Who were the best vendors at VMworld 2016?

Every year since 2007 TechTarget does their Best of VMworld awards which highlights the best vendors at the show within specific categories as chosen by a panel of independent judges (non-vendor). I’m always curious to see who receives the top honors at these events as it often highlights vendors I may not of head of before. As a former judge myself for several years I know the process that goes into making the selections and always felt it helped me learn more about the many innovative vendors in the VMware ecosystem.

Vendors have to nominate themselves to be eligible for consideration by filling out a form on Tech Target’s website before the show. Judges are picked from an independent pool of customers and VARs and then assigned to a specific category. Judges then review the vendors in their category before the event and often pre-judge to shrink down the number that they have to visit at the show. There is a list of rules and criteria for consideration when trying to determine which vendors are the best. During the show judges visit a select group of vendors to ask questions and find out more about a vendors product that was nominated. Judges then meet together and discuss their picks as the best vendors for each category and then also pick one vendor from the category winners to be chosen as overall Best in Show.

Before I list the winners of each category I wanted to give my perspective on these awards. If you look historically at past winners each year you typically won’t see big name vendors like IBM, EMC and Symantec, etc. winning these awards. The reason for that is these awards tend to be about uncovering those innovative smaller companies that are doing things uniquely and outside the box. I’m not saying big companies can’t innovate but startups often bring fresh ideas and perspectives to doing things in a way that nobody has ever tried before. They are not afraid about taking risks and going against the status quo and solving a problem in a whole new way.

I judged the security category each year that I did it and some of my picks for the winner of that category were companies like HyTrust and Reflex Systems. I knew right away when I talked to these vendors and saw their products that they were something special. Sometimes it’s not so easy though as there are so many vendors with great products in the VMware ecosystem and a lot of small startups all with their own ideas trying to capitalize on the opportunity that virtualization has brought about for new products. At the end of the day though the judges make their choices no matter how easy or difficult that decision is and based on their opinions the best vendors at VMworld are chosen.

So here are the winners this year, one hiccup this year, Cohesity DataProtect 3.0 was originally chosen as the winner for Data Protection but then was later found ineligible as the product release that they were being judged on was not released yet which is a requirement for being eligible. As a result the two finalists were chosen as co-winners in that category.

Category winners:

  • Data Protection – Co-Winner: StorageCraft ShadowProtect SPX  Co-Winner: Rubrik Firefly 3.0
  • Workload Management & MigrationEmbotics vCommander 5.7.2  (Finalists: Velostrata 2.0 and ExtraHop Networks)
  • SecurityShavlik Protect  (Finalists: Thycotic Secret Server and GuardiCore Centra Security Platform)
  • Virtualization & Cloud InfrastructureNVIDIA GRID with Horizon 7  (Finalists: Nutanix Xpress and Actifio Sky)
  • Desktop & Application DeliveryWorkspot VDI 2.0 Solution  (Finalists: Unidesk 4 and Citrix Secure Browser)
  • Networking & VirtualizationVeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN  (Finalists: Paessler PRTG Network Monitor and  VMware vRealize Network Insight)
  • Agility & AutomationTufin Orchestration Suite  (Finalists: Quali CloudShell Cloud Sandbox Software)
  • Judge’s Choice Disruptive TechnologyLakeside Software Ask SysTrack
  • Judge’s Choice Startup SpotlightStacksWare

And chosen as Best in Show which is the top honor is Tufin Orchestration Suite

Congrats to all the winners this year! If you are interested in seeing past years winners you can view them here:

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