PRTG is a flexible and powerful software that allows you to monitor a variety of physical and virtual devices, covering both fault and performance management. It is a Windows-based solution with a web-based interface that with various automation techniques such as the automatic discovery, can help you manage even medium or large infrastructures easily. Graphs are powerful and alerting capabilities are excellent and thus PRTG is a recommended network management solution.
PRTG is marketed by Paessler as:
Network Monitoring for Serious Professionals that monitors your network 24/7 to timely alert you to issues before they become emergencies
PRTG mission is to become the best network monitoring tool for professionals by providing the best functionality of competing products, without all the fluff, at an excellent price.
In 1997, Dirk Paessler was frustrated by the lack of effective, yet economical, server load and network monitoring software available on the market. So he set out to develop his own. The result is Paessler AG, founded with a mission to offer only the kind of software we would want for ourselves – scalable solutions with a small footprint that take the worry out of network availability and performance
What is PRTG?
PRTG is a monitoring solution that allows you to monitor Uptime/Downtime, Bandwidth , SLAs, QoS , Environmental conditions, LAN, WAN, VPN, Log events, etc.
PRTG supports IPv6 support and Agent-less monitoring where optional agents (remote probes) allow monitoring for even deeper metrics.
PRTG uses “sensors” to dimension (and license as you will read below) the managed infrastructure. More than 190 sensor types are supported, that allow you to:
- Monitor common infrastructure like web servers load time (via HTTP), availability (via PING), ports availability, traffic on ports (via SNMP), traffic on windows network cards (via WMI) etc.
- Monitor bandwidth with protocols like IPFIX, Jflow, Netflow and even SNMP (e.g. RMON)
- Perform deep monitoring of web services, that can be used to fetch Google analytics and Apache Statistics, or measure full web page loading time, check SSL certificates, web logins and shopping cats, get data via XML/REST etc.
- Use SNMP to monitor CISCO, Dell, IBM, HP, Sonicwall, Synology and other similar devices.
- Closely monitor Windows installations by checking running services such as print queues, event logs, Active Directories, Exchange Servers, IIS servers, SQL Servers, etc.
- Closely monitor LINUX installations by checking memory, disks, or even other proccesses through scripts.
- Monitor Mail Servers (POP, IMAP, Exchange etc.)
- Monitor Storage devices (LenovoAMC NAS, NetApp, WMI logical volumes, etc.)
- Monitor Databases (Oracle, MySQL, MS SQL Server)
- Monitor Virtual Servers (VMWare, etc.)
- Monitor File Servers via FTP/SFTP from vendors like Dell and NetApp
- Monitor VoIP and QoS (CISCO and some generic ones)
- Monitor other common servers like DHCP, RADIUS, DNS, SMTP, Syslog, LDAP, etc.
- Monitor the PRTG health.
How much does PRTG cost?
PRTG uses the term “sensor” (similar to Anturis monitor) to describe the managed entity used for licensing. A sensor, in PRTG words, is the
“single IT infrastructure resource than needs to be checked or measured” (more on monitors below).
PRTG provides packaged licenses for 100 sensors for $440, 500 sensors for $1600, 1000 sensors for $2700, 2500 sensors for $5600, but you can also purchase an unlimited sensors package for $13.500. There is also a license package for unlimited installations within the same corporation and location for $40.500 while if you need a license to be global in term of servers locations, this will cost you $42.500.
Software maintenance is included in the above prices for 12 months.
A trial period of thirty days is offered for free, where you can easily test all PRTG features yourself!
With each update of PRTG, Paessler will release new functionalities, improvements, and fixes—many of them as a direct response to user feedback. After testing a new version thoroughly, it will be released to all customers. So the only thing that really changes is the fact that more frequent updates will be available for all clients with an active maintenance contract and can be obtained via PRTG’s built-in auto-update or by logging into the customer service center.
How easy is to install PRTG?
I downloaded PRTG from their web site without any problem, the downloaded zip file is 124MB. Installation was a breeze, and was finished on my 7-year old laptop within 6 minutes. That is a good performance and was error free.
Once the installation was finished I got a nice window giving me instructions how to start. That was a nice touch that made the whole start-up very easy. Within 6 minutes I managed to start managing my network.
Out-of the box, PRTG consumed 66MB of RAM for the server and 16MB of RAM for the Probe. This was ok for my old laptop.
Updating and upgrading PRTG is very easy. Assuming you have an active maintenance contract, your PRTG installation will regularly connect to Paessler servers to check if there is a new version of PRTG available. In case there is, it is downloaded and installed automatically and the administration is notified accordingly.
How easy is to use PRTG?
The good thing with PRTG is that provides a lot of functionality at a reasonable price. On the other hand, the User Interface is cluttered with a lot of information, while the inheritance model is complicated.
There is a learning curve, before you can use the software at its maximum.
PRTG detailed reviews
Following requests from SNMPcenter readers, detailed reviews are being written for PRTG, to cover its functionalities, i.e. Installation and Operation, Performance Management, Fault Management, Discovery, and also comparisons with other popular monitoring solutions.
Check back here to read these detailed reviews, or opt-in the SNMPcenter mailing list to be notified when reviews are released.