Each year Interop presents its "best of show" awards. This year featured several products from Cisco (some developed in-house, some acquired), and the usual lineup of upstarts (Palo Alto Networks, Mellanox Technologies, Splunk, Spigit). Cisco managed its share of awards, most notably for its Nexus 7000 data center switch, but the upstarts also had their turn.
Judges will have poured over submissions in several of the hottest categories, interviewed the best candidates, vetted these candidates amongst each other, and painfully come up with a winner. I say painfully because there is inevitable jubilation and disappointment at these awards, and often (and I can say this with years of personal experience) anger. I always thought that was a reflection of the importance of the award. Companies in the past have told me winning the Best of Interop award has put them on the map; others (small startups) have complained that losing will cost them any sliver of success.
With that hyperbole in mind, check out the list of finalists here. And watch our highlight video (above).