PRTG Network Monitor Review

Makes available a great diversity of pre-configured metrics that can be monitored


What is our primary use case?

We use it for network monitoring, mostly. We look at any metrics that the sensors pull back for us, such as availability, performance. We have some custom sensors for service monitoring.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution's historical data helps us optimize network performance. We can find issues by looking at historical data and benchmark it against what it should be.

It's given us metrics which we can then pass on to customers, availability statistics and things like that. It's really added value to the services we provide. From that point of view, it has definitely improved things.

It makes our IT department more cost-effective because we can detect failures faster, we can do something about them. We can get early warnings on things that are going to go wrong, be proactive about dealing with them, and have less downtime.

It gives us the needed feedback on our IT infrastructure, such as utilization of disks on a server. We get that information back and are able to act on it.

What is most valuable?

One of the valuable features is the diversity of metrics available to us to monitor. It's all there, it's all in the box. It's all made very easy, by virtue of it being pre-configured. You point it at the box, pull your credentials in if you need to, and off it goes and does it. A lot of solutions do that, but this just has it all in one box, which is what makes it really good.

The solution’s sensors and remote probes are great, spot on. They keep improving them. It's only a problem from time to time when old sensors get deprecated and you have to replace them with a new one, but other than that it's a very good selection.

The overall feature set is good. It's diverse, it's all there.

What needs improvement?

I don't think the Desktop app is that great. I don't like it. I would like to see cross-compatibility on different platforms. Also, the window management isn't that great, and the refresh rates aren't that great.

Their roadmap is good and the features that they're releasing are good, but our main ask is around the scalability issue that I've mentioned elsewhere in this review.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

If you have enough resources the stability is fine, fairly rock-solid. We're at double the recommended capacity in terms of sensors for our instance, and it's running fine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is the only major sticking point for me. There is a recommended number of sensors, which is around 10,000, and we're double that. We're not comfortable putting any more than that, even though the server might be able to handle it. It's already well outside the support boundaries for the solution. 

The only option we have to scale is to buy another core, which would be a separate, stand-alone instance, would not be managed through the same interface, and we would have to be looking in two different places. We love the product, but at the moment that is the main sticking point for us.

How are customer service and technical support?

There have been no real problems with tech support. We don't really need to go to them, the product takes care of itself. When we have needed them, they have been very responsive and gotten back to us quickly.

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

We did have system downtown before implementing the solution, but it didn't really influence our decision to get PRTG. We needed a monitoring system anyway, by virtue of the nature of our business.

We would have been using an open-source solution before PRTG but we needed a more feature-rich product to work with, given the number of solutions we were operating.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very easy. There's nothing much to do, honestly. You just install the software on the core server and then you can install remote probes in any private sub-nets that you need and they will speak back to the core. It's very straightforward.

Within about a half an hour of installing it, we had information back.

What about the implementation team?

We did it ourselves.

What was our ROI?

Subjectively, it probably has saved our organization money, but it would be difficult to quantify it.

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

We pay for a perpetual license and we have a support fee.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've had PRTG in place for a number of years, so what we evaluated was in the early days, a lot of open-source solutions: Zabbix, Nagios, Cacti, etc. PRTG is differentiated because it caters to all platforms and endpoints, has features for Windows, and WMI sensors which aren't necessarily available out-of-the-box in the other solutions. That would have been a determining factor.

What other advice do I have?

It will do the job, more than anything I can think of. It will give you really useful monitoring statistics out-of-the-box, and will give you the ability to customize and do things that aren't there by default. It will take care of all your monitoring needs, pretty much, but just be conscious of scale.

I would say PRTG is an eight out of ten. We're very happy with the functionality. Those missing two points come from the scalability issues.

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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