Log monitoring with PRTG
- A combination of tools makes all the difference
- Go-to log monitoring sensors for quick information
- 3 good reasons to choose PRTG as your log monitoring tool
- How administrators use PRTG: 3 case studies
- A quick overview: Custom filters for syslog files
- Windows Event Log Monitoring
- FAQ: Log files, log monitoring tools, log management
A combination of tools makes all the difference
The starting point
As an administrator, you need logs to diagnose problems and disruptions and to get to the source of problems. The question is how thoroughly you want to analyze your logs.
If errors occur, you’ll need a comprehensive overview with a customizable filter and alarm system. You’ll also need to keep an eye on the most important log files. For both of the above, the centralized logging tool PRTG is the perfect solution.
When malfunctions occur, you must react quickly. PRTG comes with an alarm feature. And thanks to its dashboards, you can immediately narrow down time frames and exclude certain causes with a quick glance. Specialized log monitoring tools then allow you to proceed with a more detailed analysis.
Go-to log monitoring sensors for quick information
How PRTG defines sensors
In PRTG, “sensors” are the basic monitoring elements. One sensor usually monitors one measured value in your network, e.g. the traffic of a switch port, the CPU load of a server, the free space of a disk drive. On average you need about 5-10 sensors per device or one sensor per switch port.
Event Log (Windows API) Sensor
The Event Log (Windows API) Sensor lets you monitor Windows log files such as system and application logs. If the number of log entries per second rises, PRTG will sound the alarm. This sensor is also available as a Event Log (Windows API) sensor or a WMI Event Log sensor.
Syslog Receiver Sensor
The Syslog Receiver Sensor receives, saves, and monitors syslog messages that are sent by devices in your network. The sensor records the number of syslog files per second (among other things), and filters according to alarm and error messages. You can set your own individual filter settings in PRTG to define the values that will trigger an alarm.
Get started with your PRTG log monitoring trial today! The first 100 sensors are free and never expire. Use the trial to determine if you need more sensors, and upgrade your license accordingly.
3 good reasons to choose PRTG as your log monitoring tool
Bandwidth is measured as the amount of data that can be transferred from one point to another within a network in a specific amount of time. Typically, bandwidth is expressed as a bitrate and measured in bits per second (bps). It refers to the transmission capacity of a connection and is an important factor when determining the quality and speed of a network.
A centralized tool
With PRTG, you will not only keep an eye on all the most important logs, but can also monitor your entire network. Servers, bandwidth, applications, and much more: if something goes wrong, you’ll be notified at once – and can take advantage of your comprehensive monitoring data to get to the root of the problem quickly.
Configure the alarm to only send alerts if certain situations arise, and create filter criteria for log sensors to allow them to respond to your emergencies. In this way, you’ll only receive alerts when you want them – and can go about your day with peace of mind.
PRTG displays all your monitoring data on a dashboard in easy-to-read charts. You’ll immediately see if the network has malfunctioned or is down. The dashboard is customizable, and can even incorporate data from other log monitoring tools.
Practical tip: Hey Greg, how do you use log monitoring software at Paessler AG?
“While synchronizing our Active Directory with Office 365, we scheduled a task to push our users into the cloud. We ran into some trouble when a new user was created, or when the attributes of a user were transformed into something Office 365 would not accept. In these cases, we wanted to be notified if the job went wrong so we could check to see which user had caused the problem. We configured an event log sensor to verify the specific error code, and set the threshold value to 1 event so we could intervene at once.”
Greg Campion, System Administrator at PAESSLER AG
How administrators use PRTG: 3 case studies
“We have saved money on bandwidth costs since we know exactly how much we need at any given moment and are able to track trends, and we've also cut the time it takes to manage the system in half. With PRTG, we don't have to think or worry about the network
Chadwick Wachs, Owner of AU Wireless. To the case study
„The fact that PRTG included all the sensors for Exchange, VMware, Terminal Services, Windows Performance Data, WMI, etc. made it a much more affordable solution."
Steven Tims, IT Support Services Manager, Raven Industries. To the case study
„First, PRTG gives us the insight we need, telling us what is happening across our global network at any given moment. Second, the improved insight has increased our availability.“
Jonathan Hoppe, Co-Founder of Total Uptime. To the case study
A quick overview: Custom filters for syslog files
Syslog stands for System Logging Protocol and is a standard protocol used to send system log or event messages to a specific server, called a syslog server. It is primarily used to collect various device logs from several different machines in a central location for monitoring and review. The protocol is enabled on most network equipment such as routers, switches, firewalls, and even some printers and scanners. In addition, syslog is available on Unix and Linux based systems and many web servers including Apache.
PRTG lets you create custom filters for syslog messages. “Severity,” for example, is entered on a scale from 0 to 6: Emergency, Alert, Critical, Error, Warning, Notice, Informational, Debug.
You get to decide which value (or sender) constitutes an error status or warning. If messages classified as errors or warnings are received during a sensor interval, you’ll be notified by PRTG accordingly. You can analyze these messages directly in the PRTG web interface.
Your event log monitoring at a glance – even while on the go
PRTG is set up in a matter of minutes and can be used on a wide variety of mobile devices.
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Windows Event Log Monitoring
PRTG lets you keep a constant eye on the Windows Event Logs of your servers and computers. You can choose from two different technologies for querying Event Logs: WMI and Windows API. While the effectiveness of these technologies varies from case to case, both sensors will give you an overview of the Event Log.
For each sensor, select the Windows log file you want to monitor, such as: application, system, security, or DNS server. Filter the log entries according to event type, source, ID, category, user, computer, and message, so the sensor only counts these log entries and can notify you in the event that unwanted entries appear in a certain log.
See our knowledge base to find out how to make the most of the Windows Event Log Sensor. Also learn how to work with speed limits and set a status for specific events.
FAQ: Log files, log monitoring tools, log management
Log files: Logs or log files are constantly being written in every computer system. Each and every event is logged, whether it occurs in Linux, Windows, or Mac. This log includes the type of event, as well as its source, date, and time.
Log monitoring: The primarily goal of log monitoring is to allow administrators to promptly determine if an unusually large number of log files are being written in the system. If this is the case, then something is awry. The next step involves the analysis of these logs, and the respective troubleshooting.
Log monitoring tools: There are many log monitoring tools on the market, including Splunk and other log monitoring software. These tools will allow you to collect and analyze the log entries of your proxy servers, web servers, and firewalls.
Log management: Log management involves the reception, evaluation, storage, and deletion of log data. Such data may come from Windows Event Logs, Linux logs, or syslogs. This kind of log management is not possible with PRTG.
We asked: would you recommend PRTG?
Over 95% of our customers say yes!
Paessler AG conducted trials in over 600 IT departments worldwide to tune its network monitoring software closer to the needs of sysadmins.
The result of the survey: over 95% of the participants would recommend PRTG – or already have.
PRTG: The Swiss Army knife for sysadminsAdapt PRTG individually and dynamically to your needs and rely on a strong API:
- HTTP API: Access monitoring data and manipulate monitoring objects via HTTP requests
- Custom sensors: Create your own PRTG sensors for customized monitoring
- Custom notifications: Create your own notifications and send action triggers to external systems
- REST Custom sensor: Monitor almost everything that provides data in XML or JSON format
Learn more about PRTG
Network monitoring: PRTG monitors network systems, devices, and applications in real time. It is an all-in-one monitoring tool that can monitor every part of the most complex networks, even distributed ones.
Server monitoring: Whether mail servers, web servers, or virtual servers like Hyper-V or VMware: with PRTG, you’ll keep a constant eye on your entire server infrastructure. Here you can find out more about PRTG and its sensors, and take a sneak peek into the monitoring tool by way of some screenshots.
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