At last weeks Networld+Interop trade show here, eWeek and sister publication PC Magazine announced the winners of their joint i3 (Innovation In Infrastructure) Awards program.
New approaches to network security and new ways to consolidate or better utilize equipment were two common themes among first-place entries.
The Enterprise Hardware winner, Neoteris Inc.s Instant Virtual Extranet, provides an application-level proxy that allows staff to securely access corporate resources over a Secure Sockets Layer connection without using a virtual private network.
If attackers do get in, IT administrators have a fighting chance to find them using Lancope Inc.s StealthWatch G1 intrusion detection system. It took top honors in the Security category for its ability to build typical network usage patterns and then detect traffic anomalies, rather than using a canned attack signature database.
Marius Milner, author of the Wireless Software and Services category winner, NetStumbler, said he originally developed the 802.11b wireless sniffer software to fill a personal need. "In some ways, it was kind of an accident—I wanted a tool for my own use," Milner said.
Many others, meanwhile, have found NetStumbler (available from www.netstumbler.com) an invaluable tool for easily finding rogue wireless access points, spots of dead coverage or the optimal positions for access points.
Winners in three i3 categories provide IT with ways to get more from hardware.
The file and print server Samba won the Enterprise Software category for Version 2.2.2s ability to let large organizations consolidate file and print sharing onto fewer servers. IBMs eServer zSeries for Linux won the Internet hardware category for its server consolidation features, proving that new wine in old wineskins isnt always a bad idea. Zeus Technology Ltd.s Zeus Web Server 4.0 won the Internet Software category for its fast performance (even on low-end hardware), rich feature set and excellent security track record.
Branch offices can look to Net Integration Technologies Inc.s Net Integrator Mark I—a file and print, Web and e-mail appliance (and the SOHO Networking category winner)—to consolidate server systems. Handspring Inc.s Treo 180 won the Wireless Hardware category for its ability to recover some of that other precious bit of real estate—belt space.
Rounding out the elements of a successful network, FalconStor Software Inc.s IPStor 1.0 storage area network and network-attached storage management software took the trophy as the best Storage product, and WebSideStory Inc.s HitBox Enterprise V7 Web site usage analysis service won the Internet Services category for its scalability, near-real-time reporting and detailed business analytics.
More information on these products and on the i3 finalists can be found at www.eweek.com/links.
West Coast Technical Director Timothy Dyck can be reached at email@example.com.