Plixer Scrutinizer OverviewUNIXBusinessApplicationPrice:
Plixer Scrutinizer is the #4 ranked solution in our list of Network Traffic Analysis tools. It is most often compared to SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer: Plixer Scrutinizer vs SolarWinds NetFlow Traffic Analyzer
The Scrutinizer incident response system leverages network traffic analytics to provide active monitoring, visualization, and reporting of network and security incidents. The system quickly delivers the rich forensic data needed by IT professionals to support fast and efficient incident response.
Download the Plixer Scrutinizer Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021
- "We pay our one-off cost for the licenses, per device, in blocks of 50. And then we pay an annual maintenance fee of about $15,000 Australian, which is, at this point in time, about $9,000 US, for those 250 devices. The upfront costs for the 250-license use, were about $50,000 Australian, which is about $32,000 US."
- "Compared to some of the other tools we have, it's incredibly reasonably priced."
- "The license is per device. We have 50 devices."
- "We just renewed. The pricing is 5,000 euro per year. This is the final price. All tax (20 percent) is included."
- "Our entire solution, amortized over five years, is in the vicinity of $40,000 to $50,000 a year."
- "We have increased the license over time. We have added more licenses as the network has grown."
- "There is a recurring maintenance fee after the initial purchase or if we want the license upgrade."
- "We recently bought a license upgrade, so we will integrate more exporters. We upgraded from a 25 exporter license to a 50 exporter license. Therefore, there will be more flows, and this will be an extension. I don't know when we will purchase a faster server, because the server that we have is quite new."
- "It's about €10,000 a year for initial license and yearly maintenance costs. In addition, the hardware costs are about €10,000 once every five years."
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What is our primary use case?Our primary use case is network monitoring, and security goes hand in hand with that. They're two sides of the same coin. From a network-monitoring perspective, we keep an eye on network links at all times, on the bandwidth usage percentage. It allows us to quickly identify what is consuming bandwidth on a link. On the security side, it allows us to see issues that occur in the network. Someone might be running up a Tor session. Someone might be trying to hack into something internally or externally. Or there might be excessive use against a particular host or a particular port in our host. So… more »
Pros and Cons
- "As a network engineer, the ability to identify what traffic on the link is consuming all the bandwidth at any given time, and provide immediate feedback to the business, is the most valuable feature."
- "There is room for improvement around the data that they have on the website about solutions... they should have more templated solutions on their website. Going out and identifying how to do RTP performance with a Cisco router, or how to do application response times in an Arrista data center deployment was where most of the work was... They should spend some more time documenting solutions and putting together white papers."
What other advice do I have?The biggest lesson I've learned, personally, by using Scrutinizer, is that not many people understand what's going on in their network with their own applications. My advice would be more around the equipment you're deploying it on, the exporters. Plixer is very easy to set up and get running. If you're going to be running more than 30,000 or 40,000 flows, go with the hardware version. But, be aware that IP effects exporting on Cisco devices; it can take a heavy toll on CPU. For maintenance, it's pretty much just me. It's pretty easy to keep up and running. My team can do it, but I'm the guy…
What is our primary use case?We were looking for something that would tell us what our bandwidth utilization is. My security guy uses it every once in a while to see if an IP address or URL has ever crossed our network. He can get that kind of information from a security standpoint. I know there are other uses that we really haven't used it for, but our primary still remains the bandwidth utilization. Whenever it happens that my first responders get a call about a problem at one of our 16 locations, it's one of the primary tools that they'll grab to see what it's saying. Currently, we have Plixer deployed on-premise. We… more »
Pros and Cons
- "It's agnostic as far as what your network gear is. As long as it supports an sFlow, JFlow, NetFlow, some kind of flow monitoring, Plixer will support it very well."
- "There are other tools out there that will do what Scrutinizer does. But what I have found with Scrutinizer is that it does it very quickly. I've taken 25 million individual data fragments from the different sensors, and it has graphed that and mapped it and presented a picture within 30 seconds. It has a very efficient database algorithm that I am really impressed with."
- "They're working on the security areas, so it can provide more insight. What they have is still pretty much IP-concentric. If they were to make it IP and URL, they'd be a little bit ahead on that."
What other advice do I have?The biggest lesson I have learned from using Scrutinizer is don't be afraid to give the little guy a chance. In terms of advice, every environment is different. You really need to kick the tires on it a little bit and try it before you buy. While it met my needs, and it met our environment very well, your mileage could vary on that. While I believe it to be a very solid, very good product, I would say: Put it in your environment and kick the tires on it a little bit. When I did kick the tires, during that initial demo time, I wasn't able to get everything set up that I wanted to. They…
What is our primary use case?The primary use case is all bandwidth utilization. Our solution is up-to-date. We're using the standard NetFlow v9 and IPFIX with the products that currently support NetFlow.
Pros and Cons
- "The solution helps to enrich the data context of our network traffic. It allows me to see what applications are most in use on a slightly historical basis, going back a day or week at tops. It allows me to tune QoS or traffic shaping around what's being used. It saves me from having to unnecessarily upgrade, if I don't need to."
- "The visual acuity of how it presents data can sometimes be confusing. It takes a bit for people to spin up how to look at the graphs."
What other advice do I have?I would strongly advise that you look at selling the tool as a self-visibility tool to other departments and areas of your business. It makes a great internal status page that others can look at. If an end user or manager hears a complaint about something, then they have a page that they can go to, to say, "How's the network doing?" It saves a lot of calls. I think for the tool to be its own internal health selling point is something to not overlook. I would rate the product as a 10 (out of 10).
What is our primary use case?The primary use case is to analyze the flow found within the network. It helps us understand how the network is used, e.g., if it is mainly used for email or private application. It is very difficult to use functionality and provide features to understand how in the future the network will be used because the application is growing and developing so fast. So, the data flow could be exponential. That's why it's a daily challenge to understand how the network is in use and how we can manage to renegotiate the contract to improve the bandwidth, but it has very good tools concerning the network… more »
Pros and Cons
- "We have had many requests to understand in the network which devices are connected to others. Most people don't have this information or are able to establish a map of data flow everywhere around the network. Scrutinizer can really help with this. We are using it to understand who is talking to what, how, and which protocols can help us to improve security and analyze flow."
- "For updating the Scrutinizer platform, when we have the actual data, it never happens in one day. Every time we have the data, we are obliged to install a new server in order to integrate the old data, and every time it has a problem. Most of the time, we were obliged to scrap all the data because we couldn't transfer it to the new server. So, it would be very good if they could improve this part."
What other advice do I have?It is a pretty good tool. The deployment plan was to help us be more efficient and proactive regarding data flows and security on this domain. It helped me realize the main data flow is not controlled by anybody. By using these tools, it made me realize that developers and all these people that create applications don't know anything about the application that they've developed. It made me realize that developers are developing approximately. They are not very precise when we analyze it. You can trust the Plixer developer, because they are a very capable company. If you really want to know…
What is our primary use case?The primary use case is to track utilization flows for security and for scalability. We use it to see network usage.
Pros and Cons
- "The most valuable features of the solution are the ability to track what a device is doing and to go back historically. It is also able to go down to, and identify, very low levels of traffic."
- "The reporting structure, the front-end GUI, also needs some work. It needs some getting used to. It works fairly well, but it's a technical tool rather than a user tool. You have to understand the structure of the databases before you can really use it."
What other advice do I have?If you have a large network then this product is totally invaluable. If you have a large network, this product will tell you exactly what's going on in it. It's not just flows, and this amount of traffic is going out on the internet, but who's doing what on your internet pipes. It will help you. It will cut your incident times in half. The biggest lesson we have learned from using Scrutinizer is "more data." A lot of data is good. There are tools that can help you. You need to spend some money, but there are tools that can help you. In terms of eliminating data silos, Scrutinizer does and it…
What is our primary use case?Our primary use is troubleshooting. Our secondary use is capacity planning, investigations, and reporting. We use it with multiple vendors sending flows to us.
Pros and Cons
- "The reporting and generating troubleshooting reports would be the best feature; our host-to-host conversation reporting."
- "Knowing that they're coming out with a new user interface, that is an area where there is room for improvement. There are so many variables. They should limit the variables in the user interface and create some classes, like "simple," "novice," and "expert" to narrow down the variables within it."
What other advice do I have?Whatever other solutions you want to look at, benchmark them against this solution. No matter what product you're looking at, do a bake-off with this and see who wins. If you don't give him a chance, you're not going to know. You're going to miss out. I really feel, after reviewing three at one time and knowing some other ones, the bang and performance for the dollars, and the capacity and the flexibility; it's really second to none in those situations. Other ones might have matched it in one or two of those criteria, but all they did was match it. They didn't win in any of them. It's a…
What is our primary use case?It's a NetFlow collector.
Pros and Cons
- "Visualization of the network traffic is the most valuable feature. It allows you to drill into information quite quickly."
- "It would be useful if there was a way to back up the configuration information. E.g., if you wanted to deploy a new instance or disaster recovery, you could quite easily deploy and restore the config, as opposed to having to restore all the NetFlow data. If there was just a button that said "backup config information", that would be good."
What other advice do I have?* Remember to save the reports. * Give reports different file names. * Understand how to back up and restore the configuration information. * If you use the building tools for the sizing for history information, they're quite accurate. * If you want to go back many months or years, you need more storage for that. * If you want a higher resolution to get into the data, make sure you size appropriately. Try the free demo or evaluation copy of it. You should be happy with it, if it does what you need it to do. I would rate the solution a nine (out of 10).
What is our primary use case?The primary use case was statistics. Now, it's mainly security and operations. I am using the latest version.
Pros and Cons
- "It shows us the saturation of the network of devices. It gives us a clear view of the flows in the network to understand, for instance, planning upgrades in the network to get an idea of what's going on the network on traffic flows. It gives us insight, for instance, on what's going on on our VPN Client. There are a lot of things where it provides very helpful information. It also gives us our security reports with quite detailed information on what's going on in the network, and whether there are data exfiltrations and so on."
- "Data retention needs improvement. Data retention is a thing where we are looking for a better way to collect flow data for a longer time to do forensic research on security incidents. By default, data retention is quite low. We need detailed data in safe storage for a longer time, e.g., for a couple of months. An improvement would be a way to export data into a secure long-term storage."