Feature

SearchDataCenter.com Products of the Year 2011 nominations

When it comes to data centers, the only thing certain is change, and every year we see an endless parade of new products take their place in the industry. The problem for IT professionals is weeding through the hype and FUD to find the best products for their data centers. It’s a difficult task. Let’s face it; many new and updated products are good, some are excellent, and only a select few are worthy to be called “Products of the Year.” But SearchDataCenter.com is up to the challenge. We’ve launched our annual Products of the Year competition for 2011. It’s our mission to identify the most noteworthy and intriguing data center products released over the past 12 months in infrastructure, computing and systems management.

Do you have a product that should be ranked among the best-of-the-best? Then read on to learn how to submit your Product of the Year.

IMPORTANT DETAILS

Deadline and important dates
The deadline for all nominations is November 11, 2011, 5 pm PST. SearchDataCenter.com will not accept nominations past this date/time. All data center products qualify for entry if they were new (or newly updated/revised) and shipped after November 1, 2010, and before November 1, 2011. All nominated products must be generally available (GA) to customers.

Instructions
Users and vendors are invited and encouraged to nominate their favorite/best products by completing the

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online nomination form and including details in each of the required fields. Submit a separate nomination form for each product. Products cannot be nominated in more than one category. Incomplete or duplicate nominations will be rejected. Winning products will be highlighted on SearchDataCenter.com in January 2012.

Submit product nominations only through the online nomination form. Product nominations will not be accepted by conventional mail, email, fax or phone. Nominations received through mail, email, fax, phone or alternative media will be rejected. When completing the online nomination form, take note of the character limits per field; space cannot be provided for additional details.

Categories
SearchDataCenter.com will award Gold, Silver and Bronze recognition to winning Products of the Year 2011 entrants in the following three categories:

  • Infrastructure
    These are products related to power generation/protection/distribution, air/water cooling, raised floors, environmental/green technologies, container-based data centers and any other elements of data center facilities or facilities management.
  • Computing hardware (formerly Servers)
    This includes all server-class computer hardware in any configuration and delivered in any form factor including rack and blade. This category also includes related computing hardware such as networking and storage systems as well as integrated infrastructure suites.
  • Systems management
    These are systems management appliances and software products designed to measure, benchmark, report, provision, and control servers and other data center devices. Entrants may include any systems management point products up through major management frameworks.

Judging
A team of anonymous SearchDataCenter.com editors and data center industry experts will judge the entries based on the information submitted. All award decisions are final. Your product nominations will be judged based on the following criteria, so please consider these criteria as you complete the online nomination form:

  • Innovation. Does the product introduce new capabilities or provide such significant improvements to standard capabilities that it stands out within its product category? Does it break new ground, redefine the category or define a new "subcategory" within the overall field?
  • Performance. Does the product perform to the degree that it could improve a significant portion of the overall data center operation?
  • Ease of integration into environment. How easily does the product integrate with other products -- both from the same manufacturer and others? Can the product operate effectively in heterogeneous environments? Has the product been certified by a significant number of major vendors?
  • Ease of use and manageability. Is the product easy to install? Are the product's interfaces intuitive? Are the product's functions clear as well as easy to learn and run? Is the product likely to require the help of professional services on an ongoing basis? Does the product provide useful reports, audits, etc.? Will the product scale smoothly to accommodate growth in an environment?
  • Functionality. Does the product deliver as promised? Is the product's feature set complete and more than adequate to handle its job? Does the product provide greater or more useful functionality than others in its category? Compared with the competition, does the product feature key functions?
  • Value. Does the product represent a cost-effective solution? Can the ROI be easily justified? If the product is expensive or represents an additional cost for most data centers, is the added functionality worth the price? Will the product be cost effective to maintain TCO?
  • User feedback. What are actual users saying about the product? Judges may check with customers to determine how nominated products meet the judging criteria above.

Note: Customers remain anonymous and are used for verification of product features and functionality only, but user contact information is required for valid submissions.

Ready to nominate a product?
Submit your SearchDataCenter.com Product of the Year 2011 nomination now.

Curious about past Product of the Year awards?
Check out the SearchDataCenter.com Product of the Year 2010 awards.
Check out the SearchDataCenter.com Product of the Year 2009 awards.


This was first published in September 2011

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