Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with PRTG Network Monitor.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
The dashboarding definitely needs improvement. It would be nice if they included support for analytics, such as functionality to help understand trends in the data. The data might include network outages, network utilization, and storage utilization. Also, if there is any kind of predictive ability coming out then it would add a lot of value.
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.
While the web application side of things is fantastic, the desktop app is the one area where it do with some improvement. From a user's perspective, I would like to be able to get more out of the desktop offering as opposed to where we are now with it. It could be stronger. There are opportunities there that you don't have with the web-based application to do some interesting and innovative stuff. An important thing is to keep up with the technology which is now coming out. There is obviously a lot of generic stuff in the solution, and there is also a lot of new tech which is coming out that people need to be able to monitor.
Sensors are out-of-the-box and provide some good coverage, but we have a lot of custom sensors, as well. With custom sensors, there is a lot of work which needs to be done in the background, just for it to be tailor-made for the specific thing that we are actually monitoring. We take a lot of time with the custom sensors. I would like to see the customer sensor be more robust and a bit more varied.
We would like more cloud native sensors for AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, etc. A lot of businesses are moving in that direction, so having something where we can pull performance stats out of these cloud services would be great for us.
The desktop app is terrible. If I had to pick any flaw with the product, that is it. It seems like they haven't updated it. It has been six months since I last used it, and while they may have done something since, it was somewhat clunky. We use 4K resolutions on our laptops, and it didn't work properly. So, we had a few problems with the desktop app. I would like to see improvements on the desktop app and mobile app. We use the mobile app a bit. However, since we try to keep our data centers really fenced and secure, we don't use it extensively, just in our offices. Some improvements to the desktop application would be great. The thing that we do struggle with a bit is in the historic data. If I want look over 30 days, because it averages out onto one graph, you can't zoom in and drill down information. E.g., if we had a problem with something a week ago, I can't really go back in and drill into what that might be, because it has already averaged it out over that time. While I get that this might be for technical reasons, it is still a bit of a limitation.
I would like a live chat solution. This would be useful and handy, especially with the ability to provide logs and an overview of what we are doing at that moment in time to get answers to our questions. The setup aspect of it and getting devices working needs improvement. The reliance between different devices, so if one device goes down on Ping, the whole network will go down if the roots goes down. So, the time it takes to set that up is a bit more than I would have liked and is a bit cumbersome to actually go through. That's the only side that I can see a bit of improvement on. Some sort of relationship between devices, making that a bit easier to see what would be useful.
It has to be installed on a Windows machine. We'd prefer it if we could install the actual control panel on a Linux. In addition, I wouldn't mind better categories for the sensors. When I go to add a new sensor for a new device, there are some categories in there already, and they can be filtered out, but there's quite a large pool of sensors. That's one thing that I always struggle with. When I want to go in and find something quite specific, I have got to scroll down and scroll down to find what I'm actually looking for, if I want something that I may not have used before. With their "recommend sensors" feature, I wouldn't mind seeing that being a bit more able to scan the device that it goes on, as it doesn't necessarily pick up everything that is on there, as it should.
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.
Although they are fairly comprehensive with what you can do with them, the mapping and dashboards are a bit clunky to set up. I would like a more straightforward ability to create dashboards and maps. The network maps should be a bit more flexibility in the GUI to do what we need to do.
The remote probes seem to be a little bit buggy at times. They just stop working or they say they can't communicate. What we tend to do to is install the remote app onto the servers that we use. That seems to clear it up. As long as the app is there, all the probes seem to work fine. It would be nice if, for the maps view - what you can lay out on the screens - there were a bit more functionality. It would help to be able to add titles to the top or to be able to change text sizes. There's not much you can really do with that in terms of configuration at the moment.
It's very good for monitoring our internal infrastructure, but we're using more cloud services now. It would be useful to be able to get information back from these cloud services in detail, and display any issues within PRTG for the rest of our systems.
We've got a few sensors deployed in the network but not too many. We've had some issues previously with the performance of the sensors. We tend to deploy quite a bit of WMI, which is quite processor-intensive, and we've found that that impacts the sensors quite a bit. We've had to tune that down a little bit over time. That is something that we've spoken to the vendor about and we've been able to work through those issues. Our experience with the remote probes has been similar. At scale, we've found that they can struggle sometimes, but that depends on the type of query that you're throwing at it. That's probably more a limitation of the query itself than the software. In terms of additional features, we are potentially exploring things like containerization and I'm not really what sure the ability of the software is around that.
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.
I would like to see Office 365 monitoring. Essentially, it doesn't do it. I assumed not at all, but apparently it does it slightly. However, due to issues with APIs, they currently don't provide full monitoring for O365. It is something they're looking into.
While the desktop app is good, they could slightly improve it. We would like it to be a single pane of glass. At the moment, you can only see certain portions of information. You have to scroll through to make it more granular. We want them to develop the desktop app to be more user-friendly. I would like a screen where you can get all the information without have to granually go look for it. If they can make it, so you can sort your own dashboard and customize it based on your needs that would be great.
Sometimes, it is difficult to drill down further to get information, e.g., if we saw spike in traffic, then we would want to drill down and find out what is causing that spike in traffic. Now, it could be because of the way we're using it, but we find that it' difficult to do, which is why we are using another product for this. SolarWinds has server application monitors (SAMs), which we are using to check our processes on critical systems to see if they were to go down that we would get an alert for it. Because it's all network-based, it would be great if this was something that we could have included.
In terms of sensors and probes, it would be really cool if PRTG had a purely Azure-based solution. We had to install a probe on one of our cloud servers and then let that probe out from there. It would be really cool if it just monitored Azure without having to install something on the device.
The Desktop app is good but it can be really sluggish at times, especially when you're editing different elements. If they could speed up the way you maneuver around different OUs that would be really good. The map creator is quick blocky. It's not very user-friendly. Also, when doing an auto-discovery, I wish that there were an approval stage. If you pick "full detail scan", it comes back with everything, and then you have to go back and delete them bit by bit. If there were an approval saying, "These are ones that are available," you just go click, click, click and be done. That would be great.
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.
The remote probes are okay. I think that there could be more sensors available, especially with newer technologies coming along. It has been a bit stagnant. Unfortunately, it uses an almost "external workforce" through its forums to create new sensors. Also, I have an issue with DFS, distributed file services. Currently, although there is a forum post with regards to the issue of PRTG and the DFS monitoring, there isn't one by default. I think it is quite a necessity that they make one, one that's actually easily integratable. Taking into account the difference between DFS and DFSR as well would be great. They need one that pulls up the report, shows you how much is out of sync, if it's out, and how much of a time difference there is between the synchronizations. Anything like that would be a help.
It would be good if there were better graphical interfaces when you have it on multiple monitors. The way I use it is on multiple monitors so the department can see what's actually going on with the different geographies. It would make it an easier, visually, when they're working on emails or something else, to quickly work out if something is going on, without having an alarm saying that something needs doing. That's the one thing that is - I wouldn't say lacking - but the illustrations could be better for the different geographies. Because we have so many servers, things can get lost in the fog a little bit. Maybe having a better way of showing different geographies, Flash, etc., would help.
It probably has this already, but if it had a mobile app that would be helpful. For example, on a day like today when I'm out, if I could just fire it up and see green, green, green, green, green or red, that would be good.
There seems to be a big jump from the basic scan to the really thorough scan. There is a big jump in the quantity of sensors it uses for certain things. One minute you might get ten and then the next you get 200. There seems to be a big jump between the two at times.
I would like to see a more robust platform and a new dashboard. In addition, the code is good, but it needs improvement.
We would like to monitor certain aspects of the user experience. We should be able to analyze the cause of end user experience, bad or good, so we can do some research and development on our own. In a very few cases, customers want more detailed reports, which we cannot meet.