Education Providers ‘Scrutinize’ Network Traffic to Ensure Optimum Availability and Uptime for Students, Staff and Faculty

Plixer International Adds New K-12 and Higher Ed Clients to its Scrutinizer NetFlow and sFlow Monitor Customer Roster

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“Scrutinizer allows us to quickly and easily drill down into host protocols from a single pane of glass to analyze all traffic passing to and from our campus hosts and the Internet.

Sanford, ME (PRWEB) May 7, 2010

In the digital learning age, reliable and high-performance access to data networks is crucial to educational systems at both the K-12 and collegiate level. Aside from warding off bottlenecks and troubleshooting network and latency issues to ensure reliable data flow, educational IT departments must have complete visibility into high traffic-flows to watch out for questionable activity that may compromise performance or introduce vulnerabilities which pose risks to the school or district’s reputation.

To monitor network traffic for anomalies and ensure optimum availability and uptime to meet their educational goals, more than a dozen school districts, colleges and universities have turned to Plixer International’s Scrutinizer NetFlow and sFlow analysis software in the past year. New Scrutinizer clients in the K-12 space include Campbell County (WY) Schools, Park City (UT) Schools, Newark (NJ) Public Schools and the Dublin (OH) City School System.

In higher education, Harvard Medical School, Texas A&M, Flinders University, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Babson College and Southern Polytechnic State University, among others, have all begun using Scrutinizer to track usage and ensure maximum availability across the network.

“Colleges and universities, in particular, have a unique requirement to monitor bandwidth consumption in order to ensure proper usage among students,” said Michael Patterson, Scrutinizer product manager with Plixer. “Scrutinizer helps them keep tabs on network activity and pinpoint spikes, down to the individual user level, that may indicate inappropriate behavior—like peer-to-peer sharing or illegal downloads—or a technical problem in the system. Without a system like Scrutinizer, schools risk getting caught up in sticky legal or technical issues that could harm their reputation.”

Scrutinizer NetFlow and sFlow Analyzer provides complete visibility into all network activity from a single, easy-to-use interface that makes it easy to see a top-level overview or dive deeper to get more granular detail on specific traffic patterns and hardware performance.

“Scrutinizer allows us to quickly and easily drill down into host protocols from a single pane of glass to analyze all traffic passing to and from our campus hosts and the Internet,” said Peter Rounds, network engineer with Syracuse University, a long-time Scrutinizer user. “It has a brilliant reporting feature that allows us to overlay our campus network topology on a Google map to get an accurate, spatial representation of core equipment deployed across campus, and we can zoom in and out, and see real-time link utilization with drill-down capability.”

Scrutinizer not only enables network data traffic monitoring, but also monitors and reports metrics on its hardware vital statistics, such as CPU usage and disk space and provides historical usage trend data to help with capacity upgrade planning and provisioning. Seamless compatibility with virtual servers helps to ensure optimum performance, as additional server resources such as CPU, memory and disk space can be allocated “on-the-fly.”

“We’re about 75 percent into the migration from physical hardware to virtual servers,” Rounds said. “Traffic analysis to and from our virtual servers is a challenge. With Scrutinizer however, analysis of both physical and virtual servers is easily performed. Our server administrators have expressed their appreciation for a tool that reports in great detail traffic to and from their hosts.”

Rounds noted that Scrutinizer’s intuitive setup makes it easy to get up and running in about an hour and the user-friendly web interface makes the system easy to learn and quickly navigate. The unique MyView interface allows individual users to build their own Scrutinizer “home page” by configuring a custom view with the data they choose to see upon log in.

The Matrix, Scrutinizer’s graphical view of top-traffic hosts, illustrates at a glance, which nodes are communicating with each other in real time. Typically found only in packet analyzers, Scrutinizer is the first NetFlow analyzer to bring this technology to the NetFlow and sFlow markets, complete with color-coded path lines indicating traffic direction.

Scrutinizer’s support for Network Based Application Recognition (NBAR) reveals the actual application used by the communicating hosts, allowing users to drill deeper to identify which specific applications are consuming bandwidth over the port—such as Skype, Pandora, Facebook or Twitter apps.

In addition to the education arena, Plixer’s NetFlow and sFlow analysis solutions are used to monitor traffic across some of the largest data networks in the world, including those of Blue Cross, Citizens Bank, Visa, Intel, Cisco Systems, Chase, Paramount Pictures, AGFA, Turner Broadcasting, ABN AMRO and more.

For more information about deploying Scrutinizer across an education enterprise network, 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, Abercrombie & Fitch, 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.

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