PRTG Network Monitor Review

Lightweight probes allow us to proactively avoid disk space or switch overload


What is our primary use case?

We use the solution for full network monitoring, to manage our entire estate; that includes things like disk space and network usage. It alerts us of any potential outages so that we can attend to those before they occur.

How has it helped my organization?

The historical data provided by the solution helps us optimize our network performance in that we do quite a lot of analysis on our network traffic. We want our user experience to be the best that it can possibly be. We'll look for trends in things like login times, disk space usage, how much we're burning through. That feature absolutely helps us.

Also, before we used this solution we had issues with the servers running out of disk space. This has completely stopped all that now. We've put in decent thresholds whereby we're not running out of disk space before we know there's an issue. We give ourselves plenty of leeway so that doesn't happen anymore.

When it comes to feedback on our IT infrastructure, again it's the disk space, but also the utilization of our network. If, for instance, a switch is getting overloaded, we can take proactive action to prevent any problems. That's the main kind of driver for us. This doesn't let us get into trouble. We are aware of problems before they occur.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature for us is the disk space and CPU usage because we are quite intensive in those fields. PRTG gives us the visibility into those straight away. We've got it set up in a pie-chart with all of our servers down the left-hand side. If everything's green, everything's working. If it's amber, there's a potential issue. If it's red, then we're in trouble, and it's as simple as that. It's a traffic-light system. It works perfectly.

Ease of access is important as well - it's all in the product, it's all in the sensors - and it has been great for us. The sensors and probes are great, nice and lightweight, they don't take up too many resources on the system. We just deploy them out and they start reporting instantly.

The desktop app is great. We've got it set to auto update, and it just ticks away nicely. We also use the mobile app as well. Various members of our infrastructure team have got that app on their mobile devices, so when they're out of the office they can check up on the estate, as well. We can do 24/7 monitoring.

What needs improvement?

The only thing we have been looking at, which is not so much about the solution itself, is some training. I know there are a lot of online training resources, but some classroom-based training is one of the things that we have been looking for. 

Also, when it comes to third-party integration, one of the things we were looking at was putting some sensors onto our firewall, for instance. If there were a little bit more documentation and some step-by-step guides around that, that would be useful for us. That would be about the only thing I would say regarding the product itself.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. We've never had any kind of outages in terms of the dashboard not being available. Any updates that we've applied haven't caused us any issues. It's a great, reliable product.

We've not found any kind of real performance degradation. There may have been times where some of the sensors may have paused slightly but I think they were just anomalies. It has not been a regular occurrence. Perhaps there have been occasional stability issues, but they have been very few and far between.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very scalable. At the moment we have around 1,000 or 1,200 sensors. We know that it would be very easy if we wanted to expand that. We could simply add in more sensors very easily.

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't think we've ever actually had to engage with technical support because we've never had any issues with it. That speaks for itself.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

The main driver behind our decision was that we partnered up with a third-party which did all our monitoring for us but we moved away from that. There was a requirement to do it ourselves and that's why we chose PRTG.

How was the initial setup?

Our setup was very straightforward because we planned out what our estate looks like through network diagrams, decided on what metrics we wanted to capture, and then deployed it across. The product itself made it very easy for us to do that.

From setup to the start of data analysis took three to five days.

What about the implementation team?

We used our preferred reseller, which is CCS Media. But we had already done research into the product ourselves. It was just a case of buying the license through our reseller.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

On a yearly basis, I believe it's between £1,200 and £1,500. It's relatively inexpensive, for what we need.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn't really consider anything else because we'd previously used PRTG, before we used our third-party partner. It was very easy for us to come back to it.

What other advice do I have?

You should absolutely look at this solution. It gives us everything that we need: The lightweight aspect of it on the network, the amount of information. It's absolutely worth the money.

In terms of the feature set, the overall impression is very good. We've been using the product for just over 12 months now. We've just recently renewed that license because the product is very good and gives us all the information that we need.

We bought around 1,200 or 1,500 sensors. Our estate supports around 450 users. I think we've almost maxed out on how many sensors we've deployed because we've got quite a large estate. We've got around 150 servers, and then we also have 100 or so switches. With all those, it's very easy to burn through our sensor limit.

I rate PRTG at ten out ten, easily, because of the ease of use, the information provided, and the fact that we've never had to raise any kind of technical support ticket. That in itself should sell the product.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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