Network & Systems Software Product of the Year 2000

Windows 2000 Advanced Server Leads the Way.
Posted February 15, 2001

Lynn Haber

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Naysayers may still have their doubts, but readers sent a clear message that Microsoft Corp.'s new flagship server operating system has a big future. They gave first place in the Network & Systems Software category of Datamation's Product of the Year 2000 to Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server. In fact, it was an overwhelming victory for the enterprise-class OS: It scored 48 percent of the vote, or 115 votes.

Trailing by 19 percentage points-but still just about as many percentage points away from its nearest competitor-Sun Microsystems Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., claimed second place in the category, with 29 percent, or 70 votes, for its Sun Solaris 8 with iPlanet Web Server Enterprise Edition. Solaris 8 is the next-generation version of Sun's UNIX operating system, while the iPlanet Web server comes from iPlanet, a Web infrastructure software joint venture between Sun and AOL Time Warner Inc.'s Netscape Communications subsidiary.

Voters had a choice of the following nominees:
Product Vendor
InCharge V4.0 System Management ARTS Inc.
Netcool Micromuse Inc.
RackBotz 300 NetBotz Inc.
Spectrum Enterprise Aprisma Management Technologies
Sun Solaris 8 with
iPlanet Web Server Enterprise Ed. 4.1  
Sun Microsystems Inc./iPlanet
Ecommerce Solutions Sun-Netscape Alliance
VitalSuite Enterprise Lucent Technologies Inc.
Windows 2000 Advanced Server   Microsoft Corp.

The strong vote for these two systems platforms-together, they had a combined total of 77 percent-left the remaining product contenders to divvy up the remaining 23 percent points. This latter group consists of more traditional network and system management software.

The third-place finisher was the Spectrum Enterprise from Aprisma Management Technologies, of Durham, N.H., with 4 percent, or 10 votes. It was followed by Vital Suite Enterprise from Lucent Technologies Inc., of Basking Ridge, N.J.; Netcool from Micromuse Inc., of San Francisco; and tying for last place with 1.67 percent, or 4 votes, InCharge V.4.0 from System Management ARTS Inc., of White Plains, N.Y., and RackBotz 300 from RackBotz Inc., of Austin, Texas.

Gerald Murphy, vice president in the Global Network Strategies Group at META Group Inc. of Stamford, Conn., says that enterprises have a strong interest in seeing that vendors make operating systems more manageable to improve total cost of ownership (TCO). "In this respect, both Microsoft and Sun have come a long way," he says. However, he notes that Microsoft's big push in systems is to be able to compete more with Solaris in terms of scalability and reliability.

When the Windows 2000 Advanced Server became commercially available in February 2000, users found that among the product's many features were ease-of-use and improved manageability, according to Michel Gambier, group product manager, Windows Enterprise Servers at Microsoft of Redmond, Wash. For example, he notes that users can manage clusters remotely with both the Cluster Administrator and NLB scriptable command line interface from any networked Windows 2000 system. "Additionally, users can access and manage Cluster Service clusters as Active Directory objects," he says.

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