PRTG Network Monitor Review

Allows us to grab all the needed information and feedback from a single point of view for our IT infrastructure

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case if for monitoring bandwidth, uplinks and using SNMPs. We are slowly scaling out to monitor hard drive disk spaces, as well. 

Our bandwidth solution, which are the uplinks that we have at the moment for circuit breakouts, and ISPs don't give us the best information. So, we use what we can and monitor the uplinks before they hit the equipment.

How has it helped my organization?

Historical data provided by this solution helps us optimize our network performance by providing network trends. Therefore, we can go back 30 days or six months, saying to my boss, "We can see an upward trend over this amount, and these are our projections going forward." So, it allows us to predict and move forward.

We use a Citrix application, which we use to monitor certain ports and ensure we get response times that are essential. It makes it easier if we can benchmark scenarios rather than asking users if the speed has improved, etc.

This solution provides us with the needed feedback on our IT infrastructure. It allows us to grab all the information from a single point of view.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is being notified before we ask if there is an outage. Visibility is the main thing for us, which I can give to my boss. So, when people start asking him for information, he's not on the back foot straightaway. He can say, "Yes, we are experiencing this." We can at least get that information to the ISPs and provide them the correct timestamps and information, then go from there.

The sensors and remote probes are phenomenal. We use them for all of our global sites. The problem with our global sites are that they are all VPNs. If the link goes down, you can't monitor other solutions, as it just goes off the grid. Having remote probes allows them to still carry on and get the information that we need when it comes back up, sending the information to us.

We have been happy with the feature set, so far. It has compatibility with most of the product that we use, such as Juniper hardware.

What needs improvement?

They just released a newer version of the desktop app, a beta version, that I have been trialing out. I prefer the older version, only because of how the layout is designed, but they're making improvements to it all the time.

The clustering aspect needs improvement, as there is a bit of confusion about you do when hit that 5000 probe mark.

I would like there to be more cloud features with cloud stats. However, in every update, there seems to be more things add. 

I would also like there to be more APIs and access to them.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is fairly stable. It gets a bit interesting the closer that we are etching in to the 5000 probe mark. 

There are some HA concerns. However, PRTG put that on the website and are not hiding it. One thing that I want to know, "Where the company is going with HA from here?"

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Previously, we were easily under a 1000 sensors. We are now up to 3500. In the future, depending on how we scale out, we will be over the 5000 mark.

The product can easily grow with our business.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good. They are fairly responsive. I have a ticket with them at the moment and am waiting to hear back on them, but it's all good.

For online resources, I pretty much go to Google more than anything else, rather than a dedicated place.

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

The time that it took to get the information required to be as proactive or reactive as possible is what drove us to PRTG. With the multitude of products that we had, it was the best solution since it allows us to see everything in one window.

We used the free trial of PRTG. Did a benchmark to see if the product is what we required, then went to the paid version.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. You just install it, and as long as you have got the right credentials and know the subnets to scan, it is fairly easy.

It took hours from the time that we set up the solution until it provided us with feedback on our IT infrastructure. However, in the time to get the core setup, we scaled it out for the rest of the business. The analysis that it provided was good and quick.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented in-house.

What was our ROI?

This solution enables our IT department to be more cost-effective by saving. The product provide a single pane to see a lot of information, especially at an engineering level. Looking at multiple products takes more time. Having a single pane in effect can provide all the information in one place.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I had previously used PRTG 

What other advice do I have?

Give it a shot. They have a free trial. If the product meets your needs, take it further. There is not much in terms of prerequisites, other than knowing the subnets and credentials.

The product does everything that we need it to do at the moment.

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