June 01, 2016
Score 9 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with PRTG Network Monitor
I am using PRTG to monitor all network equipment across 5 locations. I monitor: bandwidth, internet uptime, server performance including, CPU, RAM, disk space and bandwidth utilization. I also use the NetFlow/Sflow and remote sensor features. I've also used PRTG to import custom MIBs for UPS and PDU systems. Some of the more common sensors are the WMI Multi Disk sensors, Ping, Bandwidth and uptime sensors.
- PRTG appears to be plain and simple and you can use it that way if you want. But it has power under the hood and can be used to monitor anything you can think of. I like the fact that it's simple to use, it's truely as easy as auto discover, tweak and forget (or wait until you get PRTG notices via email).
- Alarms are easy to use and you can set them to be granular by error or by group/users.
- PRTG upgrades are a snap with auto update.
- I've set up PRTG in a cluster so that we don't have to log when we take the server down for maintenance for reporting on uptime, etc. Cluster setup is very easy.
- In a previous job, I posted public pages to our IT intranet page so employees could see if there was a server outage. Again, very easy and a nice idea.
- Reporting isn't as nice as I would like it to be. Nothing specific really, but depending on the report it can take quite a bit of time to generate, more time than expected. I think it would also be nice to make it more granular with more presentation options.
- The Desktop application is not as easy and nice as the web interface. I'm a big fan of the web interface and I would consider not even deploying it.
- I really like the notifications, but fine tuning it so that you get reports too often or not enough can take some time. I think the defaults don't work for everyone and making sure you are aware of that can prove embarrassing if you are not on top of it or prepared to explain the notices to everyone you send them to... e.g. IT director.
- The maps have improved greatly over the years. I think there is still room to make them even better. I wish they had a grid view and a way to select all objects and size them equally and alighn them or snap to grid.
- The product is very well priced as compared to other network monitoring tools. If you are under 100 sensors it's free.
- I've been able to use PRTG to see trends in bandwidth and make informed and data-backed decisions for increased or dual band internet for redundancy.
- It's saved me several times on hardware issues that appear on SAN devices or failed drives. I was able to quickly respond and prevent further issues without ever impacting productivity.
PRTG is an all around great network monitoring tool. The biggest competitor to PRTG in my book is Spiceworks. This is purely due to price and the market they are competing for. There are a ton of other network monitoring tools and I've used plenty of them and I find myself going back to PRTG everytime.
PRTG Feature Ratings
Evaluating PRTG Network Monitor and Competitors
- Product Features
- Product Usability
- Product Reputation
- Prior Experience with the Product
Prior experience: It's much easier to deploy a product if you have experience with it. It's also easier to manage long term. The catch here is that you don't decide on the product solely for those purposes and make sure you also look for that next great solution to meet business needs.
I would ensure to get others to buy in on the solution and even have others demo the product, even if they don't use it day to day as they will ask questions and come up with things I may not have. I should also consider not making price the initial factor. This opens the door wider on the evaluation phase and might lead to something that might have not been discovered if I had not opened the door wider.