In this video we’re going to look at how to monitor PDUs from the company GUDE. PDU stands for “Power Distribution Unit”, which is a device for controlling electrical power in a data center. You can think of it as a fancy power bar.
The PDU we’ll be using today is a switched PDU that includes measurement and monitoring for each outlet. For example, you can monitor the consumption, current, voltage, phase angle and frequency on each outlet using SNMP. In addition, you can power individual outlets on or off.
PRTG includes over 200 sensors out-of-the-box, but, obviously, we can’t possibly include sensors for every single vendor. However, it’s possible to integrate any vendor who supports SNMP into PRTG easily and elegantly, which is what we’re now going to do for the Gude PDUs.
Something that’s particularly attractive about working with Gude is that they’ve already done most of the work for us. Gude has prepared PRTG templates for their PDUs – templates that already include device configuration, lookups and SNMP libraries. So you can integrate your Gude PDUs into PRTG with only a few mouse clicks.
Gude has also made their MIB file easily available as a download from the PDUs own web interface, so you don’t have to waste time searching for a MIB file on the internet. You know you have the correct MIB file and that it matches your device’s current firmware version.
To see how to add the PDUs to PRTG, let’s start with Gude’s quick start guide, which you can download from their website.
Page 3 describes how to install PRTG, and in the middle of the page you’ll find a table that shows the target directories for SNMP library files, device templates and lookups.
The first in the table, SNMP libraries, are files that you can create yourself at any time using the free MIB-importer tool that you can download from our website. Using this tool, you read in MIB files, convert them to the format that PRTG requires, and then save them as a so-called SNMP library file. You can then create SNMP library sensors in PRTG for the libraries you’ve created.
We’re going to see how to use device templates later in this video..
And „lookups“, in PRTG, are a way to translate values that PRTG receives from a device into something that’s easier to understand. There are explanations and examples of different kinds of lookups in our knowledge base.
If you use lookups in PRTG, please don’t forget to first load the lookup file into PRTG, under
Setup / System Administration / Administrative Tools / and Load Lookups
Getting back to our installation guide, pages 4 and 5 show how to add sensors into PRTG using the device templates provided by Gude, which we’ll see shortly.
Page 6 describes how to add sensors into PRTG using SNMP libraries rather than templates, which we will also see shortly.
Before we can add sensors into PRTG using either of these methods, we first need to activate SNMP, the Simple Network Management Protocol, on our PDU.
You can now configure SNMP for your network environment. PRTG supports SNMP versions 1 2 and 3, so you can use whichever version you would like.
In the lower part of the page you’ll find the MIB file for this device, which you can download to use later with the PRTG MIB importer.
Before going futher, I’d like to quickly summarize what you’ll find in Gude’s installation guide.
They describe two different methods for adding sensors to PRTG, using device templates to automatically add sensors, and using SNMP libraries to manually add sensors.
We’ll start with the first one, which is using device templates. The advantage with using device templates is that they make it easy to configure lots of similar devices. To create a template, you first set up one device in PRTG with all of the sensors, limits and notifications that you would like to have. You then save this device as a template, and use the template to add the same sensors, limits and notifications to all of the other devices of the same type.
All of the additional devices will receive the same configuration settings as the one you used for the template. The exceptions are access rights and schedules, which are not added to the new devices but which are inherited through the PRTG tree structure instead.
So, that’s enough theory for now – let’s add some sensors using templates!
In the PDUs web interface you can see all of the important info about this PDU: consumption, voltage and frequency, as well as environmental factors such as humidity and temperature. We now want to get all of this information into PRTG.
For this video, I’ve separated the sensors into three groups:
The first is Energy, which has the sensors for consumption, current, voltage and frequency
The second is Port State, which shows which devices are using electricity – so, which devices are turned on. This is where the lookups were used to translate the outlet into the device names such as 3com or brocade.
And the third one is temperature and humidity. In this case we’re measuring the temperature at the bottom and at the top of the rack, if you wondering why these two sensors show different values.
Before we use the templates and SNMP libraries, we should first check that the PDU is actually responding to SNMP. To do this you can use our SNMP tester, or you can add an SNMP Uptime Sensor, which is what we’ll now do.
If this works, as our example just did, then you know you can use the device templates provided by Gude. However, for this video, I’ve created three of my own templates to save a bit of time and to make the video easier to follow.
Using templates is very easy. Right-click on the device that you need to configure, select “Auto Discovery” and then select “Run Auto Discovery with Template”
Then select the template you’d like to use. For our example, I’m going to add the template for temperature and humidity.
We’ll now see a message that auto-discovery is running.
All the other sensors in my demo environment were added the same way, using other templates.
Looking at the channel configuration, we see that the units and dividers were also automatically created. And, for port state sensors that were created using templates, the corresponding lookups were used.
In this case, we used lookups to translate the values 1 and 0 into the words “on” and “off”. At the same time, we translated the status “off” into the PRTG status “none”, so that off appears grey rather than red. Otherwise it would look like we had errors when we really only have an outlet turned off.
Im zweiten Beispiel des Herstellers werden wir auf die Verwendung von SNMP Bibliotheken hingewiesen.
We’re now going to switch to the second method for adding sensors to PRTG, which is using SNMP libraries to manually add sensors.
This is also much simpler than it sounds.
First, add an SNMP Library sensor to the PDU in PRTG.
Then select the correct library, which is the Gude.oidlib in this case.
This will offer you a number of SNMP OIDs and you just select the ones you’re interested in. For our example, we’ll stick with humidity and temperature again.
We now have the sensor added, and only need to do the channel configuration now. For this example with humidity, we’ll change the units, number of decimal places, and define a divider.
The only disadvantage of using SNMP library sensors, in my opinion, is that you need an entire sensor for each value you’re measuring. However, you also have the option to use a standard SNMP sensor rather than a library sensor, which will let you combine multiple values into a single sensor. We have more details about SNMP sensors in our manual and knowledge base.
And that brings us to the end of this video.
If you’re interested in other videos about PRTG, check out our video page and our eLearning site.