Taking three of 10 awards, Hewlett-Packard is the biggest winner in this year's Datamation Product of the Year Awards contest, while ScriptLogic lands a pair of trophies.
If the Datamation Product of the Year Awards were the Oscars, then this year's ''Lord of the Rings'' would have to be Hewlett-Packard Co.
With three of the 10 awards voted by readers, HP was the biggest winner in this year's contest. The company came out on top in the Client Systems/Laptop, Client Systems/Mobile and Server Hardware categories.
Desktop administration products specialist ScriptLogic copped two Datamation awards, in the Client Systems/Desktop and Network and Systems Software categories.
The HP Pavilion zd7000 series was the leading vote-getter in the Client Systems/Laptop category, winning a close contest over the runner-up, Apple Computer's Powerbook G4. (Author's disclosure: I purchased the HP zd7010 in January, though I didn't cast a vote.) Readers may have been impressed with the powerful desktop replacement's wide, 17-inch diameter screen, multimedia capabilities and built-in 802.11G wireless antenna. Other finalists in the laptop category were Dell's D600 Latitude, which finished a respectable third, and IBM's ThinkPad T40.
HP's iPAQ h5500 PDA ran away with the Client/Mobile award, more than doubling the vote count of second-place Palm Inc.'s Tungsten T2. Despite its steep price tag ($550-$600), readers liked the h5500's fast 400MHz processor and 128MB of RAM. Rounding out the list, finalists in this category were Sprint's Treo 600 and T-Mobile's Sidekick.
The third award for HP went to the company's ProLiant BL20p G2 server blade, which easily won in the Server Hardware category. The dual processor blade for enterprises features Intel Xeon processors, SAN storage capability and up to 8GB of PC2100 DDR memory. Finishing second in this group was Dell's PowerEdge 400SC, followed by IBM's eServer 325, Avocent Corp.'s DSR800 and Gateway's 860 NAS.
ScriptLogic's Desktop Authority desktop administration software edged runner-up Microsoft's Office Professional Edition 2003 in the Client Systems/Desktop category. Desktop Authority features a single, intuitive GUI-based management console that enables logon scripting, security policies and user profile management. The other finalists in this category were Stampede Technology's TurboGold Enterprise Edition and Altreia Solutions' Seavus Project Viewer.
Active Administrator, ScriptLogic's enterprise Active Directory management and auditing software, earned twice as many votes in the Network and Systems Software category as runner-up SilverBack Technologies' SilverBack 4.0 network monitoring software. Active Administrator gives network pros single-seat enterprise control over Active Directory security, as well as group policies. Other finalists in this group were eIQnetwork Inc.'s SysLogAnalyzer 2.0 and Symmetricom Inc.'s Domain Time II Audit Server.
Trend Micro's Spam Prevention Solution (SPS) was a landslide winner in a new category for Datamation's Product of the Year Awards -- Anti-Spam. SPS is designed for enterprises and blocks both non-productive and malicious spam at the Internet gateway. The application won out over second-place Brightmail Inc.'s Anti-Spam Enterprise Edition 5.0. Other finalists were IronPort Systems Inc.'s IronPort C60, IntelliReach Corp.'s MessageScreen Platinum and Cloudmark Inc.'s Authority 2.0.
In the tightest race this year, Business intelligence software giant SAS won in the Enterprise Applications category with its SAS Marketing Optimization, edging runner-up DataFlux Corp.'s dfPower Studio by a dozen votes out of nearly 900 cast. Marketing Optimization is an application that helps marketers plan and prioritize outgoing customer communications. It features a Web-based interface geared toward business users and requires no client software. Other finalists in this category were IBM's Lotus Notes, Cognos Inc.'s Cognos Enterprise Planning and SAP's mySAP SRM.
This year's winner in the Security category is a name familiar to many home computer users who want to protect their PCs from unwelcome intrusions. But Zone Labs Inc.'s Integrity 4.0 is an end-point enterprise security product for Windows PCs. Integrity 4.0 allows IT pros to centrally manage security policies, and it integrates well with other common security systems from Check Point Software Technologies and Cisco Systems. Finishing second in this group was Symantec's Gateway Security 5460, followed by Securify Inc.'s SecurVantage 4.0, eIQnetworks' FirewallAnalyzer Enterprise and NIKSUN Inc.'s NetDetector.
Storage Technology Corp.'s EchoView E400 data protection appliance was the winner in the Storage category this year, followed by Sun Microsystems' StorEdge 3510 Fibre Channel Array. EchoView E400 is designed to continuously capture data as it's written, thus providing a full data history that can be accessed and recovered back to the protected server. Other finalists in this category were BacBone Software Inc.'s NetVault 7, Storability Software Inc.'s Global Storage Manager 3.6 and Stampede Technology Inc.'s TurboGold Enterprise Edition.
Linksys Inc.'s WRT54G Router/Gateway was an easy winner in the Wireless category, which is another new award added this year. This low-cost ($80-$150) wireless device is favored by many enterprise pros for its high throughput and easy set-up, advantages that help offset a fairly short operating range. Finishing well behind the WRT54G were SMC Networks Inc.'s EliteConnect 2.4GHz 802.11b High Power Wireless PC Card (SMC2532W-B), Micro Solutions Inc.'s Backpack workgroup server and ClearOne Communications Inc.'s Max Wireless Conference Phone.
During the next two weeks, Datamation will run stories about the winners and some of the runners-up in each of our 10 categories.