Review: Paessler PRTG Network Monitor V9 shows that it is possible to build a better mousetrap by incorporating new features, capabilities and enhancements-all without increasing the price.
with the release of PRTG Network Monitor Version 9, is looking to keep ahead of
the competition in the ever-evolving world of network monitoring tools.
a year ago, I took an in-depth
look at Version 8
of PRTG and was quite impressed with the product,
which left little room for improvement. While there were some minor nits to
pick, I found it to be a solid tool overall.
that in mind, I approached V9 with some trepidation, wondering whether Paessler
did indeed improve the product or if it had fallen victim to the all too common
phenomena of software bloat and feature de-evolution. In other words, many
software products seem to suffer from the problem where a new release does
little to improve the underlying product, and in some cases a product update
actually removes features or limits the functionality of the software.
of PRTG Network Monitor proved to be a significant revision of the product,
though users of previous versions will find that the overall usage paradigm
remains much the same, especially from an operational view, save for the fact
that V9 is easier to use and does more than V8 in the form of what is monitored.
A Closer Look
V9 comes to the table chock-full of enhancements. Some are geared toward
usability, others toward enhanced data collection, while still others focus on
ease of scale. Paessler has published a short list of enhancements:
completely redesigned, interactive Web interface featuring a customizable tree
view display and individual libraries for improved at-a-glance monitoring and
drag-and-drop ease for moving and cloning sensors
new Enterprise Console designed specifically for larger installations to
monitor multiple PRTG installations, ideal for managed service providers (MSPs)
or geographically dispersed operations
user management with Active Directory integration
- Support for Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) across all applicable sensor
types, including Packet Sniffer, and the ability to use auto-discovery in IPv6
wizard for manually adding sensors as well as dedicated hardware sensors for
selected vendors, such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard and APC
download of PRTG updates to ensure administrators can always install the latest
release with two mouse clicks.
short list of improvements hides the real value offered by V9. I found that
there are other significant enhancements, which will make an administrator's
life much easier.
the best place to start is with an explanation of what PRTG is all about,
something that should prove to be useful to those new to the product, and also
refresh the memories of those who have looked at PRTG in the past.
is a network-monitoring product that has been optimized to enable
administrators to monitor network devices across heterogeneous networks, both
large and small. The product uses what could basically be described as a
client-server model, where a monitoring (and reporting) application is run from
a central console, while sensors connect to the various devices on the network to
cool thing about PRTG's sensors is that they require no installation on the
endpoint, a sharp contrast to products that use agents, which must be hand-installed
on each device to be monitored. Sensors work hand in hand with PRTG's probes,
which automatically query the various devices on the network, including
switches, firewalls and servers, regardless of whether those devices are
physical or virtual. Simply put, sensors monitor the devices without administrators
having to install any additional software on the target systems.
amounts to a management platform that gives administrators insight into how the
network is operating, provides them with the ability to take a proactive
approach to maintaining network health, and keeps them apprised of any
potential problems on the network. Simply put, PRTG is a tool that helps
administrators monitor, troubleshoot, manage and balance network operations.