In mid-May at InteropITX I had the privilege of being a Tech Field Day Extra Delegate which featured Paessler, a network monitoring company. Paessler has been around in the network monitoring space for quite awhile. Personally, I first learned about them and their PRTG product at a conference in 2014. Paessler’s GUI interface is intuitive and easy to use. While I have not had the opportunity to use their product at the workplace, Paessler is my go-to monitoring solution for my home lab. So, I was excited to hear that they would be presenting. It was a good presentation and if you are interested in watching it you can do so here.
My Thoughts on PRTG
Let’s talk about PRTG. There are many things that I really like about PRGT and there are some things that I believe are lacking. First up let’s discuss what stands out to me.
One of my favorite parts of PRTG has to be that it is a self-contained program. What do I mean by self-contained? PRTG has its own built-in web server and database. If you are like me and hate dealing with SQL, IIS, or any other dependency programs, then this should be music to your ears. It makes getting started a breeze. You can have PRTG up and scanning in less than 15 minutes. The ease of use is great, too. PRTG also supports distributed monitoring, allowing you to easily monitor remote sites. This means you can take any available Windows machine and easily have PRTG scanning in various environments.
The Sensors. Oh, the Sensors
The core of the PRTG system is their sensors. These sensors provide a sort of a la carte system that allows you to customize your monitoring needs. Think of a sensor as a way to see part of a machine. According to Paessler, you will use around 10-15 different sensors on a machine. While a sensor monitors one aspect of a machine it gathers multiple metrics on that aspect. Currently, there are approximately 200 different sensors to choose from. PRTG also allows you to create custom sensors if you need something else.
Great, but not perfect
My biggest complaint with PRTG is that it only works on a Windows device. In this day and age, when we are virtualizing everything, not having a virtual appliance is disappointing. On the bright side, Paessler is aware of this and is working on it.
Another issue, less of a complaint and more of an observation, is that PRTG is a great monitoring tool, but it is just that – a monitoring tool. I would love to see some kind of change management add-on. This is becoming a common module for most network monitoring solutions and I would be very interested in seeing Pressler’s take on it.
Paessler’s PRTG is a very good monitoring solution, packed with some great features and the ability to do some serious customization. While I listed a couple of my favorite features and some things that I would like to see improved, I look forward to diving even deeper into PRTG. If you would like to give them a try, Paessler offers everyone a free, no strings attached, 100 sensor license to use PRTG for life. Just head over to their website and sign up.
I hope this was informative. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.
I would like to thank Tech Field for having me as a delegate; it is a great honor. And, of course, thanks to Paessler for the great presentation.