2005 N+I Best of Interop Awards

Our panel of writers and editors evaluated myriad information technology products, then chose the best in seven categories. Check out this year's honorees as well as the Best Start-Up and

May 6, 2005

6 Min Read
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Front-runners were put in the hot seat as judging teams dug into the nitty-gritty of each product. Following the meetings, our judges convened to discuss the merits of each qualifier and selected winners in each category. We also presented two special awards: Best Start-Up, given to an outstanding company less than two years old, and the coveted Best of Interop Grand Prize.

Network Computing: Ron Anderson, Bruce Boardman, Michael J. DeMaria, Sean Doherty, Curtis Franklin Jr., Don MacVittie, Lori MacVittie, Dave Molta and contributor Pete Tenereillo Network Magazine: Andrew Conry-Murray, Andy Dornan Network Professional Association: Barry SellersData management and compliance

LogLogic ST 2000/3000 Aggregator Appliance (www.loglogic.com)

Log aggregation across multiple platforms is a vexing management problem that's lacked a viable solution--until LogLogic's ST 2000/3000 appliance came along. This device aggregates logs from multiple sources, including Windows event logs; autodiscovers syslog sources; compresses logs; encrypts content; builds an MD5 signature; and provides a sustained transmission rate of 50,000 messages per second per device. The appliance offers up to 24 TB of disk space, with the 2000 version supporting NAS storage and the 3000 providing 10 SATA drives up to 250 GB each. The unit has redundant power supplies and is expandable. Whether you want faster incident response, expanded log-file access and filtering, or data retention of syslogs for compliance purposes, the ST 2000/3000 should meet your needs.

Network infrastructure

Foundry Networks BigIron RX Series (www.foundrynet.com)Foundry's newly designed BigIron RX Series routers--also our Grand Prize winner--provide monster terabit capacity with expansion possibilities. Equipped with full-width 80-Gbps modules or two half-width modules with 40 Gbps of performance per slot, the ability to support half- or full-width I/O modules allows growth from the lowest common denominator of 24 ports of 10/100/1000 to 64 ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

The BigIron RX Series supplies redundant management modules and front-loading, hot-swappable power supplies. It also has a redundant switch fabric with hitless failover and a modular, intelligent cooling system. For security, each model uses sFlow technology plus rule-based ACLs, admission control and 802.1x port authentication.

Network software and services

BitShield Corp. 3GWeb-I-2400 (www.bit-shield.com)

BitShield's 3GWeb-I-2400 is an integrated "self-defending" Web server and firewall in a single 4U appliance. It provides a protected, public-facing Web server and an internal, secured service capable of detecting any modification, including deletion, of both static HTML and dynamic scripts. If a modification is detected, the 3GWeb-I-2400 restores the original content automatically, preventing site defacement and manipulation of back-end databases or applications. And the 3GWeb-I-2400 encrypts all original content on disk, so attackers can't glean information from scripts residing on the system.The device uses Apache HTTP and HTTPS and offers app security at both the OS and HTTP layers. In addition, it can defend against typical app-layer threats, such as SQL injection and cookie-tampering attacks.


Coradiant TrueSite TS-1100 (www.coradiant.com)

The Coradiant TS-1100 empowers network and server managers with real-time, historical and forensic analysis capabilities at any level of granularity, including connection, session and user levels. These capabilities let IT pinpoint performance problems. For example, instead of reporting that a percentage of HTTP responses were slow or that some users are reporting performance problems, it correlates sessions to identify that all sessions logged on as "guest" who searched the product catalog were HTTP redirected, and experienced more than five seconds of delay at that point in the session. The TS-1100 is a passive, plug-and-play analysis appliance that requires no software agent installation and no topology or software changes.

SecurityV-Secure Technologies IPS (www.v-secure.com)

V-Secure's IPS uses behavioral analysis of incoming network traffic to detect and block zero-day worms and stop DDoS attacks, which sets it apart from other IPSs that rely primarily on signatures to detect attacks.

The IPS uses a variety of modules to analyze traffic sessions and, over time, builds baseline models of normal session behavior and will flag deviations for additional analysis. It examines a broad range of parameters, including services and bytes per second, ports, and source and destination addresses as well as individual packet data, including size and TTL values. For DDoS attack prevention, the IDS' analysis engine separates attack traffic from legitimate sessions, so that security admins can protect the infrastructure without shutting down business transactions.

Voip and Collaboration

Siemens AG HiPath OpenScape Telephony Control Link (www.siemens.com)Siemens' HiPath OpenScape Telephony Control Link (TCL) presence-management product advances the integration of collaboration technologies in the enterprise. TCL runs on top of Microsoft's Live Communications Server 2005 and integrates with the Windows Office Communicator client and gear from multiple PBX vendors. Users can see if contacts are online, on the phone or away from their desks. When a user receives a phone call, computer-telephony interaction causes a notice to pop up on the user's PC. The user can then answer the phone or manually forward the call.


Meru Networks Radio Switch (www.merunetworks.com)

Meru Networks' Radio Switches take an innovative approach to supporting scalable and high-performance dual-band 802.11 a/b/g enterprise WLANs. Unlike conventional wireless switches, which aggregate and control basic single- and dual-radio APs, Meru packs as many as 12 radios into a single AP. When combined with a unique omnidirectional antenna system, the Meru Radio Switch provides hundreds of megabits of TCP throughput in a single virtual cell.

Meru's WLAN system also takes a unique approach to delivering wireless services, using a technology dubbed Air Traffic Control. Key benefits include over-the-air QoS that enables delivery of time-sensitive applications; a contention-management system; and a virtual AP model that overcomes roaming performance problems.Foundry Network BigIron RX Series (www.foundrynet.com)

Foundry has upped the ante for routing and switching in the enterprise with its BigIron RX-4, RX-8 and RX-16 10 Gigabit Ethernet-ready routers. Rated for up to 1.54 Tbps available data-switching capacity, the RX Series provides flexibility, redundancy, performance and security for midsize to large backbones. As enterprises move toward convergence technologies like VoIP and videoconferencing, the BigIron RX Series provides QoS to assure low latency, and its modular design allows for growth. But the bottom line is that the supercharged BigIron RX Series routers made a roomful of professional geeks drool like Homer Simpson in a doughnut factory.

Xirrus (www.xirrus.com)

The last few years have seen many start-ups offering WLAN switches, appliances that simplify WLAN management by off-loading such AP functions as security, QoS and roaming. Xirrus, a privately held firm launched in March, is putting an ingenious twist on this concept with its XS-3900 WLAN Array. The 3900 combines a switch with 16 APs, each with a high-gain sectorized antenna. The antennas are fixed, require no user configuration and provide full omnidirectional coverage.

Xirrus' approach eliminates the need for cabling to link APs, reducing deployment time and cost. Because each radio concentrates its coverage into a 60-degree sector, rather than broadcasting in all directions, the device can provide more than twice the range of a regular AP. The system covers every channel in both the 2.4- and 5-GHz bands simultaneously.0

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