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Scrutinizer Netflow Analyzer Improved Response Time, Provides Trending, And Allows Bandwidth Forecasting

Sanford, ME — Jan 26, 2011 — Allo Communications, a Nebraska-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier, offers telephone, television, and Internet services to commercial and residential customers. As their business and services expanded, they required better insight into their network to manage and optimize customer experiences.

Through fiber links, Allo offers 10mg or 20mg bidirectional connections for customers, differentiating themselves from their competitors. Their competitive pricing and personalized service helped to grow their customer base.

Director of Network Operations, Nick Colton, explained that Allo regularly dispatched on-site technicians to troubleshoot customer issues. Troubleshooting connectivity issues involved plugging in a packet analyzer to review customers bidirectional network traffic.

Additionally, some customers are savvy with BitTorrent and know how to manipulate their traffic patterns to gain unwarranted excessive bandwidth, so Allo needed to place QoS prioritizations on VoIP and IPTV traffic. They also required insight into the Autonomous System (AS) information between their peerings in order to forecast bandwidth needs.

Colton knew that adding more bandwidth wasn’t the solution as Allo’s business and services grew. They needed a network analysis tool to better monitor network traffic.

Allo’s IT team reviewed several NetFlow collector solutions, looking to improve response time for customers, to set traffic thresholds, and to gain accurate historical trends over long periods of time. “We wanted to see detailed history over time, but pie charts just don’t provide a complete picture” Colton said. He investigated and found the tool offering all their required features: Scrutinizer NetFlow Analyzer from Plixer International, Inc., a software tool that captures and analyzes Cisco NetFlow packet flows.

Scrutinizer features a Google maps network overlay component that allows Allo’s helpdesk to more efficiently troubleshoot customer issues before dispatching technicians to the customer location. The helpdesk now has access to more information to correlate data and assist customers. If an on-site technician is needed, the technician can eliminate troubleshooting and instead go straight to the problem. This reduces time to resolution and reduces Allo’s financial costs.

Additionally, Scrutinizer offers the ability to save all flows indefinitely with the highest rollup count in the industry. It provides the historical Autonomous System information that Allo needs to determine what amount of traffic is headed to their different Content Delivery Networks.

It also allows Allo to trend what type of traffic is headed to the CDNs. The voice traffic is primarily RTP, and the television is broadcasted using Microsoft’s Media Room, the same platform used by AT&T and Deutsch Telecom. Accurately understanding the type of traffic allows Allo to place prioritized DSCP values on VoIP and IPTV traffic.

The Scrutinizer NetFlow collector improves Allo Communications business services and response times by allowing the helpdesk to use the tool for immediate problem-solving. This dramatically reduced the need for on-site technicians, decreasing the visits by up to four per week.

Having instantly available detailed reports on traffic flows allows Allo to accurately set DSCP values for VoIP and IPTV, which ultimately improves customer satisfaction. Furthermore, Allo leverages the AS trending reports to peer service providers for performing long-term planning for future collocation sites. “Scrutinizer AS reports have allowed me to strategize for the future, once again helping us remove some of the guess work,” Colton said.

Scrutinizer has helped Allow Communications reduce the need for on-site technicians, prioritize VoIP and IPTV as well as provide informative long term bandwidth reports for future capacity planning. Flow Analytics has become an additional check to watch for nefarious activity, internet threats, and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) traffic. They have even been able to assist a local school that uses their network to pinpoint the source of P2P traffic. “Scrutinizer hasn’t only provided savings to our bottom line, but it has become an integral part of our daily operations” Colton said.

Download a free trial of Plixer’s Scrutinizer for NetFlow traffic analysis or schedule a live demo by calling: (207) 324-8805 or via email at [email protected]. For more NetFlow insight, follow Plixer International on their Blog, Twitter, Facebook or join NetFlow Developments Group on LinkedIn.

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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.

Published in Press Releases 2011