Plixer Scrutinizer Review

Aggregates the data for us so it's not in silos anymore; it's all in one place

What is our primary use case?

We mostly use it to monitor the network bandwidth utilization on various links.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution has helped eliminate data silos for us because now, instead of looking at one or two different places, we can look at it all at once. It aggregates the data so it's not in silos anymore.

Scrutinizer has helped to reduce the time to resolution for network events. We are able to identify a problem and resolve it quickly, within about ten minutes, once the issue has been raised. Before, we had to do more work to get there, about a half-an-hour to 40 minutes. 

What is most valuable?

In general, there are multiple valuable features, but the ability to view the status of the top-10 at a glance is helpful. We immediately know which link is over-utilized or heavily used. We watch the traffic on different network links. For example, we can see what's going on in New York, how much of the network traffic is on New York links and how much of it is in different cities, wherever our customer has offices. That's a good feature, and it's all in real-time.

We can also run reports. We can generate reports for specific links and look at the historical data.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see a better user interface for creating what they call maps. The solution creates a visual map of a particular location and how the network flows. You need to spend time to generate all those maps. If they could figure out a way to reduce the time needed to generate the maps, that would be great.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Scrutinizer for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is pretty good. We like it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable. They're coming up with a new way of scaling up. Ours is an appliance but I believe their VM products may be scalable. As far as we are concerned, all we need to do is increase the storage, which we can do by replacing a hard disk.

We are collecting data and the network traffic from almost 70 offices throughout the U.S. If everything goes well and we have the opportunity, we will probably try to increase the Scrutinizer footprint. But right now we're okay with what we have.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. If we open a ticket they call back and we work together to solve issues. They are very responsive. I have no complaints.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Before Scrutinizer, we had to do a lot of things manually. It took more time. But now, with this appliance, we have a more automated way of doing things.

How was the initial setup?

This is an appliance. It's pretty straightforward. It came already implemented and installed. Our deployment took a couple of hours. The plan was to place it in a location where we could see all the traffic.

What about the implementation team?

We did it ourselves.

What was our ROI?

We have definitely seen a return on our investment. This is a pretty good product. If the opportunity continues, we'll continue to extend the license and keep it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did use other products, but they were small network monitoring tools. This is a better way because it comes in an all-in-one package. 

Scrutinizer is a good solution compared to other products because, if you use it correctly, it gives you a lot of data and it has good integration. With other products, we may have to install additional modules or do some additional deployment and integrations, which takes time and maintenance. Scrutinizer is all in one box so we don't have to worry. It internally integrates all the features we need.

What other advice do I have?

Go with it but make sure that you have enough storage. If you don't have enough storage then you'll have to expand it. Talk to the Plixer guys to get the right configuration, depending on your environment.

We see things that we did not see before. It's opened up peoples' eyes, among our network folks. Overall, it has had a good, positive impact.

It's a product where we don't have to give too many people access. There are two or three people, admins, who are watching it, including me. They are network administrators and our system administrators. For deployment and maintenance it requires just one person.

We are using it as one of the key elements in our monitoring infrastructure, certainly on a daily basis. It's very good. It's almost there. With each version they have been improving features. If you compare the latest version which we are using, it's much better than the old versions they had. There are pretty good feature improvements and it's good enough for us for now.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?


Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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