In-Depth

The 2009 Redmond Reader's Choice Awards: It's a Grand Slam

By last year, some winners in the annual Redmond Reader's Choice Awards had become so routine, so predictable, that we had to make a change. The same products-clearly beloved by readers-won Reader's Choice Awards over and over again for years.

So, for 2008, we decided to spice things up a bit. We introduced the Triple Crown, a new award for products that won Reader's Choice honors in a particular category three times in a row. Sure enough, Triple Crown winners dotted last year's awards list, with 34 products in total taking home the new honor. The Triple Crown is still in play for 2009-but not a single product won it. Why? There are a couple of reasons.

First of all, we greatly expanded our survey for 2009, reaching out to vendors that had never participated before and including products that appeared in the survey for the first time. We also refreshed our 2008 survey by checking with the vendors whose products were represented in it to find out whether any of those vendors had anything new or updated to add. Many of them did. On top of that, we introduced for 2009 a raft of virtualization categories that are making their first appearances.

But the main reason we don't have any Triple Crown winners for 2009 is that we have a whole new award for super champions: the Grand Slam. As its name suggests, the Grand Slam goes to a product that has won in the same category four times in a row.

A grand total of 22 Grand Slam Winners means that 12 of last year's Triple Crown honorees failed to reach home plate; the Grand Slam was a strike out for many of the products that have dominated the survey for years.

Methodology
Redmond sent its Reader's Choice survey to 40,000 subscribers of the magazine, each of whom could only fill out the survey once. We received 1,055 responses, up from 839 in 2008. This year, we're again awarding "ISV Winner" status to non-Microsoft, independent vendor entries that didn't win their categories outright but managed to beat everybody else but Microsoft. Redmond is focused on the extensive vendor community that expands on what Microsoft already does; because Microsoft products routinely win in many categories, we developed the ISV Winner award to recognize the leading independent software vendors whose wares finished just behind-or sometimes even ahead of-those of Microsoft's in our standings. We did this not so much to level the playing field but to acknowledge that, in some cases, there are two playing fields. We're also bestowing the title of Preferred Product on products that separated themselves from the pack but weren't outright winners.

NETWORK AND SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT
Best Network Management Product (35 products in category)
Microsoft System Center Operations Manager: 12.5 percent (Winner)
SolarWinds Network Management Software: 11.8 percent (ISV Winner, Preferred Product)
Cisco Systems LAN Management Solution: 10.9 percent (Preferred Product)

Desktop Authority pulled a major upset in last year's vote, taking the overall winner's spot away from System Center Operations Manager (SCOM). This year, however, the mighty Microsoft product regained its top spot-albeit narrowly over an ISV Winner entry from SolarWinds that didn't even make last year's top three. Cisco's LAN Management Solution also appears as a Preferred Product after being shut out last year.

Best Application Management Product (39 products in category)
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007: 19.7 percent (Winner)
Microsoft System Center Operations Manager: 13.2 percent (Preferred Product)
Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008: 9.2 percent (Preferred Product)
Novell ZenWorks: 8.3 percent (ISV Winner, Preferred Product)

In expanding the Reader's Choice survey for 2009, we included many more products in certain categories than we had in past years. A lot of those new or updated products came from Microsoft, which absolutely dominated the Application Management category this year. In fact, only System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) could knock 2008 Triple Crown Winner SCOM out of a Grand Slam award. Granted, it might be splitting hairs to separate one System Center product from another, but that's how Microsoft officials entered their products into the category. Novell chipped in with a Preferred Product spot and took home ISV Winner honors.

Best Performance Management Product (30 products in category)
Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007: 12.9 percent (Grand Slam Winner, Winner)
SolarWinds Orion Network Performance Monitor: 12.6 percent (ISV Winner, Preferred Product)
HP OpenView: 12.3 percent (Preferred Product)

SCOM takes home a Grand Slam, but it was close. ISV winner for 2009 SolarWinds had a product finish second last year in this category as well, but the gap between it and SCOM was much wider than it is this year. For 2009, Microsoft's performance- management application took home the honor in this category by just a few votes. HP OpenView wasn't far from the top itself but had to settle for a Preferred Product award.

Best General Network Monitoring Tool (57 products in category)
Cisco Systems Syslog Analyzer: 13.4 percent (ISV Winner, Winner)
Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007: 10.9 percent (Preferred Product)
HP OpenView Operations for Windows: 10 percent (Preferred Product)

It's a huge upset for ISV Winner Syslog Analyzer, which knocks SCOM off its perch in the General Network Monitoring Tool category and denies the ever-present Microsoft product a Grand Slam. HP OpenView once again clocked in with a strong showing, finishing just behind SCOM. With 57 entries, this category featured four products that didn't appear last year and remains one of the most crowded categories in the Reader's Choice Awards.

Best Interoperability Product (9 products in category)
Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008: 40 percent (Winner)
McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator: 21.7 percent (ISV Winner, Preferred Product)
MKS Toolkit: 12.5 percent (Preferred Product)

Microsoft and the powerful System Center family of applications put a stop to MKS Toolkit's utter domination of the Interoperability category. A Triple Crown winner in 2008, MKS Toolkit garnered 38 percent of last year's vote and looked like a shoe-in for the Grand Slam. But the Reader's Choice Awards offer no guarantees, although MKS did earn a Preferred Product honor this year. McAfee Inc., however, stepped in this year to take the ISV Winner title.

Best Bandwidth/Traffic Monitoring Product (9 products in category)
Barracuda Web Filter: 23.6 percent (ISV Winner, Winner)
Lightspeed Systems Total Traffic Control: 21.1 percent (Preferred Product)
Network Instruments Observer: 15.8 percent (Preferred Product)

Lightspeed Systems Inc. just missed out on a Triple Crown this year, dropping the Bandwidth/Traffic Monitoring category to Barracuda Networks, which didn't place in 2008. Network Instruments Observer was a Preferred Product last year, and is again this year.

Best Web Usage Monitor (17 products in category)
Websense Enterprise: 31.1 percent (Grand Slam Winner, ISV Winner, Winner)
SurfControl Web Filter: 13.2 percent (Preferred Product)
Barracuda Web Filter: 11.8 percent (Preferred Product)

Websense Enterprise continues its total domination of the Best Web Usage Monitor category and knocked it out of the park with a Grand Slam. Barracuda Web Filter is a new Preferred Product for 2009, stealing the thunder of 2008 incumbent Blue Coat Proxy SG and AV Web proxy servers.

Best Asset Management/Resource Inventory Product (21 products in category)
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007: 35.7 percent (Winner)
Novell Asset Manager: 8.1 percent (ISV Winner, Preferred Product)
Symantec Altiris Service and Asset Management Suite: 8.1 percent (ISV Winner, Preferred Product)

The Altiris Suite won a Triple Crown in 2008 but struck out going for the Grand Slam this year. Instead, the ubiquitous Microsoft SCCM 2007, a popular product all over the survey, took home a resounding victory.

Best License Management Product (9 products in category)
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007: 58.7 percent (Grand Slam Winner, Winner)
ScriptLogic Desktop Authority: 10.2 percent (ISV Winner, Preferred Product)
Symantec Total Management Suite: 9 percent (Preferred Product)

Microsoft Systems Management Server is now Microsoft SCCM 2007, but by any name it's still a winner in this category. ScriptLogic Corp. picked up a Preferred Product honor along with Symantec Corp.

Best Compliance Tool (37 products in category)
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007: 30 percent (Winner)
McAfee Vulnerability Manager: 6.9 percent (ISV Winner, Preferred Product)
Shavlik NetChk Compliance: 6.7 percent (Preferred Product)

All changed in Compliance Tools, as the 2008 lineup of ScriptLogic File System Auditor, NetIQ and Symantec Bindview have completely given way to three new winners, with the all-conquering SCOM 2007 on top.

Best Non-Microsoft Browser: (5 products in category
Mozilla Firefox: 74 percent (Grand Slam Winner, ISV Winner, Winner)
Google Chrome 14.4 percent (preferred Product)

Was there ever any question? Google Chrome made a strong showing in its first Reader's Choice survey, but Firefox is still the hottest non-Internet Explorer browser out there. Firefox knocks one out to straight center field for a Grand Slam.

Best SQL Tool (33 products in category)
ScriptLogic Security Explorer for SQL Server: 13.5 percent (ISV Winner, Winner)
Quest Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise: 10.1 percent (Preferred Product)
SQL Power Tools Zero Impact Enterprise Monitor: 9.4 percent (Preferred Product)

ScriptLogic, the bridesmaid in 2008, will wear white in 2009 as winner of the Best SQL Tool category. Quest Software Inc. once again makes a strong showing, and SQL Power Tools, which entered two products this year that were listed as one last year, takes a home a Preferred Product honor for Zero Impact Enterprise Monitor. Even adding Impact Showplan Analyzer, the SQL Power Tools Inc. product that joined Zero Impact Enterprise monitor in a single entry last year, doesn't quite push SQL Power Tools over the edge. ScriptLogic takes the prize.

INSTALLATION AND DEPLOYMENT
Best Software Distribution Product (14 products in category)
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007: 59.1 percent (Grand Slam Winner, Winner)
Symantec Deployment Solution: 11.1 percent (ISV Winner, Preferred Product)
IBM Tivoli Netview Distribution Manager: 8.6 percent (Preferred Product)

SCCM dominates like never before, raking in almost 60 percent of the vote in the Software Distribution category, compared to 53.4 percent last year. Symantec's Deployment Solution and IBM's Tivoli Netview Distribution Manager picked up much of the rest of the ballots.

Best Software Packaging Product (7 products in category)
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007: 35.5 percent (Winner)
InstallShield AdminStudio: 32.5 percent (ISV Winner, Preferred Product)
Symantec Altiris Package Studio: 13.2 percent (Preferred Product)

Last year's winner, InstallShield AdminStudio, was poised to knock home a Grand Slam but got thrown out at the plate by SCCM, which wins yet another category-this one by a very tight margin. This category should offer a battle for years to come.

Best Drive Imaging Product (5 products in category)
Symantec Ghost Suite: 49.3 percent (Grand Slam Winner, ISV Winner, Winner)
Acronis True Image: 27.7 percent (Preferred Product)
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007: 14.8 percent (Preferred Product)

In a category with few products, Ghost remains alive at the top of the heap and takes home a Grand Slam. Acronis True Image clocked in at a solid second, and the ever-present SCCM picked up a Preferred Product honor.

ADMINISTRATION
Best Migration Product (15 products in category)
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007: 27.2 percent (Winner)
Quest Migration Manager: 17.8 percent (ISV Winner, Preferred Product)
Acronis Migrate Easy: 14.3 percent (Preferred Product)

Quest Migration Manager won this category with 17.1 percent of the vote last year, so it actually improved on its 2008 performance. But it didn't garner enough votes to take out SCCM, which stole a Grand Slam from Migration Manager and took the category by a fairly comfortable margin.

Best Server Migration Product (18 products in category)
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007: 22.1 percent (Winner)
VMware Converter: 18.5 percent (Preferred Product)
VMware Motion: 16.4 percent (Preferred Product)

Poised for a Triple Crown, Symantec's Deployment Solution fared poorly in 2009, and SCCM took another category. Two VMware Inc. products chimed in as Preferred.

Best Group Policy Manager (22 products in category)
Microsoft Windows Essential Business Server 2008: 15.7 percent (Winner)
Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008: 13.9 percent (Preferred Product)
ScriptLogic Active Administrator: 9.4 percent (ISV Winner, Preferred Product)

The expansion of the Reader's Choice survey led to some changes in 2009. Microsoft chose not to enter the dated Group Policy Management Console and instead pitted two new products against each other. Windows Essential Business Server 2008 came out on top, just beating its cousin, Small Business Server, to the post. ScriptLogic Active Administrator, a Preferred Product and ISV Winner last year, took home the same gongs in 2009.

Best Disk Defragmentation and Drive Monitoring Tool (9 products in category)
Executive Software Diskeeper: 31.6 percent (Grand Slam Winner, ISV Winner, Winner)
Winternals Defrag Manager: 27.1 percent (Preferred Product)
Acronis Disk Director Suite: 11.9 percent (Preferred Product)

Diskeeper Corp.'s hold on this category is relentless as it picks up a Grand Slam. But Winternals Defrag Manager, which finished nearly 11 percentage points behind Diskeeper last year, is making progress.

Best Remote Troubleshooting Solution (23 products in category)
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager: 33.7 percent (Winner)
Symantec Client Management Suite: 12.7 percent (ISV Winner, Preferred Product)
ScriptLogic Desktop Authority Remote Management Gateway: 6.7 percent (Preferred Product)

ScriptLogic's Desktop Authority was a big winner in 2008 but slipped a bit in 2009, although it still finished as a preferred product. At the top of the heap, though, is SCCM-again.

Best Network Automation and Batch-Processing Tool (20 products in category)
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007: 24.1 percent (Winner)
ScriptLogic Desktop Authority: 17.8 percent (ISV Winner, Preferred Product)
Network Automation AutoMate BPA Server 7: 15.6 percent (Preferred Product)

Desktop Authority won a Triple Crown in 2008 but couldn't connect on a Grand Slam for 2009, ceding the category to SCCM but still beating out Network Automation's AutoMate BPA server for the ISV Winner spot.

Best Scripting Tool (14 products in category)
Network Automation AutoMate 7: 24.9 percent (ISV Winner, Winner)
ScriptLogic Desktop Authority: 18.1 percent (Preferred Product)
Microsoft IIS Windows PowerShell Snap-In: 16.5 percent (Preferred Product)

Triple Crown winner in 2008, Sapien Primal Script fell a bit flat this year, failing to register as a Preferred Product. AutoMate 7 came from out of nowhere-it wasn't in the top three in 2008-to take this year's scripting prize. It's worth noting that our survey expansion took this category from five products in 2008 to 14 in 2009.

Best Patch-Management Product (19 products in category)
Microsoft Software Update Services: 34.1 percent (Grand Slam Winner, Winner)
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007: 22.6 percent (Preferred Product)
Shavlik Technologies HFNetChkPro: 9.5 percent (ISV Winner, Preferred Product)

The service behind Patch Tuesday beat competition from the Redmond campus to win a Grand Slam. Shavlik Technologies LLC's entry remained strong in the ISV category.

Best Application Sharing Tool (3 products in category)
Citrix XenApp: 49 percent (ISV Winner, Winner)
Microsoft Terminal Services: 48 percent (Preferred Product)
New Moon Canaveral IQ: 3 percent (Preferred Product)

To the wire! XenApp just pips Terminal Services and takes home its second straight victory in this category. Citrix Systems Inc. will be gunning for the Triple Crown in 2010.

Best Application-Conflict Testing Tool (5 products in category)
InstallShield AdminStudio: 34.4 percent (ISV Winner, Winner)
ScriptLogic Desktop Authority MSI Studio: 26.6 percent (Preferred Product)
Symantec Package Studio: 20.9 percent (Preferred Product)

InstallShield AdminStudio is the first winner of the brand-new Application-Conflict Testing Tool category. Readers didn't seem too conflicted about choosing it, although Desktop Authority did have a nice showing.

SECURITY
Best Hardware-Based Firewall Product (23 products in category)
Cisco Systems PIX Series: 34.5 percent (Grand Slam Winner, ISV Winner, Winner)
Sonicwall Pro and TZ Series: 10.6 percent (Preferred Product)
Barracuda Spam and Virus Firewall: 7.7 percent (Preferred Product)

We added another nine products to this category for 2009, but the winner was the same-Cisco's PIX Series. That's a Grand Slam for Cisco Systems Inc., which easily outpaced its two nearest competitors.

Best Software-Based Firewall Product (17 products in category)
Symantec Enterprise Firewall: 20.2 percent (ISV Winner, Winner)
Microsoft ISA Server 2004: 17.6 percent (Preferred Product)
Check Point Endpoint Security: 11 percent (Preferred Product)

ISA Server had a shot at a Grand Slam, but Symantec Enterprise Firewall, third place last year, stole the Software-Based Firewall Product category in 2009. Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. fell from second to third in the voting but still earned Preferred Product status.

Best Security Auditing Product (40 products in category)
GFI LANguard Security Event Log Monitor: 11 percent (ISV Winner, Winner)
McAfee Vulnerability Manager: 8 percent (Preferred Product)
CA eTrust Access Control: 7.5 percent (Preferred Product)
Symantec Control Compliance Suite: 7.5 percent (Preferred Product)

In 2008, there were 23 products in this category; in 2009, we offered 40. GFI's LANguard product had Preferred status last year, but it beat new top-three entrant McAfee Vulnerability Manager in 2009 to win the Security Auditing category.

Best Intrusion-Detection System (16 products in category)
Cisco Systems Cisco Secure Intrusion Detection System: 34.5 percent (Grand Slam Winner, ISV Winner, Winner)
Websense Web Security Suite: 12.2 percent (Preferred Product)
Trend Micro ScanMail for Microsoft Exchange: 8.8 percent (Preferred Product)

It wasn't even close, and it never really has been-Cisco crushed a Grand Slam in this category, leaving Websense Inc. and Trend Micro Inc. to pick up the consolation of being Preferred Products.

Best Intrusion-Prevention System (24 products in category)
Cisco Systems Okena Stormwatch: 17.5 percent (Grand Slam Winner, ISV Winner, Winner)
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007: 12.3 percent (Preferred Product)
McAfee Network Security Platform: 10.8 percent (Preferred Product)

The Okena Stormwatch rumbled in as a winner again and took a Grand Slam in the Intrusion-Prevention System category. But look out-SCCM is lurking. It wasn't in the top three in 2008.

Best Smart Card/Biometric/Two-Factor Authentication System (13 products in category)
RSA Secure ID: 45.1 percent (Grand Slam Winner, ISV Winner, Winner)
Microsoft Identity Lifecycle Manager 2007: 20.8 percent (Preferred Product)
Quest Defender: 5.5 percent (Preferred Product)

Secure ID continues its domination of this category, knocking a Grand Slam out of the park and rounding the bases well ahead of its two nearest competitors.

Best Secure Messaging Tool or Service (Spam or Content Filtering) (67 products in category)
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003: 12.4 percent (Grand Slam Winner, Winner)
Barracuda Spam and Virus Firewall: 9.6 percent (ISV Winner, Preferred Product)
Symantec Mail Security: 7.6 percent (Preferred Product)

This huge category-up to 67 products from 50 in 2008-tightened up considerably in 2009, but Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 remains champion and claims a Grand Slam. Barracuda is ISV Winner again after taking the same honor in 2008.

Best Anti-Virus Tool (21 products in category)
Symantec Antivirus: 30.4 percent (Grand Slam Winner, ISV Winner, Winner)
AVG Internet Security Network Edition: 14.8 percent (Preferred Product)
McAfee Total Protection: 12.7 percent (Preferred Product)

We added 10 new products to the survey in the Anti-Virus category for 2009, but the king of the mountain still reigns. Nobody came close to knocking Symantec from its throne, and the massive security vendor captured a Grand Slam in its signature category. Will Microsoft's Security Essentials make the list in 2010?

Best Anti-Spyware Tool (17 products in category)
McAfee Total Protection: 20.8 percent (Grand Slam Winner, ISV Winner, Winner)
Trend Micro Antispyware: 16.6 percent (Preferred Product)
Webroot AntiSpyware: 15.3 percent (Preferred Product)

Here's a win for one of Symantec's biggest rivals. When it comes to stopping spyware, readers say there's nothing better than McAfee Total Protection, which totally scored a Grand Slam in this category.

TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION
Best Exam Preparation Vendor (13 products in category)
Microsoft: 27.3 percent (Winner)
Cisco Press: 9.5 percent (ISV Winner, Preferred Product)
CBT Nuggets: 7.9 percent (Preferred Product)
Kaplan IT Learning: 7.9 percent (Preferred Product)

In order to offer a more apples-to-apples comparison, we've taken the emphasis off of products in the Training and Certification field and shifted it to vendors. Microsoft won for the second year in a row in 2009 and will have a shot at a Triple Crown in 2010.

Best Online, Disk-Based or Instructor-Led Training Vendor (20 products in category)
Microsoft: 26.9 percent (Grand Slam Winner, Winner)
Global Knowledge: 14.7 percent (ISV Winner, Preferred Product)
CBT Nuggets: 10.1 percent (Preferred Product)

Microsoft, a consistent winner in this category, took home honors again for a Grand Slam. Global Knowledge Training LLC made a strong showing as ISV Winner.

Best Windows Certification-Based Boot Camp Vendor (11 products in category)
Global Knowledge: 56.1 percent (Grand Slam Winner, ISV Winner, Preferred Product)
The Training Camp: 9.7 percent (Preferred Product)
Mountain View Systems: 6.7 percent (Preferred Product)

Global Knowledge took home a Grand Slam in this category, with nobody else within striking distance. An honorable mention here goes to Microsoft, which provides boot camp-style courses to partners, but isn't a true boot camp vendor.

STORAGE AND BACKUP
Best Backup System (40 products in category)
Symantec Backup Exec 12.5: 26.6 percent (Grand Slam Winner, ISV Winner, Winner)
Acronis True Image: 12.7 percent (Preferred Product)
Symantec NetBackup: 9.6 percent (Preferred Product)

We nearly doubled the number of options in this category for 2009, but the winner was still the same: Backup Exec, which cruised to a Grand Slam. Symantec also managed to place a Preferred Product in the Backup System category this year.

Best Storage-Management Product (29 products in category)
EMC ControlCenter SRM Software: 14.7 percent (ISV Winner, Winner)
Symantec Storage Central: 11.6 percent (Preferred Product)
Microsoft Windows Essential Business Server 2008: 8.2 percent (Preferred Product)

Storage Central was poised for a Grand Slam but couldn't deliver, as EMC's software finally claimed what has been one of the closer categories over the years. Microsoft also scored a Preferred Product mention.

Best Disaster Recovery Product or Service (46 products in category)
Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery: 16.9 percent (Grand Slam Winner, ISV Winner, Winner)
Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2007: 11 percent (Preferred Product)
VMware Site Recovery Manager: 9.1 percent (Preferred Product)

Again, we boosted the number of contestants in this category, this time to 46 from 27 in 2008. And again, Symantec won with Backup Exec System Recovery and can now celebrate a Grand Slam.

Best Clustering and Failover Solution (13 products in category)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Clustering Services: 27.5 percent (Grand Slam Winner, Winner)
VMware Fault Tolerance: 20.7 percent (Preferred Product)
Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008: 8 percent (Preferred Product)

It's hard to beat Microsoft for clustering and failover, but VMware stormed into this category for the first time this year with a very strong showing and an ISV win.

Best Load-Balancing Product (17 products in category)
VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler: 20.2 percent (Winner)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Load Balancing: 16.2 percent (Preferred Product)
F5 Networks 3-DNS Controller: 12.6 percent (Preferred Product)

Windows Server 2003 got held up at third base on its way to a Load-Balancing Grand Slam, as VMware grabbed the votes it needed to crash Redmond's party.

VIRTUALIZATION
All of the categories under the virtualization umbrella are new for 2009 except for two: Best Virtual Server Product and Best Virtual PC Product.

Best Virtual Server Product (15 products in category)
VMware ESXi: 25.7 percent (Grand Slam Winner, Winner)
Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V: 23.3 percent (Preferred Product)
VMware Server: 19 percent (Preferred Product)

Hyper-V is breathing down the neck of ESXi, but VMware is still the clear winner in the Virtual Server Product Category. There's no doubt Redmond would like to see that change by 2010. For now, ESXi walks off with a Grand Slam.

Best Virtual PC Product (7 products in category)
VMware Workstation: 56.4 percent (Grand Slam Winner, Winner)
Microsoft Virtual PC for Windows: 33.6 percent (Preferred Product)
This wasn't particularly close-VMware workstation cleared the fence by some distance in taking this Grand Slam.

Best Application Virtualization Product (8 products in category)
VMware ThinApp: 40.4 percent (Winner)
Microsoft Application Virtualization: 28.2 percent (Preferred Product)
Citrix XenApp: 19 percent (Preferred Product)

It's another virtualization victory for VMware, still the dominant vendor in the market. But Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) made a strong case in second place.

Best Virtual Automation Product (2 products in category)
Reliance Automated VM Provisioning: 67.9 percent (ISV Winner, Winner)

For the record, the Surgient Virtual Automation Platform finished second out of two in this category.

Best Virtual Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Product (15 products in category)
Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager: 38 percent (Winner)
Acronis True Image Echo: 11 percent (ISV Winner, Preferred Product)
Acronis True Image Virtual Edition: 8.9 percent (Preferred Product)

There was a fine showing by Acronis Inc., but Microsoft takes the first gong in this category.

Best Desktop Virtualization Product (14 products in category)
Citrix XenDesktop: 48.2 percent (ISV Winner, Winner)
Sun xVM Virtual Box: 17.3 percent (Preferred Product)
ThinLaunch Thin Desktop: 6.6 percent (Preferred Product)

Citrix is the runaway winner here with almost half the votes going its way.

Best Virtual Management and Optimization Product (27 products in category)
NetIQ AppManager for VMware: 12.9 percent (ISV Winner, Winner)
IBM Systems Director: 11.6 percent (Preferred Product)
Veeam Management Pack for VMware: 9.8 percent (Preferred Product)

In a tight race, NetIQ Corp. just nips IBM Corp. and Veeam Software. This should be a competitive category for some time to come.

Best Storage Virtualization and Management Product (16 products in category)
Citrix Essentials for XenServer and Microsoft Hyper-V: 34.8 percent (ISV Winner, Winner)
Network Appliance NetApp Data ONTAP 7G: 9 percent (Preferred Product)
Network Appliance NetApp V-Series systems: 9 percent (Preferred Product)

Network Appliance Inc. makes a statement with two products in the top three, but Citrix took home the votes and the honors in the category for Storage Virtualization and Management Products.

Best Virtualization Training Vendor (5 products in category)
Global Knowledge: 66.1 percent (ISV Winner, Winner)
NetCom: 15.1 percent (Preferred Product)
Intense School: 9.9 percent (Preferred Product)

Global Knowledge is a training titan, winning the virtualization-training race.

Best Virtualization Security Product (3 products in category)
Tripwire Enterprise: 24.5 percent (ISV Winner, Winner)
Check Point VPN-1 VE: 20.7 percent (Preferred Product)
Shavlik NetChk Protect: 9.1 percent (Preferred Product)

For Virtualization Security, it's Tripwire Inc., which just beats Check Point to the honor in this category.

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