Throughout 2006, SearchStorage.com and Storage magazine invited companies in the storage market to nominate their products for the 2006 Products of the Year awards. For previously available products, the upgrade must have incorporated major new features that were designed to meet new or evolving needs in the marketplace.
We looked at products in five categories:
- Backup and disaster recovery software and services(backup, recovery, snapshot and replication, electronic vaulting)
- Backup hardware(libraries, drives for backup, media, backup arrays)
- Disk and disk subsystems(SAN, NAS, DAS, primary drives, disk controllers)
- Management tools(SRM and SAN management software, performance monitoring, file systems, volume management, virtualization, security, etc. or software bundled as an "appliance")
- Networking equipment(switches, HBAs)
Products were judged by a team of users, industry experts, analysts, consultants and the Storage Media Group editorial staff. Judges rated the products in five categories -- innovation, performance, ease of integration into environment, ease of use and manageability, functionality and value. We then tallied each judge's ratings separately, and aggregated them with those of the other judges to come up with a numerical score for each product. The numerical score coupled with empirical data from Storage Media Group produces the winners.