Best Of The Best: Awards At Interop Honor Tech Innovation

Top honor goes to Palo Alto Networks for its next-generation firewall; other standouts include Vidyo for its videoconferencing suite and Foundry Networks for its eco-friendly approach to manufacturing.
Virtualization is changing the rules for how data centers run, but to fully realize the benefits, the infrastructure must change, too. One way that's happening is through the convergence of data and storage networking and full I/O virtualization. Mellanox Technologies wins our Data Center and Storage category for its ConnectX EN with Fibre Channel over Ethernet, which is the first production NIC to off-load FCoE processing from the main CPU. The card provides I/O virtualization along with FCoE off-load at 10 Gbps.

Similarly, Cisco Systems takes the top honors in our Infrastructure category with its Nexus 7000 Series switch. Though few of the 7000's features are unique, the collection points the direction for the future of the data center's infrastructure. The features include a modular operating system; 15 Tbps total throughput, supporting 10 Gbps links now, and the promise of 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps in the future; an XML-exposed management API; and virtualized I/O support.

Cisco gets another nod in our Network and Application Performance Optimization category, for its Wide Area Application Engine 674. This appliance provides a unified platform for Cisco's WAN optimization, wide area application services, and Application and Content Networking System software. The result is a single box option for optimizing the performance of most applications to remote offices, including real-time apps like video.

In Network Management, Software and Services, Splunk wins for the latest version of its Splunk Platform, which seeks to capture and organize log, trap, and configuration data. While Splunk concentrates on organizing what your infrastructure tells you, the winner of the Software category, Spigit, uses its software, called IdeaSpigit, to organize and qualify ideas that come from customers and business partners.

In VoIP and Collaboration, Mitel takes the award for its comprehensive Mitel Communications Suite. It collaborated with Sun Microsystems on a system that puts multiple instances of Mitel's call server on Sun Fire servers, and uses Sun's thin Sun Ray clients, along with Mitel's Mobility Extensions, to create an efficient server back end and flexible, secure end-user environment.

In Wireless and Mobility, AirMagnet earns top honors for its Analyzer and Survey Suite for 802.11n. AirMagnet's not only first to market with 802.11n support, but it has added features that address the unique nature of the 11n specification.

-- With John Foley, Steven Hill, and Tim Wilson

Editors' Choice
Elizabeth Montalbano, Contributor, Dark Reading
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer, Dark Reading