Effective networking and management tools reduce costs by quickly identifying and fixing problems. The best part for IT managers is that these products tend to build on their previous successes the longer they are in place. The products that took finalist and winner honors in this category show how technical excellence translates into long-term operational savings by eliminating existing problems and nipping new ones in the bud.
InCharge Service Assurance Manager 5.0
The winner in this category, System Management Arts Inc.s InCharge Service Assurance Manager 5.0, exemplifies a move to proactive network management products. The InCharge suite integrates and correlates topology and event data collected over time and from many network sources. It then converts that data into actionable alerts that IT managers can use to avert trouble. The advantage of InCharge over its competitors is its ability to spot authentic problems among closely related sympathetic events.
AirMagnet Handheld 1.5
AirMagnet Inc.s AirMagnet Handheld is a happy marriage of the right form factor (Pocket PC with a wireless card) and a useful application (protocol analyzer software). While many other wireless sniffers require that administrators lug around a laptop, AirMagnet makes hunting for rogue access points easy via a convenient, easy-to-understand interface on small, lightweight hardware. AirMagnet can sniff out rogue access points, denial-of-service attacks, MAC (media access control) address spoofing and channel interference, among other statistics. The tool can also detect and validate several security protocols, including WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), 802.1x and Cisco Systems Inc.s LEAP (Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol).
NetIQ AppManager Suite 5.0
NetIQ Corp.s AppManager Suite is a capable, cross-platform monitoring and management system for Windows and Unix servers and applications. Distributed, heterogeneous environments can use AppManager Suite to effectively manage systems, controlling costly downtime while gaining a fine-grained understanding of individual system performance. The agent-based system uses Knowledge Scripts to provide best-practice recommendations. More than 1,500 Knowledge Scripts are available out of the box, and IT managers with even a bit of extra time can model new scripts based on those provided by NetIQ. The built-in reporting enables IT managers to get an immediate sense of current performance as well as a trended view of these same measures over time.
Excellence Awards Winners and Finalists: