Windows 2000 Magazine is proud to announce the winners of its TechEd Best of Show awards, which were presented late last week to six companies, two each for Windows 2000, Exchange Server, and SQL Server. The winners come from a pool of approximately 100 entries, with the judges identifying products that solve particular business needs in an intuitive and elegant fashion. After walking the TechEd show floor, talking product with vendors and users, and conferring amongst themselves, the judges came up with what they consider to be the best of the best.

Windows 2000 Best of Show winner Double-Take GeoCluster for Windows 2000/NT, from NSI Software, extends Microsoft Cluster Server clusters across multiple locations by replicating disks to each cluster node over any IP-based LAN, WAN, SAN. Replicated data volumes are synchronized using standard TCP/IP, allowing nodes to be separated by great distances. The product improves the reliability and performance of existing backup schemes by providing third party backup applications with read-only access to open files on offline nodes. The other Windows 2000 Best of Show winner, Heroix RoboER, enables IT professionals to reach and repair Windows NT/2000 systems that are otherwise inaccessible, from anywhere in the company, avoiding costly reboots. "RoboER has been developed to manage \[unattended\] Windows NT/2000 systems remotely," says Ken Leoni, the Director of Business Development for Heroix. "RoboER enables access to systems in trouble--whether in the next room or around the world--allowing you to fix problems without serious disruption of critical business processes." RoboER provides a text-based command shell over TCP/IP or a serial connection to a standard COM port.

Exchange 2000 Best of Show award winners include Tacit Knowledge Systems Knowledge Mail and Active Voice Corporation Unity 2.3. Tacit Knowledge Systems' KnowledgeMail product family transforms existing enterprise mail stores into automatic discovery and exchange knowledge assets, providing everyone in the enterprise with access to public, private and "tacit" knowledge while preserving user control and privacy at all times. "KnowledgeMail makes it possible to discover and exchange the huge amount of rapidly changing knowledge trapped in routine e-mail that can never be published as 'content' and is therefore beyond the reach of the corporate portal," says David Gilmour, the founder, president and CEO of Tacit. Active Voice Unity is no stranger to the Best of Show awards, as a previous version won Best of Show at the Microsoft Exchange Conference 99 (MEC99). But Unity 2.3 improves on the previous version, providing a unified messaging solution for easy storage and retrieval of voice, fax, and email. Unity 2.3 sports a Web interface for simple management of voice email options, a text to speech engine for retrieving email over the phone, and interoperability with a wide range of phone mail systems.

Two Best of Show winners were also selected for their work with SQL Server. Giganet Inc. won for its Clan Host Adapters and Cluster Switches server farm networking technologies, which provide SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition with plug and play multi-node server clusters. Through support for SQL 2000's new Virtual Interface (VI), this product enables administrators to scale their database environments while providing performance and reliability gains. "We are pleased at this validation of our VI-based technology, " says Gareth S. Taube, the vice president of marketing at Giganet. "We are committed to continue working with industry leading vendors such as Microsoft to bring the benefits of VI’s enhanced performance to the database market." The other SQL Server winner, Knosys ProClarity, offers powerful, yet easy to manipulate views into Microsoft SQL Server Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) services data. ProClarity harnesses the power of OLAP using a standard ActiveX component architecture that offers excellent scalability and flexibility. Knosys also provides an extensive Application Developers Kit for creating custom analytical applications.