Finally, a secure NetFlow SaaS offering that is rich with analytics features while being highly scalable for distributed networks.  Although our system was easily adapted to this new business model, we had to carefully work through the business side of the deliverable.  Bandwidth consumed, customer support and pricing all had to be worked out.

SaaS NetFlow Offering

Distributed Collection

The isolated issues surrounding excessive flow volumes exiting a single Internet pipe are resolved with our distributed NetFlow collection architecture.  Customers can export flows to the cloud at remote locations using the local Internet connection.  This strategy alleviates the bandwidth contention caused when a single conduit gets saturated with flows.

A Break from Tradition

Turns out, many of our customers have ample bandwidth.  From the measurements we have taken, hundreds and possibly even thousands of our customers could take advantage of a NetFlow SaaS configuration.  The real hurdle between our NetFlow SaaS offering and the customers is education.

Many security and network administrators have the predisposition that traditional perpetual licensing is the best way to deal with the flow collection dilemma.  Buy the system up front and pay yearly maintenance.  This is the way it has always been done.  Why change?  Although not all services are ideal as a SaaS deliverable, a model involving flow collection however, in many environments can be very attractive.

NetFlow Support

It’s much easier to get our customers up and running with our NetFlow SaaS offering and it turns out that support is a win – win. The customer gets all the benefits of a fully functional flow collection system with rich reporting and security analytics without concerning itself with software updates or fixing system faults.  They can simply pick up the phone, call our support and say “show me” or “fix it”.  On the vendor side, the SaaS business model is also ideal.  We get to make sure the customers are always up to date with the latest version and if they prefer, we can help them ensure they get the most benefit from the system.

Pricing

A significant upside to this solution is the minimal upfront fee which allows companies to reduce their capex costs. Another benefit is the rethinking we did on how to license the service. The current perpetual model is a determined using a combination of the number of devices exporting flows and flow volume.  Our NetFlow SaaS pricing is based purely on the storage space needed.   As a result, some customers are wanting to get pricing on both.

Evolution

It takes time for customers to realize that leveraging any service in the cloud might make sense in their environment.  With NetFlow collection it will depend on resources, price and support. Either way, we are up and running with our NetFlow SaaS offering.  Contact our team to learn more or to take it for a test drive.

Dale Locke author pic

Dale

Dale Locke is the Regional Manager for the southeast US at Plixer. He works with prospects to solve the unique needs of their network and visits existing customers to assist with training. He enjoys developing new partnerships and building long lasting relationships with his clients. Dale's favorite hobbies include fishing, hiking, soccer, and football.