SearchWinComputing's Products of the Year can help admins in five areas

Staff report has announced the winners of its Products of the Year competition, giving awards in five categories: systems management, desktop management, storage hardware, storage management

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software and servers.

The submissions in the systems management category included products to manage the defrag process; configuration management products; diagnostic tool bundles; event management software; performance monitoring software; and server reporting tools. The Gold Award winner was Microsoft Operations Manager 2005, a performance management package that identifies and resolves performance issues.

In the storage hardware category, the submissions included iSCSI SANs; archiving systems; tape drives; removable storage devices; and network backup appliances. The Gold Award winner was Alacritech's dual-port iSCSI controller, which supports PCI Express bus technology.

The storage management software category consisted of products that increased server availability; suites that added storage management capabilities, data protection products; and backup/restore products. The Gold Award winner was Storactive Inc.'s LiveBackup 2.9 continuous data protection (CDP) software package.

The submissions in the server category included blade servers and non-blade servers, but the judges awarded the top three prizes to blades. The Gold Award winner was IBM's newly designed BladeCenter HS20, which this year added I/O expansion flexibility that allowed customers to add two internal SCSI drives.

The desktop management category included a broad array of products for the systems administrator, including software suites that deploy patch packages and spyware removal packages. The Gold Award winner was Winternals Software's Recovery Manager 2.0, a software package that helps companies recover data from Windows servers, workstations and laptops.

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