PRTG monitors everything, even my enthusiasm
June 15, 2019

PRTG monitors everything, even my enthusiasm

Robert Paul | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with PRTG Network Monitor

PRTG Network Monitor is one of our primary monitoring applications for our network and servers. It is used internally by the IT department only since no one else needs to see the status of these systems. From a business standpoint, it allows us to monitor many systems all at once, with a quick overview, which saves us from having to receive alerts from multiple places or watch several different screens.
  • Monitoring: PRTG does more than just periodic pings to see if a system is up, it has all sorts of sensors to monitor CPU usage, memory, hard drive space, specific processes, &c. It's very granular and quite robust in its capabilities. But it isn't overwhelming, as you can set up which sensors you want or don't want.
  • Ease of Setup: PRTG can discover new systems, and automatically apply templates to their profile. This means, for example, a new server on the network will always get a CPU, RAM, Hard Disk, and Network sensor if you set it up that way. Even the default templates are pretty great, not a lot of extraneous sensors that clutter everything up.
  • Dashboard: One of the best things about PRTG is that all this information is in one place. The dashboard view shows everything in a color-coded way, so everything is green, no worries! Yellows and reds, they stand out. From there, you can drill down and find out which specific things are in alarm without necessarily having to log in to the system.
  • Alerts: PRTG also sends out e-mail alerts based on whatever parameters you configure. A hard drive is 90% full? Email the infrastructure team!
  • Historical Data: Because PRTG monitors all of these systems in real time, all the time, it maintains a database of historical performance data. You can check to see which servers need more resources, or even if it's just a specific time (e.g., development always runs a database query at 2:30 pm, and you can see what that does to the CPU). It's extremely helpful for analysis.
  • Horizontal Dashboard: The dashboard page is responsive, which is a good thing generally, but it works much better on a vertical monitor, especially if you have a lot of systems to monitor. If you have a horizontal layout, you have to scroll often to keep track of things (although the alerts do help). It would be nice to have an option to force a specific scale and layout.
  • Database: The database PRTG uses is an internal black box. It would be nice if it were something more standard, MySQL, Microsoft SQL, &c. That way it could be tied into other things more easily, or we could write our own SQL queries against it.
  • E-Mail: The internal SMTP server of the application is not always reliable. It took a lot of tweaking to get it to send alerts correctly.
  • The ability to analyze multiple pieces of information in one place, especially with historical data, has saved our IT department time and headaches. It would be so much more difficult to trace an issue without PRTG, just relying on event logs and an open task manager window.
  • The cost is not cheap, so it's an expense that hits the bottom line like everything else. Figure in hardware costs as well, ideally a server outside of your main environment.
  • I keep saying this, but the historical data piece is worth so much. There's really no good way to collect all of that information in one place without something like PRTG. And that definitely saves time and money in the long run.
Nagios and Icinga (which is itself a fork from Nagios) are decent enough solutions for free, being open source. They do take more to set up and maintain, with quite a lot of manual work and agent installs in some cases. So in comparison with PRTG, they require more labor, but PRTG requires more capital. I also feel like PRTG is more robust, and stable; it's never crashed or required a complete reinstall, which I've definitely had to do with Icinga in the past.

PRTG runs on Windows, while the other two are Linux. That only matters if you're more familiar with one or the other, of course, but it does take more to set up a LAMP server sometimes.
PRTG is fantastic for a medium or large business with many servers, switches, firewalls, and other systems. Having all of these monitored in one space is a lifesaver, and it helps analyze where an outage might actually be ("13 servers are offline, and so is this switch right where those servers happen to be"). It can be pricey, depending on the model, but it's worth it for the efficiency and ease of use.

That said, a small business, especially one with one or two servers and a couple of switches, probably won't find it cost effective. There would be less value in that kind of small shop to monitor everything this way, and one of the free solutions out there would probably be fine.

PRTG Feature Ratings

Automated network device discovery
Network monitoring
Baseline threshold calculation
Network capacity planning
Not Rated
Packet capture analysis
Not Rated
Network mapping
Customizable reports
Wireless infrastructure monitoring
Hardware health monitoring