Interop, the IT industry's biggest networking event, closed out its 25th annual outing by selecting the best of the best of products to allocate, secure, manage and improve the performance of the increasingly extended IT environment. A total of 135 entries qualified for the Best of Interop, an event produced by UBM TechWeb, the publisher of Network Computing. Additionally, according to two surveys at Interop, there are major concerns about cloud management and the flood of consumer devices invading the corporate network.
VMware vCenter Operations Standard 1.0 took top spot for Best of Interop (Overall) and Cloud Computing Category Winner, ahead of Quest Cloud Automation Platform and Vembu Technologies' StoreGrid Professional Edition v 3.6. VidyoMobile won in the Collaboration category, with honorable mentions going to Cisco WebEx with Media Services Interface (MSI) client and NetScout Systems' Unified Communications delivery management extension to nGenius Service Assurance Solution. For the Data Center & Storage category, Alcatel-Lucent Data Center Switching Solution Blueprint beat out Juniper Networks' Qfabric: The QFX3000 Series and Mellanox Technologies' Ethernet Switch System.
The Infrastructure Category went to NEC ProgrammableFlow Switch, over Broadcom BCM56840 Series and Cisco's Catalyst C-SeriesCompact Switches. The Network Management, Monitoring and Testing category went to BreakingPoint FireStorm CTM, topping Cisco Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) and Citrix AppFlow. Talari Networks's APN Mercury T750 Appliance was best in Performance Optimization, followed by Certeon's aCelera Cloud and Riverbed Technology's Whitewater.
Barracuda Web Security Flex secured top spot in Security, ahead of Ixia's IxLoad-Attack and Juniper Networks' vGW Virtual Gateway, while Citrix Receiver for iPhone won the Wireless & Mobility category, beating out Enterasys Cloud Wireless Solutions and VMware View Client for iPad. Ciphertex Data Security was selected as Best Start-Up, drawing attention for its CX-RANGER-EX, a portable AES 256-bit hardware-based encrypted RAID system with eSATA, FireWire 800, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connectivity, and offering up to 15Tbytes of storage capacity.
According to ScienceLogic, a provider of IT operations and cloud management solutions, nearly 70% of 150 Interop attendees surveyed have deployed or plan to deploy cloud computing, but nearly as many admit to not having confidence in the strategy for managing the performance of those cloud computing resources. Of those 70%, more than half are looking at private (33%) or public (25%) clouds, while only a few are currently looking at hybrid clouds.
Another survey of 100 Interop attendees, by Enterasys, reported that respondents are concerned with personal devices connecting to the corporate network; have experienced security breaches recently, yet admit to violating their own policies; and suspect their own employees and executives violate corporate policies. Nearly 70% are somewhat or absolutely concerned with personal mobile devices (such as iPads, iPhones and Android-based devices) connecting to the corporate network, while 84 percent indicate their corporate network is protected from devices that are poorly managed and/or unpatched. Thirty-five percent admit to violating their corporate policy at least occasionally, and 78% use personal devices for business-related purposes or use corporate devices to connect to personal applications.
Enterasys says respondents were conflicted about how allowing employees to use their own devices impacts productivity, 63% were worried about decreased employee productivity, while 62% indicated improved employee productivity is a somewhat or very influential factor in allowing employees to use their own devices.