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Jon Mills
Plixer International, Inc.

Sanford, ME — Oct 19, 2010 — Educational institutes have unique networking needs due to significant virtual traffic, cyber safety threats, and privacy concerns.

To obtain greater traffic insight, educational facilities are turning to Scrutinizer NetFlow and sFlow Analyzer from Plixer International, Inc., a global provider of web-based IT network management solutions.

Bloomington Public Schools in Illinois has approximately 98% virtual network traffic. With significant multi-directional traffic and laws governing student cyber safety, the ability to monitor and trace network activity is vital. Scrutinizer has become their primary tool to track threats and viruses like the one that recently hit their system.

Within the first hour of infection, Scrutinizer reports were created with filters to pinpoint every infected machine, and IT SWAT teams were dispatched. “Before enabling NetFlow and Scrutinizer, we had very little visibility” explained Systems Administrator Jason Radford. “Now we can easily isolate network threats and monitor traffic patterns.”

Scrutinizer allows Bloomington to protect their network by denying access to sites that are prohibited by school policy. The State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo similarly uses Scrutinizer to monitor network traffic and prevent access to unauthorized sites.

Just after purchasing Scrutinizer, SUNY received notice from the Recording Industry Association of America about an aggressive campaign to pursue college students who illegally shared or downloaded music. Through Scrutinizer’s functionality and unlimited automatic archiving, SUNY’s IT department investigated users access to sites.

By leveraging forensic data, Network Manager Rick Coloccia could confirm or deny allegations, then either distribute severe warnings or clear the name of a student mistakenly accused. “Prior to implementing Scrutinizer, we did not have the ability go back in time to see how a certain student on the network was behaving.” Coloccia said.

As with Bloomington Public Schools, SUNY receives help from Scrutinizer NetFlow Analyzer in identifying malicious viruses or overactive applications that cause significant network downtime. For Lawrence Technological University, the road to Scrutinizer was travelled by a student assistant in the computer center.

While processing his senior project on monitoring traffic and mitigating security threats in wireless networks, he was researching tools that could help. He discovered Plixer’s Scrutinizer software which offers Lawrence Tech a cost-effective solution to gain the needed network clarity and control.

Because of their large base of international students, Lawrence Tech occasionally deals with repercussions of students using a non-U.S. standard protocol or unfamiliar file program. According to Tim Chavis, Executive Director of IT Services, the university contracts for 30 megabytes of pipe bandwidth from our ISP. “We had a situation where response times suddenly degraded exponentially” he explained. “After extensive searching, we found that one student alone was chewing up 15 megs, leaving 4,500 other users trying to share the rest.”

Scrutinizer automatically logs all network traffic so Chavis and his team can see the details for all of the interactions between systems. They rely on Scrutinizer to track which systems, applications, and protocols are using the most network traffic. From there, they chart usage trends and bandwidth consumption patterns. Scrutinizer dramatically reduces their troubleshooting time and efforts.

In addition to Bloomington Public Schools, SUNY Geneseo, and Lawrence Tech, other educational facilities have also recognized the benefits of using Scrutinizer for their network traffic analysis. Organizations such as Harvard Medical School, Oregon Health & Science University, University of Nebraska, Texas A&M Research Foundation, and UCLA have begun taking advantage of Scrutinizer’s advanced NetFlow reporting capabilities.

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 the 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 2010