A solid network—one that meets business needs while being manageable, secure and flexible—depends on top-notch infrastructure equipment. The Excellence Awards judges evaluated more than 40 products and services in this category, and the ones that rose to the top represent advances in adding capacity, resilience and flexibility to networks.
Symbol Wireless System 1.0
Symbol Technologies Inc.s Symbol Wireless System 1.0 is an 802.11b/g/a connectivity product that includes access ports and a central wireless switch, delivering a wide variety of network services. With this system, Symbol Technologies has taken an innovative approach to centralizing performance, security, quality of service and class of service, along with XML-based network management features in the wireless switch. The Symbol wireless switch is rack-mountable and ships with Plenum-rated access ports. The unit also supplies power-over-Ethernet cable, thus eliminating the expensive and time-consuming task of placing an AC outlet near the wireless radio.
Sphereon 4500 Fabric Switch
McData Corp.s Sphereon 4500 is a 24-port SAN switch that can be configured eight ports at a time. This allows small and medium-size enterprises to get into the SAN game without spending a ton of cash upfront. The FlexPort feature lets users add ports on the fly without downing the switch. The flexible approach also means bandwidth bottlenecks get cleared out almost immediately because the switch is smart enough to load-balance oversubscribed ports. The Sphereon 4500s 24GB Fibre Channel ports and new open-trunking capabilities will let network managers also add Inter Switch Links—network links that pass traffic from switch to switch—on the fly.
A "pay as you go" pricing model, combined with top-of-the-line power management technology, put American Power Conversion Corp.s PowerStruXure squarely in finalist territory in this category. The PowerStruXure system—which comprises a modular, scalable N+1 redundant uninterruptible power supply; a zoned power distribution system; and a rack enclosure—uses a systematic, building-block approach to powering data centers. IT managers can add power management capacity as needed, reducing upfront capital costs without hampering the ability of the system to grow. PowerStruXure also can be integrated with existing power systems, thereby preserving previous investment.
Excellence Awards Winners and Finalists: