Products of the Year 2005:

It was a stellar year for storage products. As such, it was a very difficult year for the editors of Storage magazine and SearchStorage.com, and a panel of judges made up of users and analysts, to choose this year's Products of the Year winners. What impressed us the most was the degree of innovation exhibited in new products and the substantial upgrades to existing ones. When you look at a wide range of products and try to narrow down the winners, a few themes emerge. Believe it or not, products are getting easier to connect, expand, use and manage. And as with most technical gear today, a dollar buys more than it did last year.

But our awards aren't based solely on innovation or, as we like to say, the "way cool" factor. A product can possess a fair share of the latest bells and whistles, but it won't win an award if it doesn't solve real-world problems, make a storage manager's life easier and more efficient or make a company's data more secure and accessible.

What makes these awards fun to judge is that winning products come from all corners of the storage industry: from well-established companies, startups barely out of stealth mode and from companies located outside the U.S. It's a global economy and no one company has a lock on new ideas. For the record, our awards are based on the following criteria:

  • Ease of integration into existing environments
  • Functionality
  • Innovation
  • Manageability
  • Performance
  • Value

Congratulations to all the winners.

How we selected the winners