Plixer Scrutinizer Review

Helps us determine what is going on with our Internet

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is monitoring bandwidth and being able to go back and look at bandwidth issues.

We are on the latest version.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps us determine what is going on with our Internet and who is hogging it all up. If we get a real high throughput or a throughput that's going over and getting dropped fairly quickly, we can tell who (or what device) is consuming that traffic. That was our main use case for buying it to start with. Going forward, we will start using it for other stuff too.

We have only had it a couple of months, so we've not really dug into it a lot, but being able to know bandwidth is the main thing.

What is most valuable?

  • Being able to monitor VPN user traffic has been nice. 
  • Being able to monitor interfaces, in general. 
  • We do a little bit of reporting, but we're just getting into that.

What needs improvement?

I wish the reporting side was easier to work with, but it does a decent job. I also wish the reporting side was a little more intuitive or they offered more reporting examples.

Their user videos could be a little better. They provided me a couple of training videos, but they were very generic in nature. E.g., if they had training videos specific to Cisco or Palo Alto firewall to give training to show you specifically within Scrutinizer what you could be looking at. They did provide a basic and an advanced training video. However, even the advanced training video doesn't break down into detail, and on the configuration side, that would be nice.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've had it about two months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven't had any stability issues with it at all. I haven't seen it flake out or experienced database issues.

I'm the only person who maintains and upgrades it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easily scalable. I haven't seen any issues with it.

It is in full production. It monitors several firewalls, like Cisco Firepower, and IPS.

We only have three users who are using this solution as end users. We are all network administrators. It gives anybody within our group the ability to troubleshoot it easier.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support was good.

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

We have Splunk, but Splunk doesn't give us the type of info that this does. Splunk is really clunky and hard to use. We still have Splunk, but we use it more as a security means for network means.

We have used the free version of PRTG, but that solution was clunky.

How was the initial setup?

It was a pretty straightforward setup. I wouldn't call it complex.

The deployment took about four hours. We still expanding on it though.

What about the implementation team?

I did the deployment.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI.

The solution has helped to reduce the time to resolution for network and/or security events by 50 percent.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There are no extra costs. It's about $8,000 a year. The bang for the buck (cost) is definitely a plus.

They gave us a 30-day license. We did a 30-day demo. We installed it, knowing that if we bought it, we could just add a license and continue on. So, we did a 30-day PoC, and they gave us good support during that time.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The solution has been around for a while. The monitoring of our firewalls was the driving concept for choosing it. They did well with demonstrating that ability.

We evaluated Cisco Stealthwatch, but it was so cost prohibitive that we did not go that route. It was about 10 times more expensive than Scrutinizer. Cisco Stealthwatch was very clunky and use. The menus were very different. While you could get a ton of information, you really had to dig to get it. There was some better features obviously, because the cost is a lot higher. It's more of a security network product, but it was hard to use and cost prohibitive. Also, we saw that its ongoing maintenance to keep it running would be a nightmare. There was a lot you had to do to keep it working correctly.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it an eight (out of 10).

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**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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