Best of Interop ITX 2017 Winners Revealed

  • The 2017 Best of Interop ITX awards were announced last week, recognizing groundbreaking IT products from Interop ITX exhibitors. The winners were presented with their prizes in a ceremony Thursday afternoon in the Interop ITX Business Hall.

    The awards honor IT products that are making significant technological advancements in five critical areas of IT: cloud, data & analytics, DevOps, infrastructure, and security. The winners tackle new problems or provide innovative ways to solve stubborn IT issues.

    The Best of Interop ITX panel of judges, which included IT practitioners, analysts, and editors, poured through dozens of submissions to select finalists in each category. After in-depth briefings and demos, the judges choose the winners.

    This year, three of the categories have two winning products -- one from an industry veteran and the other from an emerging vendor.

  • Cloud

    Cisco Catena

    @ciscoDC

    The judges said:

    Cisco has addressed one of the single most persistent issues in establishing effective cloud operations through its product, Catena, a high speed, software-defined wide area networking system that can manage both applications and different types of devices. Catena will manage firewalls, DDoS protection, identity services engines, SSL offload engines, network monitoring, switches, routers and application servers. If a set of firewalls needs to scale, Catena can manage the cluster.

    Through virtualized network functions, it can microsegment the network for different customers, departments or users, attaching policies that govern the segment's security and performance characteristics. With it, a wide set of cloud resources can be expanded or contracted on demand, with Catena logic subbing for human administrators. Catena software sitting on top of Cisco 7000 and 9000 Nexus switches can scale up to 40 Tbs, compared to solutions solving fewer problems executing at 400 Gbs. There are no requirements in it that restrict it to Cisco hardware. It can run natively on other vendors' devices. Catena is one of the first examples of Cisco functioning as a software company.

    Catena can be used for service chaining, and orchestrate network and application services through level four of the network up to the application (level 7), as well as the typical device and network managements functions of kevels 2-4. It is an inter-cloud system able to reach across private cloud, public cloud and hybrid cloud. Catena can project policies set in the data center out into the cloud and enforce them there.

  • Cloud Emerging Vendor

    NetBeez BeezKeeper

    @NetBeez 

    BeezKeeper streamlines the tricky art of troubleshooting enterprise infrastructure and cloud applications, reducing the amount of time network administrators and IT teams must spend resolving performance issues. BeezKeeper deploys end-user simulations that provide real-time data results to the NetBeez dashboard for multi-site administration. The system relies on sensors that test connectivity and application performance in order to detect problems before they impact end users.

  • Data & Analytics

    ExtraHop Addy

    @ExtraHop

    The judges said:

    ExtraHop's Addy is impressive in terms of the level of detail and granularity that it provides in anomaly detection. It is designed to allow an IT professional to the source of a problem right down to the PC level and the types of transactions that could be causing an issue. It works in real time rather than analyzing past activity on disk, and it learns as it works utilizing machine learning capabilities.

     

  • DevOps

    Cisco PLB (Pervasive Load Balancing)

    @ciscoDC

    The judges said:

    The finalists represent two excellent submissions - and while by the same individual and organization - it is exciting to see network operation suppliers embrace DevOps principles and practices and carry them forward. Value is only created at the point of user consumption and both products seem to address the need for operations to be continuous as well.

    While there appeared to be some overlap in the description of the products, we believe that the alignment to DevOps was more apparent in Pervasive Load Balancing (PLB). At its core, the submitter describes PLB as a “disruptive innovation that allows the users to build a software-defined high scale elastic network.” That’s certainly interesting - however what stands out most to us is the recognition that PLB attempts to address some of automation, cultural and modelling gaps in the DevOps ecosystem by enabling human and technical collaboration through analytics. The innovators behind this tool clearly intended it to be part of the DevOps spectrum and the submission does specifically call out how the product enables DevOps.

  • Infrastructure

    Cisco Catena

    @ciscoDC

    The judges said:

    Today’s enterprise infrastructure must be agile, flexible, and efficient. Cisco Catena meets those requirements by providing a combination of service chaining, security, load balancing, and analytics up to 40 Gbps for multiple L4-L7 physical and virtual appliances. Embedded into a switch or router, the patent-pending software doesn’t require additional hardware or service modules. It’s currently available on Cisco Nexus 7000, 7700, and 9000 series of switches. With Catena, users can create multiple service chains with many appliances in each chain, and create security policies for microsegmentation of traffic. The software can also provide traffic forecasts to manage resources. Catena is an impressive innovation that promises to seamlessly enable software-defined networking.

  • Infrastructure Emerging Vendor

    128T Networking Platform

    @128technology

    The judges said:

    Our winning product from an emerging vendor in the infrastructure category is 128T Networking Platform from 128 Technology. The distributed routing and network services platform uses the startup’s session-oriented Secure Vector Routing software, which runs on white-box servers. Designed to simplify networking and make it more secure, the software doesn’t use overlays and eliminates the need for extra boxes for firewalls and load balancing. With enterprises eager to streamline their infrastructure operations, 128 Technology’s innovative approach is highly appealing.

     

  • Security

    Portnox CORE

    @portnox

    The judges said:

    When it comes to IT security, there are many products that help solve technical problems, such as stopping viruses or zero-day attacks. But there are not nearly as many products that help solve business problems, such as how to enforce security policy or how to visualize all of the devices you’re defending on the network. Portnox’s CORE is one such product. By preventing unauthorized devices and non-compliant systems from accessing sensitive parts of the network, CORE provides the means to enforce security policy and prevent unknown users from getting in. This enables enterprises to deliver on the promise of Network Access Control technology – the ability to prevent untrusted devices and users from going where they shouldn’t.

    What’s more, CORE provides broad visibility into the network, enabling CISOs to see managed devices, BYOD mobile devices, and even Internet of Things devices with the click of a button. Portnox CORE solves not only some key technical problems, but important business problems as well, which is why we chose it as our winner in the Best of Interop Security Category.

  • Security Emerging Vendor

    Versive Security Engine

    The judges said:

    One of the most difficult challenges that IT security departments face today is how to spot activity that might indicate the behavior of a hacker. Our winner in the Best Emerging Vendor – Security Category, Versive, is on a path to meet that challenge. Enterprises have access to reams of data about security log events and user activity, but they need a way to sort through all of that information to find the anomalous behavior that might tip off a malicious exploit. Versive helps speed this sorting process by using machine learning to track normal behavior on the network – and, by contrast, identify suspicious activity. Versive is enabling enterprises to not only flag suspicious activity, but to create a baseline for what’s normal – which can be very helpful in identifying any cybercriminal activity, no matter how well-disguised. That’s why we chose Versive as our Best Emerging Vendor in the Security Category.