PRTG Manual: Business Process Sensor

The Business Process sensor gives you a summarized status of entire business processes while monitoring several process components.

This means that you can create a customized sensor with channels based on data from other sensors ("source sensors") that are specific to your network.

The sensor can show the following:

  • Summarized status of the objects contained in each channel according to the individually defined error and warning thresholds
  • Overall and summarized status of all channels in the Global State channel

i_round_blueThe Business Process sensor does not show values in the Downtime channel because they cannot be calculated for this sensor.

i_round_blueIf you want to process values from other sensors and you want to perform calculations with these values, for example, use the Sensor Factory sensor instead.

i_round_blueWhich channels the sensor actually shows might depend on the monitored device and the sensor setup.

Business Process Sensor

Business Process Sensor

Sensor in Other Languages

  • Dutch: Bedrijfs Proces
  • French: Processus métier
  • German: Business Process
  • Japanese: ビジネスプロセス
  • Portuguese: Processo empresarial
  • Russian: Бизнес-процесс
  • Simplified Chinese: 业务进程
  • Spanish: Proceso de negocio

Remarks

  • This sensor does not officially support more than 50 channels. Depending on the data used with this sensor, you might exceed the maximum number of supported channels. In this case, PRTG tries to display all channels. Be aware, however, that you experience limited usability and performance.
  • This sensor supports the IPv6 protocol.
  • This sensor has a medium performance impact.

Add Sensor

The Add Sensor dialog appears when you manually add a new sensor to a device. It only shows the setting fields that are required for creating the sensor. Therefore, you do not see all setting fields in this dialog. You can change (nearly) all settings in the sensor's Settings tab later.

Basic Sensor Settings

Click the Settings tab of a sensor to change its settings.

i_round_blueUsually, a sensor connects to the IP Address or DNS Name of the parent device on which you created the sensor. See the device settings for details. For some sensors, you can explicitly define the monitoring target in the sensor settings. See below for details on available settings.

Setting

Description

Sensor Name

Enter a meaningful name to identify the sensor. By default, PRTG shows this name in the device tree, as well as in alarms, logs, notifications, reports, maps, libraries, and tickets.

Parent Tags

Shows tags that the sensor inherits from its parent device, parent group, and parent probe. This setting is shown for your information only and cannot be changed here.

Tags

Enter one or more tags. Confirm each tag with the Spacebar key, a comma, or the Enter key. You can use tags to group objects and use tag-filtered views later on. Tags are not case-sensitive. Tags are automatically inherited.

i_round_blueIt is not possible to enter tags with a leading plus (+) or minus (-) sign, nor tags with parentheses (()) or angle brackets (<>).

The sensor has the following default tags that are automatically predefined in the sensor's settings when you add the sensor:

  • factorysensor
  • businessprocesssensor

Priority

Select a priority for the sensor. This setting determines the position of the sensor in lists. The highest priority is at the top of a list. Choose from the lowest priority (i_priority_1) to the highest priority (i_priority_5).

Business Process Specific Settings

Setting

Description

Channel Name

Enter a meaningful name to identify the channel. To add a new channel to the sensor, click the Enter Channel Name field, enter a name for the channel, and confirm with the Enter or Tab key.

i_round_blueIt might take several sensor scans until new channel names or changes to channel names become visible.

Error Threshold %

Set a percentage limit to define when the channel displays the Down status. Enter an integer value. The default is 50%.

i_round_blueThis value depends on how many objects you feed into a Business Process channel.

If the percentage of source objects in the "up" condition is less than the error threshold defines, the channel and the Global State channel of the Business Process sensor show the Down status.

PRTG maps the following sensor states to the "up" condition i_arrow_blue_up for a Business Process channel:

  • Up
  • Warning
  • Unusual
  • Down (Partial)

PRTG maps all other sensor states to the "down" condition i_arrow_blue_down (see Up and Down Conditions).

For example, if you define 4 source sensors for a channel, an error threshold of 50% means that 3 source sensors have to be in the "down" condition to set this channel to the Down status. So, 50% means that more than half of the source sensors must not be in the "up" condition to set the sensor to the Down status.

i_square_cyanFor more information, an illustration of the business process mechanisms, and some use cases for the Business Process sensor, see the table below and the Knowledge Base: How can I use the Business Process sensor?

Warning Threshold %

Set a percentage limit to define when the channel displays the Warning status. Enter an integer value. The default is 75%.

i_round_blueThis value depends on how many objects you feed into a Business Process channel.

If the percentage of source objects in the "up" condition than the threshold defines, the channel and the Global State channel of the Business Process sensor show the Warning status.

PRTG maps the following sensor states to the "up" condition i_arrow_blue_up for a Business Process channel:

  • Up
  • Warning
  • Unusual
  • Down (Partial)

PRTG maps all other sensor states to the "down" condition i_arrow_blue_down(see Up and Down Conditions).

For example, if you define 4 source sensors for a channel, a warning threshold of 75% means that all 4 source sensors have to be in the "down" condition to set this channel to the Warning status. So, 75% means that more than three out of four of the source sensors must not be in the "up" condition to set the sensor to the Warning status.

i_square_cyanFor more information, an illustration of the business process mechanisms, and some use cases for the Business Process sensor, see the table below and the Knowledge Base: How can I use the Business Process sensor?

Objects

Enter the objects that you want to have in a channel by clicking b_add_objects. This way, you can select the desired objects from the device tree with the object selector. You can also start to type the object's ID, name, or a tag. PRTG then suggests the possible objects.

You can add sensors, devices, groups, and probes to a channel. Each object you add is weighted equally, no matter if it is a single sensor or a device with many sensors. To give more weight to a specific object, add it several times. For example, add the object twice to give double weight to it, add it three times to give it triple weight.

i_round_blueA probe, group, or device is in the "up" condition i_arrow_blue_up as long as it does not contain any sensors in the "down" condition i_arrow_blue_down.

Up and Down Conditions

The Business Process "up" i_arrow_blue_up and "down" i_arrow_blue_down conditions are different from the normal Up and Down sensor states. This is necessary for the Business Process sensor to calculate summarized states and to show a calculated result for an entire business process. This table illustrates which sensor status leads to which Business Process condition.

The Relation Between Object States And Business Process Conditions

Channel Object Status

Business Process Condition

Reason: Why does a specific sensor status correspond to a specific Business Process condition?

i_status_green Up

Up

i_arrow_blue_up

The monitored object works, so everything is fine.

i_status_yellow Warning

Up

i_arrow_blue_up

The sensor might show a warning, but the monitored object still works.

i_status_green_red Down (Partial)

Up

i_arrow_blue_up

This status is available in a cluster and is displayed if at least one cluster node reports the sensor as in the Up status and at least one cluster node reports it as in the Down status. With at least one Up report, the monitored object is supposed to be working and meets the Business Process "up" condition.

i_status_orange Unusual

Up

i_arrow_blue_up

The sensor might show unusual values, but the monitored object works.

i_status_grey Collecting

Up

i_arrow_blue_up

The sensor is still waiting for more monitoring data to definitely decide on the sensor status, but so far the monitored object works. This PRTG internal status is visualized as the Unknown status in the PRTG web interface.

i_status_red Down

Down

i_arrow_blue_down

The monitored object does not work.

i_status_grey Unknown

Down

i_arrow_blue_down

The sensor does not know if the monitored object works, for example because it has not yet received any data or because it has not received any data for a certain amount of time.

i_status_grey None

Down

i_arrow_blue_down

The sensor has not yet received any monitoring data from the monitored object. This PRTG internal status is visualized as the Unknown status in the PRTG web interface.

i_status_blue Paused

Down

i_arrow_blue_down

The monitored object does not work and monitoring has been paused, for example actively by the user, by inheritance, or by schedules. It might be convenient to exclude regularly or frequently paused objects from your business process monitoring, so you do not give more weight than necessary to a Business Process "down" condition because of issues you already know about.

i_status_bright_red Down (Acknowledged)

Down

i_arrow_blue_down

The monitored object does not work and someone already knows.

i_round_blueIf you encounter issues with your Business Process sensor and want to contact the Paessler support team, send us your exact configuration. Click b_clone in the upper-right corner of the Business Process Specific Settings table to copy your configuration:

The Business Process Sensor Configuration Clipboard

The Business Process Sensor Configuration Clipboard

A window opens that contains your configuration. Copy the highlighted text and paste it into the support form to send it to the Paessler support team.

Sensor Display

Setting

Description

Primary Channel

Select a channel from the list to define it as the primary channel. In the device tree, the last value of the primary channel is always displayed below the sensor's name. The available options depend on what channels are available for this sensor.

i_round_blueYou can set a different primary channel later by clicking b_channel_primary below a channel gauge on the sensor's Overview tab.

Graph Type

Define how different channels are shown for this sensor:

  • Show channels independently (default): Show a graph for each channel.
  • Stack channels on top of each other: Stack channels on top of each other to create a multi-channel graph. This generates a graph that visualizes the different components of your total traffic.
    i_round_redYou cannot use this option in combination with manual Vertical Axis Scaling (available in the channel settings).

Stack Unit

This setting is only visible if you enable Stack channels on top of each other as Graph Type. Select a unit from the list. All channels with this unit are stacked on top of each other. By default, you cannot exclude single channels from stacking if they use the selected unit. However, there is an advanced procedure to do so.

Inherited Settings

By default, all of the following settings are inherited from objects that are higher in the hierarchy. You should change them centrally in the root group settings if necessary. To change a setting for this object only, click b_inherited_enabled under the corresponding setting name to disable the inheritance. You then see the options described below.

i_square_cyanFor more information, see section Inheritance of Settings.

Scanning Interval

Click b_inherited_enabled to interrupt the inheritance.

Setting

Description

Scanning Interval

Select a scanning interval from the dropdown list. The scanning interval determines the amount of time that the sensor waits between two scans. Choose from:

  • 30 seconds
  • 60 seconds
  • 5 minutes
  • 10 minutes
  • 15 minutes
  • 30 minutes
  • 1 hour
  • 4 hours
  • 6 hours
  • 12 hours
  • 1 day

i_round_blueYou can change the available intervals in the system administration on PRTG on premises installations.

If a Sensor Query Fails

Select the number of scanning intervals that the sensor has time to reach and to check a device again if a sensor query fails. Depending on the option that you select, the sensor can try to reach and to check a device again several times before the sensor shows the Down status. This can avoid false alarms if the monitored device only has temporary issues. For previous scanning intervals with failed requests, the sensor shows the Warning status. Choose from:

  • Set sensor to down immediately: Set the sensor to the Down status immediately after the first request fails.
  • Set sensor to warning for 1 interval, then set to down (recommended): Set the sensor to the Warning status after the first request fails. If the second request also fails, the sensor shows the Down status.
  • Set sensor to warning for 2 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to the Down status only after the third request fails.
  • Set sensor to warning for 3 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to the Down status only after the fourth request fails.
  • Set sensor to warning for 4 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to the Down status only after the fifth request fails.
  • Set sensor to warning for 5 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to the Down status only after the sixth request fails.

i_round_blueSensors that monitor via Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) always wait at least one scanning interval before they show the Down status. It is not possible to immediately set a WMI sensor to the Down status, so the first option does not apply to these sensors. All other options can apply.

i_round_blueIf you define error limits for a sensor's channels, the sensor immediately shows the Down status. None of the interval options apply.

i_round_blueIf a channel uses lookup values, the sensor immediately shows the Down status. None of the interval options apply.

Schedules, Dependencies, and Maintenance Window

i_round_blueYou cannot interrupt the inheritance for schedules, dependencies, and maintenance windows. The corresponding settings from the parent objects are always active. However, you can define additional schedules, dependencies, and maintenance windows. They are active at the same time as the parent objects' settings.

Setting

Description

Schedule

Select a schedule from the list. You can use schedules to monitor during a certain time span (days or hours) every week. Choose from:

  • None
  • Saturdays
  • Sundays
  • Weekdays
  • Weekdays Eight-To-Eight (08:00 - 20:00)
  • Weekdays Nights (17:00 - 09:00)
  • Weekdays Nights (20:00 - 08:00)
  • Weekdays Nine-To-Five (09:00 - 17:00)
  • Weekends

i_square_cyanYou can create schedules, edit schedules, or pause monitoring for a specific time span. For more information, see section Schedules.

Maintenance Window

Select if you want to set up a one-time maintenance window. During a maintenance window, monitoring stops for the selected object and all child objects. They show the Paused status instead. Choose between:

  • Not set (monitor continuously): Do not set up a one-time maintenance window. Monitoring is always active.
  • Set up a one-time maintenance window: Set up a one-time maintenance window and pause monitoring. You can define a time span for a the pause below.

i_round_blueTo terminate an active maintenance window before the defined end date, change the time entry in Maintenance Ends to a date in the past.

Maintenance Begins

This setting is only visible if you enable Set up a one-time maintenance window above. Use the date time picker to enter the start date and time of the one-time maintenance window.

Maintenance Ends

This setting is only visible if you enable Set up a one-time maintenance window above. Use the date time picker to enter the end date and time of the one-time maintenance window.

Dependency Type

Select a dependency type. You can use dependencies to pause monitoring for an object depending on the status of a different object. You can choose from:

  • Use parent: Use the dependency type of the parent object.
  • Select a sensor: Use the dependency type of the parent object. Additionally, pause the current object if a specific sensor is in the Down status or in the Paused status because of another dependency.
  • Master sensor for parent: Make this sensor the master object for its parent device. The sensor influences the behavior of its parent device: If the sensor is in the Down status, the device is paused. For example, it is a good idea to make a Ping sensor the master object for its parent device to pause monitoring for all other sensors on the device in case the device cannot even be pinged. Additionally, the sensor is paused if the parent group is paused by another dependency.

i_round_blueTo test your dependencies, select Simulate Error Status from the context menu of an object that other objects depend on. A few seconds later, all dependent objects are paused. You can check all dependencies under Devices | Dependencies in the main menu bar.

Dependency

This setting is only visible if you enable Select a sensor above. Click b_search_light and use the object selector to select a sensor on which the current object will depend.

Dependency Delay (Sec.)

This setting is only visible if you enable Select a sensor above. Define a time span in seconds for the dependency delay.

After the master sensor for this dependency returns to the Up status, PRTG additionally delays the monitoring of the dependent objects by the time span you define. This can prevent false alarms, for example, after a server restart or to give systems more time for all services to start. Enter an integer value.

i_round_redThis setting is not available if you set this sensor to Use parent or to be the Master sensor for parent. In this case, define delays in the parent device settings or in its parent group settings.

Access Rights

Click b_inherited_enabled to interrupt the inheritance.

Setting

Description

User Group Access

Define the user groups that have access to the sensor. You see a table with user groups and group access rights. The table contains all user groups in your setup. For each user group, you can choose from the following group access rights:

  • Inherited: Inherit the access rights settings of the parent object.
  • No access: Users in this user group cannot see or edit the sensor. The sensor neither shows up in lists nor in the device tree.
  • Read access: Users in this group can see the sensor and view its monitoring results. They cannot edit any settings.
  • Write access: Users in this group can see the sensor, view its monitoring results, and edit its settings. They cannot edit its access rights settings.
  • Full access: Users in this group can see the sensor, view its monitoring results, edit its settings, and edit its access rights settings.

i_square_cyanFor more details on access rights, see section Access Rights Management.

More

i_square_blueKNOWLEDGE BASE

How does the Business Process sensor calculate summarized sensor states?

How can I use the Business Process sensor?

How can I avoid numerous notifications for branch offices?

Sensor Settings Overview

For more information about sensor settings, see the following sections: