PRTG Manual: Architecture and User Interfaces

PRTG Network Monitor consists of three main categories: System parts, control interfaces, and a basic administration interface.

Type

Part of PRTG

System Parts

Core Server
This is the central part of a PRTG installation and includes data storage, web server, report engine, a notification system, and more. The core server is configured as a Windows service that runs permanently.

Probe(s)
The part of PRTG that performs the actual monitoring. There are local probes, remote probes, and cluster probes in PRTG on premises, and there are cloud probes and remote probes in PRTG in the cloud. All monitoring data is forwarded to the central core server. Probes are configured as Windows services that run permanently.

icon-i-round-redWe assume that all computers on which the PRTG core server with its local probe or any remote probes run are secure. It is every administrator's responsibility to make sure that only authorized persons can access these machines. For this reason we highly recommend that you use dedicated machines for your PRTG system parts.

User Interfaces

Ajax Web Interface
The Ajax-based web interface is used for configuration of devices and sensors, as well as for the review of monitoring results. Also system administration and user management are configured here.

Enterprise Console
A native Windows application as alternative to the web interface to manage your monitoring. With the Enterprise Console, you can connect to different independent PRTG core server installations and review their data at a glance!

PRTG Apps for Mobile Network Monitoring
Monitor your network on the go with PRTG and apps for iOS and Android.

System Administration Program

PRTG Administration Tool on Core Server System icon-prtg-on-premises
Used to configure basic core server settings in PRTG on premises, such as administrator login, web server IPs and port, probe connection settings, cluster mode, system language, and more.

PRTG Administration Tool on Remote Probe System
Used to configure basic probe settings such as name of the probe, IP and server connection settings, and more.

Core Server

The core server is the heart of your PRTG system and performs the following processes:

  • Configuration management for monitoring objects (for example, servers, workstations, printers, switches, routers, virtual machines, and many more)
  • Management and configuration of the connected probes
  • Cluster management
  • Database for monitoring results
  • Notification management including a mail server for email delivery
  • Report generator and scheduler
  • User account management
  • Data purging (culling data that is older than 365 days, for example)
  • Web server and API server

In a PRTG on premises cluster, the current master node is responsible for all of these tasks.

The built-in, fast, and secure web server (no additional IIS or Apache is required) supports HTTP as well as secure HTTPS (via SSL). It serves the web interface when you access it via a browser and also answers PRTG Application Programming Interface (API) calls (for example, for user scripts or the Enterprise Console).

icon-i-roundCore server and probe(s) are configured as Windows services that are permanently run by the Windows system without the requirement for a logged-in user.

Probe(s)

On a probe, PRTG performs the actual monitoring via the sensors created on a device (for example, computer, router, server, firewall). The probe receives its configuration from the core server, runs the monitoring processes, and delivers monitoring results back to the core server.

icon-prtg-on-premisesOn every system running a PRTG on premises core server, there is always a local probe running on the same machine.

icon-prtg-on-demandIn PRTG in the cloud instances, there is always a cloud probe running on the PRTG core server system that we host for you.

PRTG Core Server and Local Probe Monitoring a Local Area Network

PRTG Core Server and Local Probe Monitoring a Local Area Network

Click here to enlarge: http://media.paessler.com/prtg-screenshots/probes.png

The actual monitoring is performed by PRTG probe processes that run on one or more computers.

icon-i-roundCore server and probe(s) are configured as Windows services that are permanently run by the Windows system without the requirement for a logged-in user.

Local Probe in PRTG on premises

During installation of PRTG on premises, the system automatically creates the Local Probe. In a single-probe installation—which is the default setup—the local probe performs all monitoring.

The PRTG on premises core server with the local probe inside the corporate LAN (bottom-right in the figure above) is able to monitor services and servers in the entire Local Area Network (LAN). In PRTG in the cloud you need at least one remote probe installation in your network for this purpose.

Cloud Probe in PRTG in the cloud

When creating a PRTG in the cloud instance, the system automatically adds the Cloud Probe. The cloud probe shows monitoring values of the cloud instance and is able to monitor devices, servers, and services that are publicly accessible in the internet like, for example, websites. To monitor your Local Area Network (LAN), you need at least one remote probe installation in your network. The local probe is not available in PRTG in the cloud.

Remote Probes

You can create additional Remote Probes to achieve monitoring of multiple locations, for LAN monitoring with PRTG in the cloud, or for several other scenarios. They use Transport Layer Security (TLS)-secured connections to the core and allow you to securely monitor services and systems inside remote networks that are not openly accessible or are secured by firewalls. For more information, please see Remote Probes and Multiple Probes.

icon-playFor more information, see this video tutorial on our website: Distributed Monitoring with PRTG using Remote Probes

Remote Probes: Monitoring of Several Scenarios

Remote Probes: Monitoring of Several Scenarios

Click here to enlarge: http://media.paessler.com/prtg-screenshots/remote_probes_en.png

Cluster Probes in PRTG on premises

In a cluster setup, a cluster probe runs on all nodes. This is the additional Cluster Probe. All devices that you create on it are monitored by all nodes in the cluster, so data from different perspectives is available and monitoring for these devices always continues, also if one of the nodes fails.

Mini Probes in PRTG on premises

PRTG Mini Probes allow you to create small probes on any device (not just on Windows systems). You can implement mini probes to gather monitoring data exactly like you need it and you can create them on any platform. For more information, see the Mini Probe API definition in the PRTG web interface (see section Application Programming Interface (API) Definition).

System Health Monitoring

PRTG automatically monitors system health of its own core server and of each probe to discover overloading situations that may distort monitoring results. To monitor the system status of the probe computer, PRTG automatically creates a few sensors. These include Core Health and Probe Health, System Health, Cluster Health, disk free, and bandwidth sensors for all installed network cards, as well as a Common SaaS sensor that checks the availability of widely used SaaS providers.

We recommend that you keep these sensors, but you can optionally remove all except the Health sensors. They measure various internal system parameters of the probe system hardware and the probe's internal processes and computes a resulting value. Frequent or repeated values below 100% should be investigated. Please check the channels of a particular sensor for details.

More

Looking for a comprehensive PRTG training? PRTG e-learning in 9 modules:

Video Tutorials: Learn about the PRTG Network Monitor basics on the Paessler video tutorials page.

Video Tutorial: Distributed Monitoring with PRTG using Remote Probes

Video Tutorial: What is a sensor?

Video Tutorial: PRTG User Interfaces

 

Understanding Basic Concepts—Topics