breakthrough modular design and computer architecture that stand to revolutionize high-performance computing. Available today, the SGI 3000 family of systems promises flexibility, resiliency, overall investment protection, superior performance and scalability combined with world-leading graphics capabilities. Mats Gerschman, Icron’s president and CEO, stated, “This is exactly what we have been waiting for. This ongoing supply agreement with SGI is industry validation that ExtremeUSB technology delivers value to the most demanding computing environments. With over US$2 billion in annual revenues, SGI has extremely high quality standards. I am pleased that our USB Ranger products have exceeded the heightened benchmarks SGI has established. Icron is committed to building a lasting relationship with SGI. We understand that we will do this only if the products and technology we provide are both ahead of the curve and precisely what SGI’s customers want.”

Simon Hayhurst, SGI’s product line manager of Advanced Graphics Systems, stated, “SGI Onyx 3000 series systems frequently support many simultaneous graphics users working at a distance from the machine itself. The USB Ranger is key to supporting such users.” This supply agreement is the first win Icron Systems has announced with a major server manufacturer. By selecting ExtremeUSB technology, high- performance computing leader SGI has validated the need for, and the acceptance of, Icron’s USB extension technology in the server and computer markets. USB Ranger products, with ExtremeUSB technology, have already gained acceptance in the keyboard, video and mouse extension, entertainment, professional audio video, industrial control, computer telephony and computer distribution markets.

ANDERSEN CONSULTING AND COMPAQ STRIKE AGREEMENT

Houston, TEXAS — Compaq Computer Corporation and Andersen Consulting announced they are extending their long-time relationship by teaming up to help companies and organizations build large-scale business applications on lower-cost platforms, utilizing the newly announced Microsoft .NET technologies. Driving the agreement is the increasing demand by “new enterprise” companies to migrate mission-critical applications to industry-standard platforms and operating systems in order to drive down their overall costs of computing and simplify their complex computing environments. As Windows 2000 and .NET emerge as the next generation of Internet- and enterprise-ready platforms, Andersen Consulting and Compaq will bring a new level of economics to enterprise customers while working to preserve the reliability and availability needed in a mission-critical environment.

The agreement includes the launching of performance and scalability centers that will develop next-generation enterprise and e-business solutions based on the Microsoft Windows 2000 and .NET Enterprise server products and Compaq ProLiant servers and related storage. Along with Compaq hardware, the centers will feature the expertise of Andersen Consulting’s Microsoft Solutions Organization (MSO). The first two centers, to be opened at an existing Andersen Consulting facility in Cincinnati and on the Compaq campus in Houston, will facilitate the joint development of vertical and cross-industry solutions. Jointly staffed, the centers will operate as one, allowing experts in either location to concurrently work on the same project, helping accelerate turnaround time. Services provided by the centers will be available immediately. “We believe by combining Compaq’s world-class industry-standard ProLiant servers with Andersen Consulting’s expertise in business process design and applications, we will be able to accelerate delivering the advantages of the Windows 2000 and .NET Server platform to the enterprise,” said Mary T. McDowell, Vice President and General Manager, Compaq Industry Standard Server Group. “Together, we will deliver innovative, Windows 2000 enterprise platform-based solutions to help customers achieve immediate and concrete business results.”

GIGANET SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH NETWORK APPLIANCE

Concord, MASS. — Giganet, Inc., a leader in VI-based data center networks, announced that the company has entered into a worldwide reseller agreement with Network Appliance, Inc., a leading provider of network-attached data access and content management systems. The agreement provides Network Appliance with access and distribution rights to Giganet’s new VI/IP products, the industry’s first VI over Ethernet/IP networking products for the industry-leading Network Appliance filers. The network attached storage (NAS) market is projected to grow to $6.5B by 2003 and Network Appliance is a recognized leader in this market. Market growth is fueled by the desire of enterprises to reduce the cost and complexity of managing their data, while providing the growing number of Internet users with access to online information.

The new reseller agreement follows a joint technology development relationship between Giganet and Network Appliance, announced in late July, and designed to optimize Giganet’s VI/IP technology for Network Appliance. Giganet’s new VI over Ethernet/IP products can double application throughput while reducing to one fifth the computing resources needed to deliver data across existing Ethernet networks. Giganet’s VI/IP 1Gb host adapter cards will reside in the NetApp filers, enabling them to deliver more data to more users, faster. Giganet has also joined with Network Appliance and other leading vendors in the Direct Access File System (DAFS) Collaborative. DAFS is an effort to promote a standard for VI-based file system access across a network. More information is available at: http://www.dafscollaborative.org .

AGILENT TO DEMONSTRATE ISCSI TECHNOLOGY WITH HP

Atlanta, GA. — Agilent Technologies Inc. announced that it will jointly demonstrate Internet Protocol (IP) Storage Area Network (SAN) technology with Hewlett-Packard Company. IP SAN provides a technology that permits SANs to operate over high-speed Ethernet – thus taking advantage of both the existing Ethernet infrastructure and newer, faster Ethernet speeds as they become available. IP SAN, also known as iSCSI (Internet protocol small computer system interface), uses the IP networking infrastructure to quickly transport large amounts of block storage (SCSI) data over existing local area and wide area networks. With the potential to support all major networking protocols, IP SAN can unify network architecture across an entire enterprise, reducing the overall network cost and complexity. To ensure reliability, IP SAN can use known network management tools and utilities that have been developed for IP networks.

Agilent and HP’s demonstration will transport data across an IP network that uses HP UX servers, Ethernet switches and enterprise storage systems. Agilent will contribute IP SAN technology, host adapter boards and software. “This proof-of-concept demonstration is intended to show the viability of IP SAN technology,” said Bob Whitson, worldwide marketing manager for Agilent’s Storage Networking Division. “We plan to develop products that enable our customers to quickly implement interoperable, high-performance networks that deliver on the promise of IP SAN technology.” Agilent and Hewlett-Packard will hold the demonstration at NetWorld+Interop from Sept. 26 to 29 in HP’s booth. Agilent will also demonstrate IP SAN technology and IP SAN interoperability in its booth. Visit http://www.agilent.com for more information.

CORNING TO BUY PIRELLI’S OPTICAL TECH

New York, N.Y. — Fiber-optic cable maker Corning Inc. said it would acquire a 90 percent stake in optical components maker Optical Technologies from Italian cable and tire company Pirelli SpA for $3.6 billion in an effort to expand its product mix. Optical Technologies, which is currently unprofitable, makes lasers, components and specialty fibers that are used to transmit information – sent in the form of light signals – through communications networks at high speeds. The deal allows Pirelli to cash in on the value of the small unit at a time when the U.S. optical components market is consolidating. Pirelli will invest the proceeds from the sale in the development of new technologies in its core tire and cables business, Chairman and Chief Executive Marco Tronchetti Provera told a news conference.

Corning, meanwhile, gets access to new products such as specialty fibers, which manage light signals as they travel across networks, or fiber gratings, which help manipulate or redirect light wavelengths. The equipment helps glass fiber networks carry more data at faster speeds. Corning also gains a manufacturing facility in Milan at time when it and other telecommunications equipment makers are struggling to produce enough products to meet exploding customer demand. Telephone companies and Internet service providers are rushing to install new networks that can handle the growing amount of information generated by use of the Web. Pirelli said the deal values Delaware-based Optical Technologies at $3.9 billion – 165 times full-year 2000 sales and well above the average 109 times for the U.S. market. Valentino Romeri, an analyst at Rasfin in Milan, said the price was “astronomical” compared with valuations for other companies in the sector such as JDS Uniphase Corp. of Canada and the U.S. firm Avanex Corp. “If you look at the other transactions that have been done in this sector, they’re not at this price level,” Romeri said. Other analysts said Corning had to pay a high price in order to secure the deal and ward off other interested suitors.

FORTRA AND MICROTEST PARTNER

Chatsworth, CALIF. — JMR Electronics and Microtest have announced a partnership to provide the first NAS engine-enclosure combination for storage VAR and integrator channels. The FORTRA by JMR line will be providing the NAS (RAID) enclosure for this solution, while Microtest will provide the network-attached storage (NAS) engine/appliance. The NAS platform will enable VARs to quickly configure solutions to meet specific customer applications. The partnership follows the production of a re-designed FORTRA enclosure that will accommodate Microtest’s FileZerver engine with a certified tape drive of your choice for backup. Distributors will sell the product combination as a kit SKU, with the option to custom install a wide choice of hard drives and tape drives. The pre-certified, plug-and-play solution will reduce installation and support overhead costs for VARs and integrators. Additionally, the solution can be private-labeled for those who wish to market the solution under their own brand names and are willing to enter into an OEM agreement.

“Our NAS development partnership with JMR Electronics, one of the preeminent storage enclosure manufacturers in the world, will allow us to provide the foundation of a mid-range NAS solution for our storage integrators,” said Rob Strong, director of sales, Microtest Network Appliances and Storage. “As a result of this partnership, our storage integrators and VARs will enjoy shorter time to market, access to cross-trained technical support teams and sales opportunities.” JMR and Microtest will extend their partnership to a broad-based marketing and education effort. Both companies want to educate others to understand the importance and benefits of NAS solutions in the storage market. In accord with that belief, JMR and Microtest will offer joint-training sessions, road shows, and advertising campaigns to launch and support this unique initiative. “Our partnership with Microtest yet again demonstrates our commitment to providing multi-faceted storage solutions,” said Duran Alabi, director of strategic marketing at JMR Electronics. “JMR’s global presence in the storage industry complements Microtest’s excellent network-attached solutions. The demand for this type of NAS solution has been high — and finally we have a product to meet that demand. This initiative will allow our VARs, integrators and distributors to offer a reliable, certified and cost-effective NAS solution.” Visit http://www.fortra.net or http://www.microtest.com for more information.

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