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SolarWinds Orion vs. Scrutinizer from Plixer

Competitive retort: Plixer CEO Mike Patterson addresses the SolarWinds Orion vs. Scrutinizer from Plixer comparison paper.

Tue, 6/5/12 - 11:59pm    View comments

SolarWindsPlixer InternationalThe Solarwinds Orion vs. Scrutinizer from Plixer debate really isn't loaded with lots of facts and figures that compare the feature sets and performance of the two tools.

Rather, SolarWinds Orion vs. Plixer Scrutinizer is a discussion sales people should be having with customers to find out what is the best fit for the customer. When the customer's desire is for a fully functioning, richly featured flow analyzer, Scrutinizer from Plixer is generally a better choice. On the other hand, if the desire is for a complete network management system (NMS) that mostly covers all IT monitoring facets, SolarWinds Orion is a better choice.

Why SolarWinds

SolarWinds Orion is an entire suite of tools that provides a sort of jack-of-all-trades functionality when it comes to SNMP monitoring, flow monitoring, network polling, event logs, syslogs, server monitoring, etc. SolarWinds can say, "yes" to just about any type of monitoring tool being requested and provide good basic functionality. The SolarWinds team has done a great job focusing on their effort to be a complete NMS solution and has won many awards. However, to the best of my knowledge, they are not highly focused on delivering rich flow reporting and analysis feature sets like Plixer.

Why Plixer

In comparison, Plixer is more of a pure play in the NetFlow, IPFIX, etc. space. Our focus is on being the flow traffic analyzer of choice for not only end users, but also for vendors such as Cisco, Enterasys, Palo Alto Networks and Dell SonicWALL, who need a reporting solution for their flow exports. The Plixer team is razor focused on flow technologies and our passion is reflected in product development, which has garnered significant industry attention and accolades.

Competitive Matrix

You can download the out-of-date and never accurate SolarWinds Competitive Comparison of Scrutinizer to Orion's NetFlow Analysis matrix that was sent to a SolarWinds' customer. It was clear to the customer that the document was way out-of-date and almost entirely inaccurate other than pointing out that Plixer is a privately held company:

SolarWinds Comparison Paper vs. Plixer
SolarWinds Comparison Paper vs. Plixer
SolarWinds Comparison Paper vs. Plixer

Source: A customer of SolarWinds

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. Even this document isn't always up to date with the latest functionality supported by Scrutinizer. However, it does provide a potential customer with a means to compare products.

Do Some Home Work

If you are trying to choose between these two companies, get involved with their respective user communities, SolarWinds Thwack and Plixer Systrax.

Call their technical support organizations, SolarWinds Technical Support and Plixer Technical Support.

Clients looking to purchase a network monitoring solution or NetFlow reporting solution should join the on-line forums (SolarWinds Thwack Forum and Plixer Systrax Forum) to learn about Plixer and SolarWinds' bugs. After a few searches and/or a couple of weeks within the communities, the Plixer and SolarWinds' problems if any, will likely become obvious to you.

I hope this page will help you further compare products from these two great companies and good luck with your decision.

View Cisco vs. Competitor Lab Tests.

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