Houston’s METRO Uses Scrutinizer to Prevent Million-Dollar Network Problems

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METRO significantly cuts troubleshooting time and reduces network downtime by implementing Plixer International’s Scrutinizer NetFlow and sFlow Analyzer.

Maintaining a large organization’s network can be challenging enough when all of the employees and hardware are in the same building, but when your business is literally on the move, monitoring the network and resolving issues becomes that much more difficult. Houston’s METRO is an innovative regional transportation organization serving 15 cities in the Houston metro area with nine operating facilities, 27 Park & Ride locations, and the METRO headquarters.

When network downtimes started bogging down METRO’s network and cutting into productivity, METRO went in search of a tool that would help in recognizing and preventing the issues that caused the network sluggishness.

“METRO didn’t have any sort of product to monitor and record NetFlow information,” claims Neal Gravatt, Network Support Specialist for Houston’s METRO. “Just having some tool to figure out if sluggish response was the result of the network or of a slow server response and monitor how users are using the network would be a huge improvement and a great way to cut network downtime.”

METRO needed a NetFlow analysis solution that was powerful, scalable to their widespread network, and also the right price to fit into the public sector budget. After evaluating competing products, METRO chose to go with Plixer International’s Scrutinizer NetFlow and sFlow Analyzer.

“The number of manual definitions we needed to put in place was only possible by leveraging a product like Scrutinizer,” Gravatt said, adding, “Right out of the box, Scrutinizer was the easiest product to manipulate that we could have put in place and compared to other programs on the market, we save nearly $100,000 with Scrutinizer.”

Scrutinizer’s ability to look deeper into what is happening in terms of internet usage helped Gravatt increase network security. As a forensic tool, Scrutinizer allows METRO network staff to gain better insights into what a host is doing, helping to prevent network problems. According to Gravatt, those problems, like DDoS attacks and malicious internet activity, can cost millions of dollars in labor and lost productivity to fix.

Prior to implementing Plixer’s NetFlow analysis tool, it would take METRO’s network administrators at least an hour just looking at individual ports and logs stored on the firewall to locate where a potential problem was coming from. The Scrutinizer software saves hours of troubleshooting on common network problems.

In summing up his experience working with Scrutinizer, Gravatt says, “Plixer and Scrutinizer really enhance my ability to work at my maximum potential.”

In addition to the public and municipal applications, Plixer International’s NetFlow analysis solutions are used to manage both large and small networks in a variety of sectors, including the retail, education, healthcare, and financial markets.

For more information about Scrutinizer, visit http://www.plixer.com.

About Plixer International, Inc.

Plixer International, Inc. develops and markets network traffic monitoring and analysis tools to the global market. All of the tools are built from the ground up with valuable feature sets and ease of use in mind. Plixer tools have been used to analyze and troubleshoot irregular traffic patterns by IT professionals with some of the largest networks in the world, such as CNN, The Coca-Cola Company, Lockheed Martin, IBM, Regal Cinemas, Raytheon, and Eddie Bauer.

For product and sales information, contact Plixer International, Inc. at 1 Eagle Drive, Sanford, Maine, via telephone (207) 324-8805, fax (207) 324-8683; or visit the Plixer website.

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Lisa Kornblatt

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