PRTG Network Monitor Review

Has the ability to easily do a lot of mapping and is user friendly


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case with PRTG is measuring and monitoring the system. We have a few servers running in redundancy. There are two monitoring ones. One for the maintenance staff with more details and the other one is for general control and assessing when there is a user error or 401. We use it on the business logic level. With redundancy, the FRC is just to monitor whether there is a complete down or only one system goes down.

We see everything being monitored on the screen. When we do mapping it's easier for us to monitor whether it's the server's fault, the feature's fault, or it's the router, or some other device, or some other legacy system. It all starts with the monitoring.

What is most valuable?

The feature I like is that it can easily do a lot of mapping. 

I can easily access the maintenance map and the four control maps. By looking at it I can roughly know why the system is behaving as it is, and I can click to the second or third layer to identify the fault. I also like the 365 days statistical graph. These are very helpful for me to analyze the flow and to record the trends.

What needs improvement?

Because our system doesn't connect to the internet, it wants us to put in the license and then the activation should occur. Sometimes we do the activation when we are passed date. When we try to activate the license past date, it's not as easy as we thought it should be. In other words, they could improve the process of updating the license.

If I do it correctly before the activation expires, it should be okay. But if I try after the due date has passed then you can't get the correct security patch.

I would prefer if PRTG could work in redundancy mode with an external database rather than how it is now with the database inside PRTG, where I can access it only through the report. If you have an external database you can do another trace on the data with the redundancy while the monitoring system is still going on.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using PRTG Network Monitor for almost two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far there are no issues with the stability. The only setback is that I don't know why there's only one PRTG running the system. If one fails then redundancy is not there.

PRTG is quite easy to use as long you have the hang of it. The only problem are the legacy systems that don't have direct connection.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The issues to pay attention to in terms of scalability are the sensors. The sensors help you isolate your problem. Let's say my only problem now is field monitoring. I might also want to have central monitoring but I couldn't do it. If you have a field monitoring system you may also want to have a central monitor as well. I haven't tried to do that yet on PRTG because I need higher levels to monitor my three or four PRTG systems. In other words, the product is not so easy to scale.

Right now it is just me and my colleague working on this product. We use it on a daily basis. We have groups for the maintenance center and the reporting center. Both are monitoring and mapping. I configured this for them.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support is fantastic. Because of our time difference I get my message replied to by the next morning. It's quite fast.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

My client is asking me to look into Icinga. Icinga is still new to me and I'm not yet sure about it. I think it's a Nagios software. I did use Nagios before, but I didn't configure it, it was part of the system delivery.

With Nagios, I can't see the graph, or the trends, or the mapping of an individual site. I'm not really sure about Nagios.

How was the initial setup?

When I joined the company PRTG was already setup. They subsequently added more servers, so I got to learn it through my colleagues.

What other advice do I have?

In the beginning, I downloaded PRTG for free and did my own experiments. I would advise others to do that, too. Download it and try it out. When you do that you'll see where the limitations are.

On a scale of one to ten, I would rate PRTG Network Monitor about an eight. I still think there's room for improvement, especially when it comes to updating the event configuration.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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