Organizers of Interop, one of the industry's top technology events, announced winners of the 2013 Best of Interop competition. Award winners were announced Tuesday, May 7 on the expo floor during Interop Las Vegas, taking place this week, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
The Best of Interop awards program is designed to recognize some of the world's most innovative technologies across seven major categories related to IT. This year, nearly 150 companies submitted products for consideration. A team of 16 judges, comprised of 16 IT editors and analysts, selected finalists based on the products they believe have the "greatest potential to impact and advance business technology efficiencies."
Kudos to the Finalists
As with most awards programs like these, the winners don't necessarily represent the absolute best solutions in any given category. Instead, they can be viewed as stand-outs in some way, in the eyes of the judges, in comparison with other products whose own companies nominated them for consideration.
Very often, in competitions like this, new and lesser-known brands can make a name for themselves. While winning a Best of Interop award doesn't necessarily mean a product or service is the best in its class, the title is still prestigious and kudos go to the finalists as well as the winners of each category.
Out of the 150 submissions, three finalists were selected for each of 7 categories: cloud computing & virtualization, data center & storage, management & monitoring, networking, performance optimization & testing, security, wireless/mobility & BYOD support. We've listed the finalists below as well as the winner in each category.
Cloud Computing & Virtualization
ExtraHop Networks: ExtraHop for Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Brocade: Brocade Software Networking Solution
Riverbed Technology: Next Generation ADC Technology
ExtraHop for Amazon Web Services (AWS) won the Cloud Computing & Virtualization award because, the judges said, "it does something that's not been possible before" -- offering visibility into how all parts of a 's systems are performing in the cloud. While Amazon Web Services give a list of statistics, ExtraHop got the nod for giving the extra info IT managers need to be able to know exactly what's happening at any given moment.
Data Center & Storage
OCZ Technology: ZD-XL SQL Accelerator
Dell: Dell Networking S5000
HP: HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000 Storage
OCZ Technology won the Data Center & Storage category with its ZD-XL SQL Accelerator that the company says can boost database performance to run between 3 and 20 times faster. The judges were impressed that, in addition to constantly monitoring and fine-tuning current caching needs, the ZD-XL SQL Accelerator also offers "a rule-based, pre-warming cache engine that lets administrators pre-load cache contents to accommodate specific workloads that run at scheduled times."
Management & Monitoring
ScienceLogic: ScienceLogic EM7 v7.3
ExtraHop Networks: EH8000
ScienceLogic dominated the Management & Monitoring category with its Smart IT software that delivers comprehensive, multi-tenant support for Amazon Web Services and vCloud Director. Lead judge Steven Hill described the current version, EM7 v7.3, as "pretty much the network administrator's equivalent of Batman's amazing utility belt, offering practically any customizable tool you need when you need it."
Performance Optimization & Testing
Talari Networks: APN 3.0 Operating Software
PathSolutions: PathSolutions Network Performance Manager, Release 4.3
Mellanox Technologies: Unstructured Data Accelerator (UDA) Version 3.1
Talari's Adaptive Private Network (APN) 3.0 won the Performance Optimization & Testing category for its ability to provide a dynamic, simple and robust private network over existing WAN technologies, with minimal effort required for configuration and management. Judge Mike Fratto, who is a senior analyst with Current Analysis, pointed out how Talari's APN 3.0 builds a mesh network between destinations and tunnels network traffic through the best path. This process helps ensure application performance regardless of what's happening in the underlying network.
The Hacker Academy: HackRack
F5 Networks: Application Delivery Firewall
Solera Networks: Solera DeepSee Virtual Appliance
The Hacker Academy's HackRack won the Security category by offering a solution to the industry's shortage of skilled security professionals. HackRack uses a virtualized training environment to give security and IT people a simulated attack environment, enabling them to learn how best to react to different threat scenarios -- much the same way that pilots learn to fly in flight simulators.
Wireless, Mobility & BYOD Support
Citrix: Mobile Solutions Bundle
Cisco: Adaptive Radio Modules for the 3600 Access Point
Citrix won the Wireless & BYOD Support competition with its Mobile Solutions Bundle that helps gives enterprises a comprehensive mobile device management (MDM) solution. Judge Lee Badman, who is a network and wireless engineer with Syracuse University, said, "Citrix makes short work of a complicated challenge," referring to the strong defenses it provides against data leakage and the helpful audit trails it provides for dealing with bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environments.
Arista Networks: 7500E Data Center Switch
Aryaka Networks: Network as-a-Service (NaaS)
NetScout Systems: nGenius 3900 series packet flow switch
Arista Networks won the Networking category as well as the Best of Interop Grand Award with its 7500E Data Center Switch.
The judges said the 7500E switch is worthy of note for its ability to take on "huge networks brimming with virtual hosts." The Arista switch boasts a "30 Tbps backplane, or 3.84 Tbps per slot, supporting a mix of 10, 40 and 100 GbE, maxing out at 1,152, 288 and 96 ports respectively."
In addition, the judges said that what really sets the 7500E apart from the competition is its embedded optical modules, which are used in place of standard CFP modules, in the 100 GbE cards. This means there's no need for expensive, separately packaged optics and, "the result is a dramatic reduction in the total cost per port."