PRTG Network Monitor Review

Saves us money because we are not paying a managed service provider to monitor 50% of our infrastructure


What is our primary use case?

It provides a consolidated view of servers, switching, and network connectivity for the offices that I look after.

How has it helped my organization?

We are reactive sooner, when we need to be. There is less of waiting for our users to call, and say, "We have no Internet." It has allowed us to move a bit quicker.

The historical data provided by the solution helps us optimize our network performance. I have just taken over the IT infrastructure. I now have six months of history, so I know what my norms are. I can identify the quirks and issues from the history to keep going forward.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the notifications. As long as you spend time and think about what and when you want to be notified, it's always accurate. It is always there. I find things out before my Internet provider. 

Without all of the sensors or out-of-the-box functions, the notifications just don't work. For a small companies like us, it keeps an eye on our different offices and the few cloud servers that we have. We don't worry about them because the job is done.

The remote probe is fantastic, particularly since they started adopting. You can run them on smaller hardware. 

All of the sensors that I have needed in their adoption of some specific cloud have been great. 

The general server/client infrastructure is well done.

What needs improvement?

I don't like the desktop app and never use it. The web client is far easier to navigate with the notifications that pop up. The web app comes with everything that you need.

I preferred the look and feel of the previous version's user interface.

I would like to see more from an Office 365 standpoint, getting a more nitty-gritty app.

I am not sure the solution is giving me all the needed feedback that we need. When something goes off on our IT infrastructure, it does tell me. However, it would be nice if it gave more intuitive information, e.g., the hard drive has gone up by 60 percent in an hour. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great in a 64-bit deployment. If anybody mixes it with a 32-bit speed version or with WMI sensors, I have found it to be wobbly. But, a 64-bit deployment is significantly stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is there, but smaller companies might need CAM software to be able afford the product. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not used their technical support.

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

Our previous solution wasn't aware of what was going on across the environment. It was too focused on server infrastructure. This was a white label SolarWinds product through an MSP.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is next, next, next, then done. You can't go wrong.

The installer works. It installs prerequisites. If you want to generate a remote probe for a site, at the other end of a VPN deployment, it creates everything encapsulated. You hit next four times, then it is installed. 

It took two hours from the time we set up the solution until it provided us with feedback on our IT infrastructure. The hardest part was stopping auto discovery, because that goes out, finding everything. Sometimes, you're just not interested.

What about the implementation team?

We deployed the product in-house.

What was our ROI?

The solution has enabled our IT department to be more cost effective by insourcing some of our functions that we used to throw over the garden fence (outsource).

It has saved us money because we are not paying a managed service provider to monitor 50 percent of our infrastructure. If there was a pricing/licensing model for smaller companies, this would provide me even more return.

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

Right now, the smallest sensor pack that they have is just a bit out of range for me, as a business. This kills me, as I need the product. Therefore, there is always a balance between needing to buy it or continuing their free version.

I would like better pricing models for smaller businesses. The free version is fantastic, but it's too restrictive. If they could just get up to 200 sensors for a reasonable fee for on-premise, I would give PRTG my credit card right now.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

PRTG was the only vendor on the list. I knew what I wanted and knew I could get it.

What other advice do I have?

Download the free installer, get it installed on a VM somewhere, and just watch. Pick a server, pick a network switch, and give it a go. 

Having used it from various iterations, the solution's feature set is great. There are moments where I want to go back in time and use the old IP tech product. However, as it evolves, with the quick releases that they bring, it really provides me an all-round product.

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