Hey all!

Trophy1Just a quick post to say you should pop out and vote in the Network Computing (UK) 2009 Awards.

Of course we want you to vote for the BIG-IP in the “Load Balancing Product of the Year” category (since they don’t have an Application Delivery Network category ;-)), but there are some great entries in the other categories too that are worth checking out. The Network Infrastructure and Storage categories both have a wide array of different technologies under them, makes voting difficult and watching who comes out ahead fun.

We believe in F5 products, and our primary competitors aren’t in the list of load balancing products, so don’t let us down out there, take the minute and go vote. The most it costs you is a couple of minutes of your time, right?


How would I vote? Well I won’t vote since our product is in there and it appears you have to vote in each category, but I’d go…

Server: Dell Poweredge T300 or the Sunblade 6K. That’s a tough one though.

Network Infrastructure (after filtering servers out): The CAT6500 (don’t tell Cisco!) or the Emulex. Likely the Emulex converged storage card I’m a little less thrilled as I learn about them, but FCoE and LAN? It’s definitely a start. I really want one of those, but I no longer have access to a SAN.

Some of you will question the 6500, but think about it. How much hardware has the staying power and expandability of that bad-boy? Not much.

Wireless Infrastructure: 3Com Wireless Switch Manager – switches are pretty much commoditized, but something to manage the 5 gazillion you have? That’s worthy of product of the year.

Messaging Product: I honestly don’t know. I don’t think I’ve seen any of these things running. What do you think?

Service Management: EMC Infra. EMC is doing some good stuff in the non-hardware space these days, and Infra being all web means it’s probably well fit into their organization nearly a year after the acquisition.

Security Product: I’m a little rusty in this space, been out of it two years, so my security friends can set me straight if I’m wrong, but I’d go for the PGP Encryption platform for a combination of usefulness and name recognition.

Storage: There’s this great little product they missed – write in ARX File Virtualization. What? No space to write-in? Okay, ArcServe Backup 12 or Centera then. Both have always been great products, and while neither technology is sexy, I already voted for the Emulex product above, and both of these just keep delivering.

Contact Centre: Uhmmm… I don’t know. Anyone? Used these, have a preference? Comment below.

IP User Application: Firefox. Talk about taking the world by storm, it just keeps growing. And it has avoided bloat (no, your 50K plugins don’t count as bloat). Netviewer is cool too, but too late for that market, I suspect.

Data Centre: Uhhmmm… VIPRION? What, it’s not in the list? Okay, how about DSView 3 – it doesn’t manage everything you could have in your datacenter, but it’s a great start.

Load Balancing: Yeah, assume I said BIG-IP – Local Traffic Manager (LTM), Global Traffic Manager (GTM)... It’s that good.

Network Management: Openview. You know, it started with “see a subset of your stuff” and has grown to “did we mention we support TRS-80s in the cloud too?” Worthy of a product of the year award, and unlike some similar products, I’ve actually seen completed implementations!

Environmental Product: Okay, I admit it, I had to go read for this one. But CoolThreads? Some of these are a stretch to be called environmental, but if CoolThreads technology does what they claim? Yowsa! It gets my vote.

Managed Service Provider: It’s been a few years, but I’ve covered this space. Unless things have shaken out, I’d still go with MessageLabs (now Symantec), followed by Iron Mountain – yeah, Iron Mountain have had some losses, but they’re a massive organization, so they have the most to lose track of, and hopefully they’ve learned.

Hardware Product: Uhhmmm…. BIG-IP with WebAccelerator installed? Not on the list? Dang. How about BladeCenter S Express? Several of the other entries have been mentioned above, and IBM makes a great blade server. The S series is even affordable!

Software Product: Numara Track-IT! I looked at this with some other much more expensive solutions, and while it’s far from perfect, price performance is pretty darned good. And that counts more now than ever.

New Product: Apparently I’ve been too heads down, some of these sound familiar but I’ve not even read about any of them, so I’ll let you all tell me what to think.

Channel Partner: I have some exposure to all of these companies, but not enough to name one the best of the year.

Product of the Year: Have I mentioned VIPRION? Lori and I are reading much Doctor Suess, so I will resist the urge to break into rhyme… But alas, not on the list… From the list they have, I’d have to run with the BladeCenter again. It’s a solid product by a solid company that is priced competitively.

Company of the year: F5 Networks. Continued delivery of solid products, great web properties, funny and believable employees… Oh, we’re not on that list. Who makes these lists anyway? ;-) But seriously, those are some great companies on that list. It’s tough to choose, all things considered though, I’d have to go with Symantec. Talk about a company that has diversified, weathered the storm, and managed to find balance? That’s them. Though there are some other great contenders there too.

I still think F5 should be in that list. ;-)

Well, there you have it. Now I (kind of) got to vote after all. Any dissension?