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ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer vs. Scrutinizer from Plixer

Competitive retort: Plixer CEO Mike Patterson addresses the ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer vs. Scrutinizer from Plixer competitive comparison paper.

Sanford, ME:   Tue, 1/22/13 - 11:59pm    View comments

Manage EnginePlixer InternationalLast year a sales lead — now a customer was talking with Plixer and ManageEngine about a possible NetFlow collection and reporting solution. Apparently, once ManageEngine found out that Plixer was the competition, they offered up a document comparing NetFlow Analyzer vs. Scrutinizer.

It's no surprise to most customers that vendors tend to make these types of documents very one sided. However, what some customers (although probably very few) also assume is that these documents are accurate. In this case, ManageEngine makes several false claims about Scrutinizer, for example:

  • They say we don't support an "Option to exclude ESP_App on user defined interfaces" but, Scrutinizer can do this.
  • They say we don't support an "Option to apply GRE filters on user defined interfaces" but, Scrutinizer can do this.
  • They claim we don't support "Authentication using radius server". This is true as we haven't seen a need. We do support Active Director integration.
  • The claim we don't support "Reporting on DSCP groups". They had to know this was not true. Scrutinizer has always been able to do this.
  • The claim we don't support "VoIP Monitoring" which is also incorrect.
On some items, we simply don't know what ManageEngine is talking about. For example "ACL flows and output interface suppression". I'm not sure what this is but, if it pertains to the Cisco ASA NSEL exports or egress exports, we support both but, it really doesn't matter because my point is that vendors that provide these types of documents should be aware that eventually these docs end up in the hands of a competitor. Here's why: customers are trying to find out the truth. When a sales person makes claims, most customers will then confirm them with the other vendor and as a sales person, you don't want to get caught in a lie.

As I pointed out in the SolarWinds Orion vs. Scrutinizer from Plixer post, the problem with competitive comparison documents like the one above is that they are often out-of-date and very biased. On page 2 of the NetFlow Challenge document, Plixer encourages prospective customers to compare Scrutinizer to other NetFlow Analysis tools. I'm sure even our document is a bit out of date but, it provides the customer with a tool to compare vendors.

Here are some big differences between the two companies:


This is a company that is similar to Solarwinds in that they provide nearly every type of network, desktop and server utility necessary to help ensure the IT team has the tools necessary to be notified if something goes wrong and diagnose the issue. Like Solarwinds Orion, this company is a jack of all trades. Their focus is really on nearly everything that has to do with network or server monitoring. They claim 90% of the functionality at only 10% of the cost of larger all-encompassing frame works. If you look on their web site it reads "the best bang for your buck".


We are not a company that claims to do it all. We are highly focused on flow technologies. We work with the software developers at several hardware manufacturers such as Cisco, Enterasys, Dell-SonicWALL, Palo Alto and others to ensure that we have the best reporting available on their very specific details. We are in the business of flow reporting and network threat detection given the constraints of flow technologies such as NetFlow and IPFIX. We do have some limited support for network monitoring (mapping, polling, notifications, availability, latency reports, etc.) but, it isn't at the core of our business. Consumers looking for a highly customizable and scalable IPFIX and NetFlow solution choose Scrutinizer.

What else is different between ManageEngine and Plixer?

  • Plixer tends to be more expensive if only considering the NetFlow and IPFIX portion of the solutions.
  • ManageEngine sells to the masses so their customer base is larger although, plixer has an active user community "NetFlow Knights".

I'm not saying that ManageEngine's NetFlow Analyzer is not a good solution. On the contrary, I'm trying to imply that it might be ideal for some consumers. Scrutinizer on the other hand is by far much more serious about delivering a scalable flow collection system with rich reporting and detailed analysis capabilities. We are the vendor that most companies turn to first when they are entering the flow market.

Review the NetFlow Analyzer vs. Scrutinizer competitive comparison paper.

View Cisco How-To Tutorials.

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