Why IT pros like their favorite gear

"My job is like a guy playing golf and he gets paid for it. I passionately love IT," says Eloff Scholtz, a technical advisor at Northwest Provincial Government of South Africa.

When I read those words, I smiled. Hearing from someone who loves his job is such a nice change from the chorus of career unhappiness that swelled during these most recent, financially challenging years.

Scholtz had written to tell us what he likes best about WAN optimization gear from Expand Networks' and switches from Enterasys, and he wound up sharing his affection for his career. His other comments are part of our "fave raves" collection, which highlights IT pros' favorite tech products. (You can find out which products IT pros like best here.)  

We limited that feature to one rave per product. But in a handful of instances, more than one person wrote to us about the same product. In this article, you'll hear from the IT pros we didn't include in the main feature. They're equally passionate about their go-to gear.

Like Fred, a 25-year IT veteran and director of network services at a healthcare organization. He raved about the visibility he gets with Xangati's application management software.

"Prior to Xangati, I was in the dark about apps on the network. This lack of visibility made it very difficult to identify and resolve performance issues that the network was unfairly receiving the blame for," Fred says. "With Xangati, we can see the problems live as they happen and we can DVR record them. The system is so useful to me that it's up and running on my desktop all the time. It makes us so much more efficient in the troubleshooting realm, which is very important given that we have a small IT staff supporting a mission-critical hospital operation."

Christopher Blake, a workstation administrator for Benchmark Group, raved about systems management gear from Kace (which Dell just acquired).

"The Kace products are easy to use, have saved me hundreds of man hours over the course of ownership and consistently get new features and improvements," Blake says. "We are now able to roll out software to hundreds of workstations, maintain an organized help desk, get reliable information about a machine and its history, ensure security patching for many vendors and maintain software license compliance. All of that without increasing staff one bit."

Likewise, David Judd, a systems analyst for the county of Maui and 32-year IT veteran, is a big fan of Kace. Its vKBOX 1000 provides "many integrated functions for PC and server management, including the help desk module. It helps us to track incidents, projects and purchasing in a Web GUI; PC and server patching and inventory; and scripting and software installation in a non-Windows (Groupwise and eDirectory) environment," Judd says. "It's a versatile yet easy to use help desk module for tracking problems."

On the IT automation front, we heard from a lot of fans of UC4's platform.

"It's simple, reliable and robust," says Jesus Adrian Garcia, a system administrator and Oracle application DBA at Panasonic AVC Networks. "And the most important part, [UC4 has] the greatest support team that makes me feel confident that if there is any problem, I will have the right people supporting me to solve anything quickly and efficiently. This product has been helping our company to automate almost all processes."

Brian Hudgins, CIO at DCAC, likes UC4's platform for its stability and flexibility in handling the utility industry's compliance requirements.

Ron Ekins, transformation and product management team manager at Thales Consulting, says UC4's automation engine is a "true enterprise product that is quick and easy to deploy; provides enterprise scheduling."

WAN optimization appliances, too, were a frequent favorite among readers.

Dwayne Lessner, manager of data center operations at Prairie North Health Region, is a fan of Expand Networks' Accelerator appliance, which he says helps deliver a rich desktop experience to remote users, even over low bandwidth.

"Without the device we wouldn't have been able to deliver the number of desktops out of the remote locations. It was a cheap investment considering all of the pieces needed to finish the project," Lessner says.

Oleg Voloshin, CTO at Zacks Investment Research, says F5 Networks' Big-IP appliances "helped us to monetize our traffic, to open up venues to deliver new highly scalable products to customers, and to shape traffic to those products."

Lastly, Gary Welch, a manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, says with the SLM management platform from Lantronix, "I now have a central location for administrating several SLC switches. It has saved a lot of wasted hours of troubleshooting, admin work and tightened security."

If we missed your favorite IT product, please tell us about in the comments section below.

Read more about infrastructure management in Network World's Infrastructure Management section.

This story, "Why IT pros like their favorite gear" was originally published by Network World.

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