The organizers of Interop's annual IT trade fair announced the winners of the 2015 Best of Interop Awards in Las Vegas on Tuesday. There was one winner chosen from three finalists in each of 10 categories, including Applications, Cloud/Virtualization, Data Center, Mobility, Networking, Performance Management & Monitoring, Software-Defined Networking, Security, Storage, and Best Startup.

And, drumroll please... the 2015 Best of Interop category winners were:

Applications Award: JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service

JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service won for its ability to help organizations move to a cloud-based solution instead of managing directory services locally. It can act as an extension or a replacement for existing AD or LDAP directories, and allows users to extend access to SaaS applications.

JumpCloud not only won the Applications category, it also took home the Best of Interop Grand Prize.

Other finalists in the Applications field were Hiperwall 4.0, an upgraded version of Hiperwall’s video wall and distributed visualization software; and, Redbooth Private Cloud, a collaborative environment that enables secure chat.

Cloud/Virtualization Award: FixStream

FixStream is an operational analytics and visualization platform that maps physical and virtual devices together, then benchmarks performance for each system. It also can capture any additions or changes in the data center and build them into the map it creates.

Other Cloud/Virtualization finalists were the CloudVelox One Hybrid Cloud Platform for Pilot Light DR, a hybrid cloud disaster recovery and migration product; and, Tonomi (formerly known as Qubell) which supplies autonomic application delivery and management solutions.

Data Center Award: Cisco Intelligent Traffic Director

Cisco ITD, a clustering and load-balancing engine, addresses the performance gap between a multi-terabit switch and gigabit servers and appliances. It uses a Nexus 5K, 6K, 7K, or 9K switching platform and turns it into a wirespeed layer 4 switch, requiring no more than a software upgrade and licensing fee per switch.

The Cisco UCS Mini -- which provides servers, storage and 10 GB networking for branch and remote offices, point-of-sale, and smaller IT environments -- was also a finalist in the Data Center category, along with Fiber Mountain’s Glass Core, a data center architecture with software-configurable connections from a rack to other locations.

Mobility Award: Cisco Hyperlocation Module

Hyperlocation Module provides RF, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth low energy technologies for mobile connections. It allows network owners to determine the locations of connected devices to within one meter, an improvement over the five- to seven-meter accuracy acquired by comparing data from multiple access points.

The two runners-up in the Mobility category were Citrix XenMobile, a mobile device and app management solution that provides mobile freedom for employees; and, EnGenius Technologies’ EZMaster Distributed Network Management System, which simplifies deployment, monitoring and management of distributed networks.

Networking Award: Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Intelligent Fabric

Intelligent Fabric simplifies network operations by providing for simpler network designs, easier interoperability and plug-in deployment. It also auto configures when attached to non-ALE switches by discovering the Ethernet; it then routes protocols in use and configuring itself.

Other Networking finalists were CloudGenix ION, which provides "networks without networking" by simplifying how WANs are designed and managed; and, IP Infusion OcNOS, which the company touts as the first full-featured network operating system for data center and enterprise networking.

Performance Management & Monitoring Award: VMware vRealize Operations 6.0

The new version of VMware vRealize Operations won for providing greater scalability and unified management across vSphere and other domains. It extends its monitoring and management capabilities beyond vSphere to include Hyper-V and KVM hypervisors and Amazon Machine Instances.

VMware won the Performance Management & Monitoring category over two other finalists: ExtraHop Networks' ExtraHop EH9100, which offers industry-leading scalability with the ability to analyze a sustained 40 Gbps of real-time traffic; and, WildPackets' Omnipliance Wi-Fi, a WLAN analysis solution that enables network engineers to monitor, analyze, and troubleshoot multi-Gigabit-speed 802.11ac traffic.

Software Defined Networking (SDN) Award: Cisco APIC

Cisco APIC for Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure offers centralized access to all fabric information and supports flexible application provisioning across physical and virtual resources. It also offers the ability to integrate native network control with the virtual implementations that run on top of them.

The two other SDN finalists were Big Switch Networks' Big Cloud Fabric 2.5, which is positioned as the industry's only bare metal SDN fabric designed to combat legacy box-by-box networking; and, VMware NSX 6.1, an upgraded version of VMware's network virtualization platform.

Security Award: Dell Sonic Wall Secure Remote Access

Dell Sonic Wall won for its secure mobile and remote access solution for small and midsize organizations (SMBs). It comes with a Mobile Connect app, with which authenticated users can securely browse and view allowed intranet file-shares and files.

The two runners-up for the Security category were the ESET Remote Administrator, which enables IT staff to oversee the entire network, including workstations, servers and smartphones; and the Tufin Orchestration Suite R 15-1, which delivers security policy orchestration across platforms including traditional networks, private clouds, and the public cloud.

Storage Award: NEC Hydrastor HS8-4000

This edition of NEC's Hydrastor is a grid storage platform with resilient and scalable backup capabilities for long-term data. It includes enhancements that increase the backup platform's interoperability and quadruple overall performance.

NEC won the storage category over two fellow finalists. The first was AirWatch by VMware Content Locker, which is an enterprise-grade solution for mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management, and mobile content management. The second storage finalist was AIC SB122-PH, which is a 1U10Bay PCIe SSD storage server supporting the dual Intel Xeon Processor E5-2600 v3 product family.

Startup Award: VeloCloud Networks

And finally, VeloCloud Networks was honored with the 2015 Startup award for its series of gateways located in a variety of service-provider data centers, as well as an edge appliance that sits at each branch users wish to connect. VeloCloud creates an overlay on any network connection, including Internet broadband, DSL, LTE, and MPLS.

The 20 Best of Interop judges include IT practitioners, analysts and IT editors.