In-Depth

2013 Reader's Choice Awards: Third-Party Products Shine

A revamped survey of Redmond's readership reveals your favorite software, hardware and services that complement Microsoft's core offerings.

One of the primary reasons Microsoft remains a mainstay in the datacenter and on PCs is its third-party ecosystem. Every year Redmond magazine has asked readers to choose their favorite products across a broad range of categories. Not surprisingly, Microsoft often swept many key segments. While we don't dispute that was deserved, in our view it was difficult to understand and recognize your preferences for third-party tools to manage and augment Microsoft's key platforms.

In an effort to get a better assessment of the most valued third-party tools to complement Microsoft's flagship offerings, we decided to take a fresh look at the technology that drives Windows, Windows Server, SQL Server, System Center, Exchange and SharePoint, among other key platforms from Redmond. As a result, we redesigned the annual Reader's Choice Awards in a major way. We kept all of the categories and added quite a few new ones, but made one major change: Microsoft products were not eligible.

After many years of conducting the Reader's Choice Awards survey, we understand most of you favor Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager for the simple fact that it's a component of the platform. But to help you make better decisions about what ancillary tools can extend the platform, we concluded the only way to provide a clear picture was to exclude Microsoft. The results speak for themselves, recognizing a number of important products that would otherwise be overshadowed.

We're also pleased to present more than a dozen new categories in such areas as server infrastructure, thin-client hardware and, of course, cloud computing. Congratulations to all the gold, silver and bronze winners.

Category

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Network and Systems Management

SolarWinds
Network Performance Monitor
SolarWinds Inc.

Cisco Systems LAN Management Solution
Cisco Systems Inc.

IBM Tivoli NetView
IBM Corp.

Application Performance Management

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor
SolarWinds Inc.

Citrix NetScaler
Citrix Systems Inc.

HP Application Performance Management
Hewlett-Packard Co.

Systems Performance Management

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor
SolarWinds Inc.

Dell OpenManage
Dell Inc.

Citrix NetScaler
Citrix Systems Inc.

General Network Monitoring Tool

Cisco Syslog Analyzer
Cisco Systems Inc.

Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold
Ipswitch Inc.

IBM Tivoli NetView
IBM Corp.

Remote Monitoring and Management/IT Control Management Platform

Kaseya
Kaseya International Ltd.

Dell packetTrap
Dell Inc.

GFI Max RemoteManagement
GFI Software

Bandwidth/Traffic Monitoring

Barracuda Web Filter
Barracuda Networks Inc.

Citrix Branch Repeater
Citrix Systems Inc.

Lightspeed Systems Total Traffic Control
Lightspeed Systems Inc.

Web Usage Monitor

Websense Enterprise
Websense Inc.

Barracuda Web Filter
Barracuda Networks Inc.

Barracuda Web Application Firewall
Barracuda Networks Inc.

License Management

Symantec Total Management Suite
(Replaced by IT Management Suite [ITMS])
Symantec Corp.

IBM Tivoli License Compliance Manager
IBM Corp.

Dell KACE Software License Management Solution
Dell Inc.

Asset Management/Resource Inventory Management

CA IT Asset Manager
CA Technologies

Kaseya Computer Audit and Discovery
Kaseya International Ltd.

Symantec Altiris Inventory Solution (now included in ITMS)
Symantec Corp.

Compliance Management

NetIQ Security and Compliance Management
NetIQ Corp.

Symantec Control Compliance Suite
Symantec Corp.

Barracuda Web Application Firewall
Barracuda Networks Inc.

Non-Microsoft Browser

Google Chrome
Google Inc.

Mozilla Firefox
Mozilla.org

Apple Safari
Apple Inc.

SQL Tool

Dell Quest Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise
Dell Inc.

Dell Quest (formerly ScriptLogic) Security Explorer for SQL Server
Dell Inc.

Idera SQL Admin Toolset
Idera Inc.

SharePoint Product or Service

Webtrends for SharePoint
Webtrends

AvePoint for SharePoint (tie)
AvePoint Inc.

Idera SharePoint Admin Toolset
Idera SharePoint Enterprise Manager
Idera Inc.

Software Distribution

Symantec Deployment Solution
Symantec Corp.

IBM Tivoli NetView Distribution Manager
IBM Corp.

Dell KACE K1000 Management Appliance
Dell Inc.

Software Packaging

Dell Quest (formerly ScriptLogic) MSI Studio
Dell Inc.

Symantec Altiris Wise Package Studio
Symantec Corp.

InstallShield AdminStudio
Flexera Software LLC

Drive Imaging

Symantec Ghost Suite
Symantec Corp.

Acronis True Image
Acronis International GmbH

Acronis Backup & Recovery Advanced Server (tie)
Acronis International GmbH

Symantec Client Management Suite
Symantec Corp.

Overall Migration

Dell KACE K2000 Management Appliance
Dell Inc.

Acronis Migrate Easy
Acronis International GmbH

Acronis Backup & Recovery Advanced Server (tie)
Acronis International GmbH

Symantec Client Management Suite
Symantec Corp.

Server Migration

VMware vMotion
VMware Inc.

VMware Converter
VMware Inc.

Acronis Backup & Recovery Advanced Server
Acronis International GmbH

Group Policy Management

Symantec Control Compliance Suite
Symantec Corp.

Dell Quest GPOADmin
Dell Inc.

Citrix Access Gateway
Citrix Systems Inc.

Disk Defragmentation and Drive Monitoring Tool

Diskeeper
Condusiv Technologies Corp.

Acronis Disk Director Suite
Acronis International GmbH

NetWrix Disk Space Monitor
NetWrix Corp.

Remote Client Management and Troubleshooting Solution

LogMeIn Pro
LogMeIn Inc.

Symantec Client Management Suite
Symantec Corp.

Kaseya Remote Desktop Management
Kaseya International Ltd.

Network Automation and Batch Processing Tool

HP Network Automation
Hewlett-Packard Co.

Kaseya IT Center
Kaseya International Ltd.

N-able N-central
N-able Technologies Inc.

Scripting Tool

Desktop Authority (formerly Quest/ScriptLogic)
Dell Inc.

VMware VI Toolkit for Windows
VMware Inc.

Dell Quest PowerGUI
Dell Inc.

Patch Management

HFNetChkPro
VMware Inc. (formerly Shavlik Technologies LLC)

Symantec Total Management Suite
Symantec Corp.

IBM Tivoli Endpoint Manager for Patch Management
IBM Corp.

Application-Conflict Testing Tool

InstallShield AdminStudio
Flexera Software LLC

MSI Studio
Dell Inc.

Symantec Package Studio
Symantec Corp.

Hardware-Based Firewall

Cisco ASA 5500 Series
Cisco Systems Inc.

Dell SonicWall Next Generation Firewall Series
Dell Inc.

Cisco PIX Series
Cisco Systems Inc.

Software-Based Firewall

Symantec Enterprise Firewall
Symantec Corp.

Check Point Endpoint Security
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.

Kaspersky Lab Anti-Hacker
Kaspersky Lab ZAO

Security Auditor

McAfee Policy Auditor
McAfee Inc. (an Intel Company)

Symantec Security Information Manager
Symantec Corp.

GFI LANguard Security Event Log Monitor
GFI Software

Intrusion-Detection System

Cisco Secure Intrusion Detection System
Cisco Systems Inc.

Check Point IPS-1 (tie)
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.

Symantec Critical System Protection
Symantec Corp.

Intrusion-Prevention System

Cisco Security Agent (formerly Okena StormWatch)
Cisco Systems Inc.

Barracuda Web Application Firewall
Barracuda Networks Inc.

Symantec ManHunt
Symantec Corp.

Smart Card/Biometric/Two- Factor Authentication System

RSA SecurID
EMC Corp.

McAfee (formerly Secure Computing) SafeWord
McAfee Inc.

ProtectID
StrikeForce Technologies Inc.

Secure Messaging Tool or Service (Spam and Content Filtering)

Barracuda Spam & Virus Firewall
Barracuda Networks Inc.

Symantec Messaging Gateway
Symantec Corp.

 

Antivirus Tool

Symantec Endpoint Protection
Symantec Corp.

McAfee Total Protection
McAfee Inc.

Kaspersky Lab Anti-Virus
Kaspersky Lab ZAO

Anti-Spyware Tool

McAfee Total Protection
McAfee Inc.

Trend Micro Antispyware
Trend Micro Inc.

Webroot AntiSpyware
Webroot Inc.

User Activity Monitoring

Websense Usage Monitor
Websense Inc.

Dell Quest One Identity Solutions
Dell Inc.

GFI WebMonitor
GFI Software

Active Directory Provisioning/Administration

Dell Quest (formerly ScriptLogic) Active Administrator
Dell Inc.

NetIQ Directory and Resource Administrator
NetIQ Corp.

Dell Quest Spotlight on Active Directory
Dell Inc.

Identity Access Management/Single Sign-on Software (Premises-Based)

RSA Identity and Access Management Suite
EMC Corp.

IBM Tivoli Identity and Access Manager
IBM Corp.

CA IdentityMinder
CA Technologies

Backup Software

Symantec Backup Exec
Symantec Corp.

Acronis Backup & Recovery Advanced Server
Acronis International GmbH

Symantec NetBackup
Symantec Corp.

Storage Management Software

NetApp OnCommand
NetApp

Symantec Veritas CommandCentral Storage
Symantec Corp.

Acronis Backup & Recovery Advanced Server
Acronis International GmbH

Disaster Recovery Solutions

VMware Site Recovery Manager
VMware Inc.

Acronis Backup & Recovery Advanced Server
Acronis International GmbH

Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery
Symantec Corp.

Clustering and Failover Solution

VMware Fault Tolerance
VMware Inc.

Symantec Veritas Storage Foundation High Availability for Windows
Symantec Corp.

Symantec Veritas Cluster Server
Symantec Corp.

Load Balancer

Barracuda Load Balancer
Barracuda Networks Inc.

Citrix NetScaler VPX ADC
Citrix Systems Inc.

Riverbed Stingray Traffic Manager
Riverbed Technology

Exam Preparation Vendor

Cisco Press (part of the Professional Division of Pearson plc)

Sybex Inc. (a division of John Wiley & Sons Inc.)

MeasureUp LLC

Online, Disk-Based or Instructor-Led Training Vendor

Global Knowledge Training LLC

TrainSignal Inc.

SkillSoft Ireland Ltd. (Books24x7)

Microsoft Certification-Based Boot Camp Vendor

Global Knowledge Training LLC

Real MCSE Bootcamp

The Training Camp

Application Virtualization

VMware ThinApp
VMware Inc.

Citrix XenApp
Citrix Systems Inc.

Novell ZENworks Application Virtualization
Novell

Virtual Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Solution

Veeam Backup & Replication for VMware and Hyper-V
Veeam Software

Symantec System Recovery Server Edition
Symantec Corp.

Dell AppAssure Software Replay VRA
Dell Inc.

Virtual Management and Optimization

VMware eG VM Monitor
VMware Inc.

Veeam Management Pack for VMware
Veeam Software

SolarWinds VM Monitor SolarWinds Inc.

Storage Virtualization and Management Platform

NetApp V-Series Systems
NetApp

NetApp Data ONTAP 8
NetApp

FalconStor Network Storage Server
FalconStor Software

Virtualization Training Vendor

Global Knowledge Training LLC

NetCom Learning

Intense School

Virtual Server

VMware vSphere
VMware Inc.

VMware ESXi
VMware Inc.

Citrix XenServer
Citrix Systems Inc.

Virtual Server Add-ons

Veeam Backup & Replication
Veeam Software

Acronis Backup & Recovery Advanced Server Virtual (tie)
Acronis International GmbH

Dell AppAssure Replay for Hyper-V
Dell Inc.

Virtual PC

VMware Workstation
VMware Inc.

Parallels Virtuozzo
Parallels IP Holdings GmbH

Pano Logic Pano System
Pano Logic Inc.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Solution

VMware View
VMware Inc.

Citrix XenDesktop
Citrix Systems Inc.

Parallels Virtuozzo Containers
Parallels IP Holdings GmbH

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Cloud Hosting Provider

Amazon Web Services Inc., an Amazon.com Company

Google Inc.

Go Daddy Operating Company LLC

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Google App Engine
Google Inc.

IBM Corp.

Dell Boomi
Dell Inc.

Software as a Service (SaaS) Application Provider

Salesforce.com Inc.

LogMeIn Inc.

Oracle Corp.

SaaS-Based Application Performance Monitoring (APM) Provider

CA Technologies

Compuware Corp.

BMC Software Inc.

Identity and Access Management as a Service

VMware (TriCipher) MyOneLogin
VMware Inc.

McAfee Cloud Identity Manager
McAfee Inc.

Symantec O3
Symantec Corp.

Cloud Management Tool

Citrix CloudPortal Business Manager
Citrix Systems Inc.

HP CloudSystem Matrix
Hewlett-Packard Co.

IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+
IBM Corp.

Cloud-Based Storage Service/Provider

Amazon Web Services Inc.

Dropbox Inc.

Rackspace US Inc.

E-Mail Hosting Provider

Rackspace US Inc.

AT&T Inc.

Hewlett-Packard Co.

Unified Communications Hosting Provider

Verizon Communications Inc.

AT&T Inc.

Intermedia Inc.

Managed Services/ Hosting Providers

Rackspace US Inc.

CenturyLink Inc.

Cloud9 Real Time (a division of RTB Global Inc.)

SharePoint Cloud/Hosting Solution/Provider

Rackspace US Inc.

SharePoint360 Inc.

Amazon Web Services Inc.

Server Provider

Dell Inc.

Hewlett-Packard Co.

IBM Corp.

Thin-Client Device

Dell Wyse Z90 Series
Dell Inc.

HP t5740, t5745, t5740e Thin Clients
Hewlett-Packard Co.

Dell Wyse D90 Series
Dell Inc.

Network and Systems Management
SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor is a favorite among systems and network managers. Cisco LAN Management Solution was a strong vote-getter as well, followed by NetView from IBM Tivoli, a standard among many systems and network managers.

Application Performance Management (APM)
In addition to systems and network management, SolarWinds is popular among app managers -- it took gold in the APM category. It bested silver winner Citrix NetScaler by just three votes, with HP Application Performance Management coming in a distant third.

Systems Management
Once again, SolarWinds topped the list, followed by second-place Dell OpenManage and bronze winner Citrix NetScaler.

General Network Monitoring Tool
Cisco Syslog Analyzer, the company's event log management software, took the gold. Silver went to Ipswitch, whose WhatsUp Gold manages 100,000 networks. IBM Tivoli NetView took the bronze.

Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM)/IT Control Management
Kaseya was the RMM platform of choice for IT pros who manage distributed remote systems. Coming in second was packetTrap, now a division of Dell, thanks to the company's $2.4 billion acquisition of Quest Software late last year. GFI MAX RemoteManagement took bronze in the RMM category.

Bandwidth/Traffic Monitoring
While there's a handful of popular bandwidth-monitoring tools, Barracuda's was a favorite, taking top honors. Coming in second was Citrix Branch Repeater, with Lightspeed Systems Total Traffic Control placing third.

Web Usage Monitor
Websense Enterprise is the standard bearer for organizations tracking Web usage. Barracuda Web Filter came in second, followed by the company's Web Application Firewall.

License Management
Symantec Total Management Suite, which includes the Symantec Altiris Inventory Solution, was voted the top license-management tool this year. The company has replaced it with the Symantec IT Management Suite (ITMS). IBM came in second with its Tivoli License Compliance Manager, and Dell KACE Software Management Solution is the bronze winner.

Asset Management/Resource Inventory Management
IT pros looking to keep track of their IT assets gave CA Technologies Asset Manager the gold award, with the silver going to Kaseya for its Computer Audit and Discovery. The bronze went to Symantec, whose Altiris Inventory Solution, now a part of ITMS, trailed Kaseya by one vote.

Compliance Management
It was a close call, but NetIQ Security and Compliance Management was the top compliance tool, edging silver winner Symantec Control Compliance Suite by one vote. Bronze recipient Barracuda Web Application Firewall was also popular.

Non-Microsoft Browser
Mozilla Firefox has been the preferred non-Microsoft Web browser since its inception, though Google Chrome gains more share every year. This year, Chrome took the gold by a narrow margin. The bronze goes to a distant third Apple, whose Safari browser is primarily used on Macs and iOS devices.

SQL Tool
The database administrator's tool of choice is Dell Quest Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise, which edged out its own Dell Quest (formerly ScriptLogic) Security Explorer for SQL Server by two votes. Not far behind was bronze recipient Idera SQL Admin Toolset.

SharePoint Product or Service
Webtrends for SharePoint was the preferred SharePoint tool. AvePoint for SharePoint, the Idera SharePoint Admin Toolset and Idera SharePoint Enterprise Manager shared a three-way tie for second place.

Software Distribution
Symantec received a number of gold awards, one of them for its Symantec Deployment Solution. IBM Tivoli NetView Distribution Manager placed silver, and the bronze went to Dell KACE K1000 Management Appliance.

Software Packaging
The gold went to Dell Quest MSI Studio, but the interesting news is the silver, which went to Symantec Altiris Wise Package Studio (discontinued more than a year ago). Ironically, Symantec is offering in its place a branded version of bronze winner Flexera's InstallShield AdminStudio.

Drive Imaging
Symantec Ghost has been around forever, and it's still the favored drive-imaging tool. Also quite popular was Acronis True Image, the silver winner. The two companies also shared bronze for Acronis Backup & Recovery Advanced Server and Symantec Client Management Suite.

Overall Migration
For major migration jobs, the Dell KACE K2000 Management Appliance took the gold, followed by silver recipient Acronis Migrate Easy. Acronis and Symantec again tied for bronze with their respective Acronis Backup & Recovery Advanced Server and Symantec Client Management Suite offerings.

Server Migration
When it comes to server migration, a large number of IT pros rely on VMware, which came out on top with vMotion and in second place with VMware Converter. Acronis Backup & Recovery Advanced Server came in third.

Group Policy Management
Maintaining Group Policy controls is a critical part of many IT pros' jobs, and the choice tool was Symantec Control Compliance Suite. Dell Quest GPOADmin came in a close second, with the Citrix Access Gateway not far behind.

Disk Defragmentation and Drive Monitoring Tool
Diskeeper from Condusiv Technologies Corp. was the runaway favorite when it came to disk defragmentation. Acronis Disk Director Suite came in second, and NetWrix Disk Space Monitor received the bronze.

Remote Client Management and Troubleshooting Solution
LogMeIn is a rapidly growing player in the remote client management field, and its LogMeIn Pro service edged the long-established Symantec Client Management Suite, which took silver. Kaseya Remote Desktop Management came in third.

Network Automation and Batch Processing Tool
One of the gems in the Hewlett-Packard software portfolio is its HP Network Automation tool, which took top honors -- though it only slightly edged silver recipient Kaseya IT Center. The bronze went to N-able N-central.

Scripting Tool
Dell Quest Desktop Authority is another holdover from the ScriptLogic era, and it was the preferred scripting tool, followed by VMware VI. Another Dell Quest product, PowerGUI, took the bronze.

Patch Management
VMware is the preferred provider with HFNetChkPro, thanks to its 2011 acquisition of Shavlik Technologies. Silver went to Symantec Total Management Suite (now replaced by ITMS), and bronze went to IBM Tivoli Endpoint Manager for Patch Management.

Application-Conflict Testing Tool
Flexera InstallShield AdminStudio is the preferred app-conflict testing tool. Dell Quest MSI Studio, the winning software-packaging tool, also took silver in this category. Symantec Package Studio took the bronze.

Hardware-Based Firewall
Nog came close to Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewall, but Dell SonicWall nevertheless did well taking the silver. Another Cisco firewall, the PIX Series, took the bronze.

Software-Based Firewall
Symantec Enterprise Firewall took the gold, with the silver going to Check Point Endpoint Security. Kaspersky Lab Anti-Hacker was the bronze recipient.

Security Auditor
Top honors for security auditing went to McAfee Policy Auditor, with Symantec Security Information Manager placing second. The bronze went to GFI LANguard Security Event Log Monitor.

Intrusion-Detection System
Cisco Secure Intrusion Detection System took the gold, while Check Point IPS-1 shared the silver with Symantec Critical System Protection.

Intrusion-Prevention System
A decade ago, Cisco acquired Okena for its popular StormWatch intrusion-protection system. Now called Cisco Security Agent, it remains a favorite. Barracuda Web Application Firewall came in second and Symantec ManHunt took the bronze.

Smart Card/Biometric/Two-Factor Authentication System
No upset here: RSA SecurID was the winner, with no one coming close. The silver went to McAfee (formerly Secure Computing SafeWord) and StrikeForce Technologies ProtectID came in third.

Secure Messaging Tool or Service (Spam and Content Filtering)
Barracuda Spam & Virus Firewall was the top secure messaging offering. Symantec Mail Gateway took the silver. Symantec Messaging Gateway (a separate offering) came in third.

Antivirus Tool
Symantec Endpoint Protection was the favorite antivirus tool, with McAfee Total Protection coming in second. Third place went to Kaspersky Lab Anti-Virus.

Anti-Spyware Tool
McAfee Total Protection was the gold anti-spyware tool, followed by Trend Micro Antispyware. Webroot AntiSpyware took the bronze.

User Activity Monitoring
Websense was by far the favorite user activity-monitoring tool, with the silver going to Dell Quest One Identity Solutions. GFI WebMonitor took the bronze.

Active Directory Provisioning/Administration
Dell Quest Active Administrator came out on top, followed by NetIQ Directory and Resource Administrator. Dell Quest Spotlight on Active Directory came in third.

Identity Access Management/Single Sign-On Software (Premises-Based)
RSA Identity and Access Management Suite took top honors, followed by IBM Tivoli Identity and Access Manager. The bronze went to CA IdentityMinder.

Backup Software
Symantec Backup Exec was the gold backup software product, with the silver going to Acronis Backup & Recovery Advanced Server. Coming in third was Symantec NetBackup.

Storage Management Software
It may be a hardware vendor, but readers gave NetApp the gold for its OnCommand software. Symantec Veritas CommandCentral Storage came in second, followed by Acronis Backup & Recovery Advanced Server.

Disaster Recovery Solutions
VMware Site Recovery Manager was the winning disaster recovery solution, followed by Acronis Backup & Recovery Advanced Server. Coming in third was Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery.

Clustering and Failover Solution
VMware Fault Tolerance took the gold, with the silver going to Symantec Veritas Storage Foundation High Availability for Windows. The company's Veritas Cluster Server took the bronze.

Load Balancer
The winning load balancer belonged to Barracuda, with Citrix NetScaler VPX ADC coming in second. Riverbed Stingray Traffic Manager placed third.

Exam Preparation Vendor
Pearson Cisco Press was the winner, with Sybex coming in second and MeasureUp taking the bronze.

Online, Disk-Based or Instructor-Led Training Vendor
Global Knowledge was the leading virtual trainer, followed by TrainSignal. The bronze went to SkillSoft.

Microsoft Certification-Based Boot Camp Vendor
Global Knowledge was the preferred provider of Microsoft-based certification, with Real MCSE Bootcamp coming in second and The Training Camp taking the bronze.

Application Virtualization
VMware App was the preferred app-virtualization tool, followed by Citrix XenApp. Novell ZENworks came in third.

Virtual Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Solution
Veeam Backup & Replication for VMware and Hyper-V took top honors. The silver went to Symantec System Recovery Server Edition, with Dell AppAssure Software Replay VRA coming in third.

Virtual Management and Optimization
VMware eG VM Monitor took the gold, with the silver going to Veeam Management Pack for VMware. SolarWinds VM Monitor came in third.

Storage Virtualization and Management Platform
NetApp V-Series was the preferred solution, beating out the company's own Data ONTAP 8 platform, which came in second. The bronze went to FalconStor Network Storage Server.

Virtualization Training Vendor
Global Knowledge came out on top, with NetCom Learning coming in second and Intense School taking the bronze.

Virtual Server Product
Not surprisingly, VMware vSphere was the most popular virtual server. The company's ESXi took the silver, as well, with the bronze going to Citrix XenServer.

Virtual Server Add-ons
Veeam Backup & Replication was the top vote-getter, with Acronis Backup & Recovery Advanced Server Virtual sharing the silver honors with Dell AppAssure Replay for Hyper-V.

Virtual PC
VMware Workstation was the preferred virtual PC platform, followed by Parallels Virtuozzo. Pano Logic Pano System came in third.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Solution
VMware View was the most popular VDI solution, followed by Citrix XenDesktop. Parallels Virtuozzo took the bronze.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Cloud Hosting Provider
Amazon Web Services was predictably the most popular IaaS provider, followed by Google and Go Daddy.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Google App Engine was the preferred PaaS provider followed by IBM and Dell Boomi.

Software as a Service (SaaS) Application Provider
Salesforce.com was the first major SaaS provider and it's still the most popular. Taking the silver was LogMeIn, and the bronze went to Oracle, which now has cloud religion.

SaaS-Based Application Performance Monitoring (APM) Provider
Top honors for SaaS-based APM went to CA Technologies, followed by Compuware. Coming in third was BMC Software.

Identity and Access Management as a Service Provider
Leading this rapidly growing area was VMware TriCipher MyOneLogin. Taking the silver was McAfee Cloud Identity Manager, and the bronze went to Symantec O3.

Cloud Management Tool
Citrix CloudPortal Business Manager took the gold, with the silver going to HP CloudSystem Matrix. IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+ came in third.

Cloud-Based Storage Service/Provider
Amazon Web Services was the preferred cloud storage provider, followed by Dropbox, while Rackspace came in third.

E-Mail Hosting Provider
Rackspace took top honors in the e-mail hosting category, followed by AT&T, with HP taking the bronze.

Unified Communications Hosting Provider
Verizon came in first, edging out AT&T by one vote. Intermedia earned bronze.

Managed Services/Hosting Providers
Rackspace was the preferred hosting provider, followed by CenturyLink. Placing third was Cloud9 Real Time.

SharePoint Cloud/Hosting Solution/Provider
Thanks to its acquisition of SharePoint 911 last year, Rackspace took the gold, with SharePoint360 earning silver and Amazon Web Services coming in third.

Server Provider
There aren't lots of them, but Dell led the pack, followed by HP and IBM.

Thin-Client Device
Again, there aren't many players in this field, but Dell Wyse Z90 is the client of choice, followed by the HP t5740, t5745 and t5740e Clients series. The Dell Wyse D90 series took the bronze

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