2007 Best of the Tests headliners

A dozen products bubble to the top of the more than 120 reviewed last year by Network World testers

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LANDesk’s LANDesk Management Suite
 
Product categoryCLIENT  MANAGEMENT
Score4.4 out of 5 (get the test results
Lab Alliance testerPaul FerrillPaul Ferrill, independent consultant
2007 Caetegory BreakerBest of

the Tests distinction

LANDesk Management Suite 8.6 took home the honors in our highly popular client management test because of its wide platform support, ease of deployment, beefed up reporting tools, help desk features and top-notch security. 
What’s new?Version 8.7 can perform vulnerability assessment and remediation on systems running Red Hat and SUSE Linux and allows control of USB and wireless connections, among other new capabilities.
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Network Instruments’ GigaStor
 
Product categoryNETWORK  DIAGNOSTICS
Score4.3 out of 5 (get the test results
Lab Alliance testerBarry NanceBarry Nance, independent consultant
2007 Caetegory BreakerBest of

the Tests distinction

Of all the network analysis and optimization tools tested last year, tester Barry Nance raved the most about GigaStor, a traffic collection and analysis engine combined with mega-storage hardware. The combination is pricey (the 4TB package we tested costs $35,000), but provides an impressive set of network monitoring, data collection, data mining and reporting features, Nance says.
What’s new?GigaStor now supports as much as 12TB of data, and a new GigaStor appliance offers the capability of writing network activity data directly to a storage-area network.
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ClearSight Networks’ ClearSight Analyzer
 
Product categoryVOIP  ANALYSIS  TOOLS
Score4.3 out of 5 (get the test results
Lab Alliance testerMiercom 
2007 Caetegory BreakerBest of

the Tests distinction

For the second year in a row, the ClearSight Analyzer rates tops among tools that help IT folks peer into VoIP traffic and manage that flow accordingly. In particular, Miercom engineers call out its exceptional diagnostic capabilities and advanced data navigation and display features. Additionally, ClearSight Analyzer recognizes a large variety of the audio and video codecs, and can assess mean opinion scores through simulated and actual traffic.
What’s new?ClearSight Analyzer 6.0, released last month, (January) offers improved reporting, support for specific VoIP applications such as MSN and Skype, and beefed-up support for IPTV streams.
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Symantec’s BackUp Exec Version 11d
 
Product categoryBACKUP  AND  RECOVERY
Score4.25 out of 5 (get the test results
Lab Alliance testerTom HendersonTom Henderson, principal researcher, ExtremeLabs
2007 Caetegory BreakerBest of

the Tests distinction

BackUp Exec is the bread-and-butter product on the 2007 Best of the Tests roster. While the category itself is not glitzy, all network data needs backup.  “Backup Exec pays a great deal of attention to detailing the type of data to be backed up (files, directories, partitions, snapshots, entire systems), and this effort pays administrators and users back by giving them extremely flexible restoration options,” tester Tom Henderson says. 
What’s new?Symantec last month released an enterprise backup reporting tool, called Backup Reporter that works with its Veritas NetBackup and BackUp Exec products to help verify backup service-level compliance.
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NexTone Communications’ NexTone Multiprotocol Session Controller (MSC)
 
Product categoryVoIP  SECURITY
Score4.2 out of 5 (get the test results
Lab Alliance testerMiercom 
2007 Caetegory BreakerBest of

the Tests distinction

In our inaugural test of session border controllers, the NexTone MSC and iVMS combination rated tops for its dynamic VoIP session control, real-time monitoring with active error and threshold-limit notification, call-level reporting and integrated firewall features. 
What’s new?The MSC is now called the MSX, or Multiprotocol Session Exchange.
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Juniper’s Secure Services Gateway (SSG) 520
 
Product categoryUNIFIED  THREAT  MANAGEMENT
Score4.1 out of 5 (get the test results
Lab Alliance testerJoel SnyderJoel Snyder, senior partner, Opus One
2007 Caetegory BreakerBest of

the Tests distinction

The SSG 520 offers impressive speed, at a relatively low cost, with a software package that more than adequately supports the unified security and routing needs of enterprise branch offices. We tested the firewall (based on Juniper’s trusted ScreenOS operating system) and routing services, but the box also can support intrusion prevention, Web filtering, antivirus and antispam capabilities.
What’s new?ScreenOS now supports captive portals and policy-based routing capabilities.
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