Universal Tax Systems Standardizes on Oracle® and NetApp® Unified Storage

Sunnyvale, Calif. - July 19, 2004 -- Network Appliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP), the leader in advanced networked storage solutions for today's data-intensive enterprise, today announced that Universal Tax Systems, Inc.® (UTS) has standardized on the Oracle Database and Oracle Real Application Clusters and NetApp unified storage solutions for business-critical production systems to help ensure uninterrupted data processing during the tax season. UTS publishes the popular TaxWise® suite of professional tax preparation software. TaxWise is used by professional tax preparers, CPAs, and others to process six million tax returns and e-filing transactions annually.

The high-availability Oracle Database on NetApp storage architecture provides UTS with the reliability and high performance necessary to support 250 customer service representatives and more than 100 simultaneous processes constantly pounding production databases.

The UTS environment includes Oracle Real Application Clusters implemented across clustered production servers running Windows® Advanced Server. Terabyte-sized tax return database volumes, including the UTS Electronic Filing Center database, and data warehouses are stored via iSCSI on a clustered NetApp unified storage systems. NetApp Snapshot™ technology, along with NetApp SnapMirror® and SnapRestore® software, enables rapid database backup and recovery. The structure is designed to ensure that even in the event of a major outage, UTS can stay well within its target recovery window.

UTS has also consolidated shared company files from its company directory onto an additional NetApp unified cluster, a cost-saving transition that enabled retirement of RAID-configured "superserver" systems. Configured with both CIFS and iSCSI protocols, the NetApp unified storage system serves as a store for corporate home directories, a development platform, and storage for business-critical TaxWise software builds.

"We run our business on the Oracle Real Application Clusters and NetApp unified storage because we cannot risk being down during tax season," says Brian Peterson, Information Technology manager at Universal Tax Systems. "Our customers-CPAs, tax preparers, banks-count on us to keep up with processing demands. In many cases we have 24 hours to receive and process a batch of returns, making capacity and reliability critical to our success.

NetApp is a certified partner of the Oracle PartnerNetwork, and its storage solutions complement Oracle software with the iSCSI protocol for optimized block-level data access, plus features that enhance development and test processes, ensure the most economical use of storage resources, and assist in management of the clustered environment. NetApp unified storage leverages the existing UTS infrastructure, eliminating the need for implementation of a separate SAN structure with dedicated support staff-a benefit representing nearly $200,000 in savings of hardware and administration for UTS. The Oracle products provide scalable performance to handle UTS processing spikes and increasingly large data volumes. In addition, Oracle and NetApp have a joint escalation team in place so that customers only have to place one call for product support.

"NetApp provides us with responsive customer support, and our collaborative business partnership enables us to anticipate and resolve problems, as well as plan for our long-term business needs," says Peterson.

About Universal Tax Systems

UTS, a leader in the field of tax technology, publishes the TaxWise suite of professional income tax preparation software. UTS provides tax preparation software for CPAs, accounting professionals, Enrolled Agents, tax preparers, and bank product dealers across the country. UTS has ranked in the Inc. 500 and received a congressional nomination for the National Medal of Technology Award. Located in Rome, Georgia, UTS employs more than 300 people.

About the Oracle PartnerNetwork

The Oracle PartnerNetwork is a global business network of more than 13,000 companies that deliver innovative enterprise software solutions based on Oracle software. Through access to Oracle's premier products, education, technical services, marketing and sales support, the Oracle PartnerNetwork provides partners with the resources they need to be successful in today's Internet economy. Oracle partners are able to offer customers leading-edge solutions backed by Oracle's position as the world's largest enterprise software company. Partners who are able to demonstrate superior product knowledge, technical expertise and a commitment to doing business with Oracle qualify for the Oracle Certified Partner level. These partners receive a higher level of service, support, training and certification from Oracle.

About Network Appliance

Network Appliance is a world leader in unified storage solutions for today's data-intensive enterprise. Since its inception in 1992, Network Appliance has delivered technology, product, and partner firsts that continue to drive "The evolution of storage.™" Information about Network Appliance™ solutions and services is available at www.netapp.com.


Jaime Leigh Le
Network Appliance
(408) 822-3761

Benjamin Armour
Universal Tax Systems
(706) 625-7757

John Lewis
Campbell-Lewis Communications for Universal Tax Systems
(202) 261-6548