The Innovation in Infrastructure Awards are a benchmark for networking infrastructure products. Lab analysts and editors from eWEEK and sister publication PC Magazine collaborated to select the most innovative and advanced networking infrastructure products released in the last year. The i3 finalists are listed below, and the winners will be announced at a special ceremony at NetWorld+Interop in Las Vegas on May 7.
- DSR2161--Avocent Corp.s DSR2161 takes KVM switching to new heights by combining both digital and analog connections in one switch. IT managers can not only access their servers at the rack but also over TCP/IP connections, which eliminates the need to be in close proximity to the systems they manage.
- Instant Virtual Extranet--Answering the call for companies with growing mobile computing demands, Neoteris Inc.s Instant Virtual Extranet appliance provides secure access to remote employees or to business partners, using standard protocols such as HTTP/HTTPS, IMAP, POP and SMTP.
- IP740--Nokia Corp.s IP740 firewall is a powerful system offering CheckPoint software along with hot-swappable components and hot-standby functionality. Nokias flagship firewall also includes a variety of network interfaces and extensive protocol support, and can process more than 1G bps of network traffic.
- WebLogic Server 7.0--BEA Systems Inc.s WebLogic has long been at the forefront of Java server-side programming, and Version 7.0, now in beta, is one of the first Java2 Enterprise Edition 1.3-certified application servers on the market. With its strong focus on high performance, Web services and interoperability, WebLogic is a core infrastructure component for many enterprises.
- Samba 2.2.2--A critical enterprise component for many businesses and educational institutions that need to let Windows and Unix systems share file and printer resources, the open-source Samba 2.2.2 server also can act as a Windows domain controller. New in this release, Samba lets any Windows domain user log into a Unix system without having to create a local user account first.
- Java 2 Platform Standard Edition Version 1.4--Sun Microsystems Inc.s Java 2 Platform Standard Edition Version 1.4 is the latest release of one of the most successful computing programming platforms. A new assertions feature in Java adds to the languages well-deserved reputation as a safe and reliable tool, and native, non-blocking I/O features will enable a new generation of high-performance Java applications.
- 7340 FTTU--Alcatel SAs 7340 FTTU, which stands for fiber to the user, is a fiber termination point that you might find preinstalled in your next new home. It can carry voice calls, hundreds of channels of analog and digital video, as well as very high-speed Internet traffic--all simultaneously. Its carrier-class infrastructure for all of us.
- eServer zSeries for Linux--IBMs zSeries offering for Linux is the best of both worlds: big iron 24-by-7 support and reliability combined with the popularity of Linux. Bringing virtual machine technology to a whole new set of customers.
- BIG-IP 5000 IP Application Switch--The Swiss Army knife of local network hardware, F5 Networks BIG-IP 5000 IP Application Switch does just about everything a switch can do: Layer 2 to 7 switching for both 100Megabit and 1Gigabit devices, load balancing, basic firewalling and SSL acceleration.
- FarSight--Empirixs FarSight service has more than 40 worldwide locations spread over 22 different Internet backbones, helping to ensure that your Web site is up and running for customers around the globe. Flexible reports augment thorough monitoring capabilities by allowing administrators to create custom views and notification thresholds. Response time can be broken down by page element, a feature that can be invaluable when trying to solve the problem of inconsistent site performance.
- Premier TZO--Premier TZO from Tzolkin Corp. solves the problem of constantly changing DNS entries in a maintenance-free way. It also offers a mail store and forward and automatic connection failover, great services for both home and small business users.
- HitBox Enterprise V7--With WebSide Story Inc.s Enteprise V&, youll never again have to guess how much your Web site is actually helping your business. The highly scalable and easy-to-use Enterprise V7 provides detailed, real-time information about visitor-browsing patterns. Such information can be used to target marketing campaigns, increase sales and improve profitability.
- Tux 2.0 Web server--Red Hat Inc.s Tux 2.0 Web server (now known as Red Hat Content Accelerator) had a revolutionary kernel-space design and advanced thread management, providing previously unseen Web performance. In eWEEK Labs tests, Tux more than doubled the speed of some of its competitors. Its no coincidence that Web server competitors such as Microsoft Corp. have already started to emulate Tuxs innovative design.
- Project JXTA--An open-source initiative backed by Sun, Project JXTA, is a set of protocols and software based on XML and Java that opens up peer-to-peer networking beyond proprietary software and, especially, beyond the PC. In addition to making P2P possible for cell phones and handhelds, Project JXTA may help bring order to the many competing and incompatible P2P technologies now available.
- Zeus Web Server 4.0--Zeus Techology Ltd.s Zeus Web Server is consistently one of the best-performing Web servers, and it boasts several key improvements that have lifted it to the top of the enterprise Web server market. Among them: an excellent management interface, broad platform support and broad support for Web development languages, allowing the server to plug into any enterprise environment with ease.
- LaBrea--LaBrea is a freeware application from developer Tom Liston, and its the only tool available that actually lets businesses fight back against Nimda and other damaging worms and Trojans. This simple but revolutionary tool sits on unused IP addresses. When a worm attempts to connect, LaBrea sends false response information that traps the worm and prevents it from attacking other systems.
- StealthWatch G1--Lancope Inc.s StealthWatch changes how businesses watch for and analyze security intrusions on their networks. This outstanding product uses its innovative non-signature-based method for detecting intrusions.
- Web Server Edition 2.01--ClickNet Software Corp.s Entercept Web Server Edition 2.01 is, by far, the best choice for shoring up the shaky walls of Microsoft Corp.s Internet Information Services Web server. Entercept is a full trusted OS product, not just an IIS wrapper. It offers both specific Web server protection and whole OS protection, and lets administrations configure applications with just enough rights to function and not a bit more.
- IPStor 1.0--FalconStor Inc.s IPStor 1.0 harnesses IP for conducting the business of storage virtualization. All the major industry standard protocols are supported including Fibre Channel, IP, iSCSI, SCSI and SNMP. This product doesnt do Windows, but it will run under either Linux or Solaris.
- MaxAttach Series--MaxStor Corp.s MaxAttach Series is an innovative line of network devices and software that serves the needs of businesses of all sizes. These products provide platform continuity and a familiar interface. One of the series most interesting aspects is its tight integration and conformity to backup products from key third-party vendors, including Legato, OTG and Veritas.
- Data Neo Series 4000--The Overland Data Inc. Data Neo Series 4000 tape library is for enterprises that measure backup in terabytes and have no tolerance for downtime. It offers 5.72 terabytes of native capacity for SuperDLT or 6 terabytes for LTO Ultrium. The building block for a Neo series library is the individual module, which includes a controller board, tape drives, tape magazines with slots for 52 tapes, and the robotics that move the tapes between the drives and magazines.
- Blackberry 5810--Research in Motion Inc. long ago defined what wireless organizers and pagers would look like, and the company hasnt stopped innovating since. The Blackberry 5810 contains a complete organizer, access to corporate e-mail and a cell phone--all in a device that can fit in a shirt pocket. The core of the 5810 is RIMs implementation of Java 2 Micro Edition, making it a fully functional data processing system that doubles as a cell phone.
- Treo 180--Handspring Inc. packs the power of a fully functional organizer, a GSM world phone and a wireless browser into a device about the size of a deck of cards. Weighing only about 5 ounces, the Treo 180 also features a miniature keyboard that is actually usable. The integration of basic organizer functions into a device thats also a mobile phone should convince even the most cynical among us that true convergence has arrived.
- Palm i705--The next edition of the cutting-edge Palm VII, Palm Inc.s Palm i705 pushes PDAs to a new level. Lighter and more capable than its predecessor, the i705 also supports Cingulars Mobitex wireless network and can access corporate e-mail systems, making the unit an extension of the office. Unlike the Handspring Treo and the RIM 5810, the Palm i705 does not have a built-in keyboard, but Palms design and Graffiti language make a specialized keyboard unnecessary.
Wireless Software and Services
- Netstumbler--Netstumbler from www.netstumler.com combats hack attempts by plugging security gaps through its sniffer shareware program. With Netstumbler, network administrators can identify an 802.11 signal and its strength, log the MAC address of the access point, and capture unique ID numbers for wireless access points. Even more impressive is its ability to capture latitude and longitude data points for access points.
- SQL Anywhere Studio 7.0.3--Sybase Inc.s SQL Anywhere Studio commands nearly 70 percent of the enterprise mobile management and data synchronization market--and for good reason. SQL Anywhere is backed by the Anywhere DBMS, allowing for easy connection to myriad heterogeneous back-end data sources. Asynchronous data transactions and transaction-based replication that commit only complete transactions also helped buoy SQL Anywhere to the top of this pack.
- Airopeek--WildPackets Inc.s Airopeek is a network sniffing tool that allows administrators to decode all 802.11b wireless protocols, display throughput for each packet, and set up user-defined alarms, triggers and notifications. Wide support for adapters and newly released driver support for 802.11a, Windows XP and MacOS X are an indication of Airopeeks continued commitment to innovation.
- Filanets InterJak 200--Filanet Corp.s InterJak 200 is a compact device that serves as a router, a firewall and a server for file and print management, with an optional VPN server and content-filtering module. It provides three 10/100 Ethernet ports—one for the LAN, one for the WAN and a third for either a DMZ port or second Internet connection—as well as two USB ports and two IEEE 1394 ports. No special software is required--just plug in the devices and youre ready to share.
- Net Integrator Mark I--Net Integration Technologies Inc.s Net Integrator Mark I server appliance offers file and print sharing, Web serving and e-mail serving in one box. It includes two externally accessible and removable hard drives, as well as a turnkey backup and restore system. The system boots from flash memory, so if both drives fail, it can restart and give users basic Internet connectivity.
- ISB Pro800turbo--Nexland Inc.s ISB Pro800turbo features dual WAN ports, allowing users access to two broadband accounts at the same time. If one of the accounts goes down, all Internet traffic is automatically shifted to the working account. If both go down, the Pro800turbo switches traffic to a dial-up connection using an external modem.