PRTG Manual: Detailed System Requirements

There are different aspects of system requirements for PRTG. Consider these requirements to avoid issues while you monitor your network.

In this section:

icon-prtg-on-demandPRTG hosted by Paessler does not require any hardware for the PRTG core server, but at least one remote probe installation is necessary to monitor your local network when using PRTG hosted by Paessler.

Supported Operating Systems for the PRTG Core Server and Remote Probes

The 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the following operating systems are officially supported for the PRTG core server service and PRTG probe service:

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2019*
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016*
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2*
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012*
  • Microsoft Windows 10
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1
  • Microsoft Windows 8
  • Microsoft Windows 7
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2*

* Windows servers in Core mode or Minimal Server Interface are not officially supported.

The version (32-bit or 64-bit) of the PRTG core server depends on the version of your operating system. The 64-bit version of the PRTG core server is installed if

  • the operating system is a 64-bit Windows system, and
  • the system provides 6 GB RAM or more.

Otherwise, the 32-bit version of the PRTG core server is installed.

  • For best performance of VMware sensors, EXE/Script sensors, and some other sensors, we recommend Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2019, or Windows 10 on the probe system.
  • For best performance of hybrid sensors that use Windows performance counters and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), we recommend Windows 2008 R2 or higher on the probe system.
  • Microsoft .NET Framework: We recommend that you provide Microsoft .NET 4.7.2 or later (with latest updates) on all probe systems.
    The .NET framework is imperative for monitoring VMware and XenServer virtual environments. Some other sensors also need an installed Microsoft .NET Framework on the probe system. The required version is .NET 4.7.2 or later.
    icon-square-cyanFor more information, see the Knowledge Base: Which .NET version does PRTG require?
  • Disabled FIPS Mode: Ensure that the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) mode (Windows security option "System Cryptography: Use FIPS-compliant algorithms for encryption, hashing, and signing.") is disabled on Windows systems that run the PRTG core server service or PRTG probe service. FIPS-compliant encryption may cause errors of sensors that use the .NET framework.
    icon-square-cyanFor more information, see the Knowledge Base: Why should I disable the FIPS mode under Windows?

Hardware Requirements for the PRTG Core Server and Remote Probes

Hardware requirements for the PRTG core server service and PRTG probe service mainly depend on the used sensors and scanning intervals. The following values are provided as reference for common usage scenarios (based on a default scanning interval of 60 seconds).

Category

Requirement

CPU

We recommend that you use Microsoft Windows Server 2019, Microsoft Windows 10, or Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2. These offer superior performance for monitoring, especially if you have more than 2,000 sensors.

icon-i-round-blueIn general, we recommend at least 1 additional CPU core per additional 1,000 sensors.

RAM

Ping and SNMP sensors create much less load than complex sensors like xFlow (NetFlow, jFlow, sFlow, IPFIX) sensors, VMware sensors, Sensor Factory sensors, WMI sensors, or Syslog Receiver/SNMP Trap Receiver sensors, for example.

icon-i-round-blueIn general, we recommend at least 1 additional CPU core per additional 1,000 sensors.

Hard disk drive

We recommend that you mainly use 1-minute scanning intervals for up to 2,000 sensors and 5-minute intervals if you have more sensors.

Internet connection

We recommend that you stay below 30 active user accounts for each PRTG core server. You can work well with more users if these do not all use the user interfaces at the same time (including public dashboards).

Stable network connection for remote probes

Our general recommendation is to stay below 30 remote probes on one PRTG core server. PRTG still scales well up to 60 remote probes as long as you have less than 100 sensors per remote probe.

There are also non-hardware-dependent limitations for some sensors, for example, WMI and SNMP v3 sensors. You can overcome these limitations if you distribute the sensors over remote probes. For clusters, we recommend that you stay below 2,500 sensors per cluster.

icon-i-round-redFor a PRTG core server to work properly, it is crucial to have a certain amount of hardware resources available. If the server runs out of resources, PRTG sends warning and emergency messages to the primary email address of the PRTG System Administrator user. You receive warning messages if the available disk space falls below 1 GB or if the available memory falls below 500 MB, and emergency messages if the available disk space or memory fall below 50 MB. In this case, react immediately and free up system resources.

Network Size: Recommendations

  • Rule of thumb: Typical PRTG installations almost never have performance issues when they stay under 5,000 sensors, under 30 remote probes, and under 30 user accounts.
  • PRTG can scale much higher if the installation is well planned. Read on if you plan to go beyond these numbers and/or if you plan an elevated use of resource-intensive features like reports, xFlow sensors, or a cluster.
  • If you plan an installation that monitors more than 10,000 sensors with one PRTG core server on a physical device, or more than 5,000 sensors with PRTG on a virtual machine (VM), we ask you to contact our Paessler Presales team for consultation.
  • To give you an impression: To monitor 5,000 sensors with a 1-minute scanning interval, PRTG takes 7.2 million measurements and evaluates, notifies, and stores them. This adds 700 MB of additional data to the database every single day.

icon-prtg-on-demandPRTG hosted by Paessler is restricted to max. 5,000 sensors, more sensors are not possible.

Apart from the processing power required for the monitoring itself, several aspects can affect the number of sensors that you can use. The following recommendations are for a single PRTG core server setup (without a cluster) on a physical machine.

Category

Recommendation

Operating system

We recommend that you use Microsoft Windows Server 2019, Microsoft Windows 10, or Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2. These offer superior performance for monitoring, especially if you have more than 2,000 sensors.

Sensors

Ping and SNMP sensors create much less load than complex sensors like xFlow sensors, VMware sensors, Sensor Factory sensors, WMI sensors, or Syslog Receiver/SNMP Trap Receiver sensors, for example.

Channels

We recommend that you use sensors with less than 50 channels. Note that sensors with more than 50 channels are not officially supported and can have a high impact on system performance.

Scanning interval

We recommend that you mainly use 1-minute scanning intervals for up to 2,000 sensors and 5-minute intervals if you have more sensors.

Number of users

We recommend that you stay below 30 active user accounts for each PRTG core server. You can work well with more users if these do not all use the user interfaces at the same time (including public dashboards).

Number of remote probes

Our general recommendation is to stay below 30 remote probes on one PRTG core server. PRTG still scales well up to 60 remote probes as long as you have less than 100 sensors per remote probe.

CPU-intensive features

Try to limit the use of the following features: Many quickly refreshed dashboards, frequent generation of huge sensor reports, heavy usage of packet sniffing, Sensor Factory sensors, and Toplists, frequent automatically scheduled auto-discoveries for large network segments, constant queries of monitoring data via the PRTG API, among others.

Network connection quality

The quality of your network also plays an important role. When monitoring via User Datagram Protocol (UDP), for example, a high packet loss rate can lead to frequent timeouts. Remote probes that connect via unstable (WAN) connections can lead to delays as well.

In general, consider the following rules for the performance impact of different sensors.

icon-i-round-blueYou can also see the performance impact of a sensor on the sensor's Overview tab or in the Add Sensor dialog.

Sensor Type

Performance Impact Considerations

SNMP v1 and v2, Ping, Port, and HTTP

We recommend that you use these sensor types for scenarios with thousands of sensors.

SNMP v3

You can monitor about 5,000 SNMP v3 sensors with a scanning interval of 60 seconds on a common two core computer, and about 10,000 sensors on a four-core system (the main limiting factor is your CPU power).

WMI

Try to keep the number of WMI sensors per probe below 120 sensors (with a 60-second interval), or 600 sensors (with a 300-second interval).

xFlow

Monitoring the maximum number of sensors depends on the traffic pattern, the number of xFlow packets per second received by the probe, as well as the performance of the probe system.

Packet Sniffer

These sensors create the highest CPU load on the probe system. This technology is only recommended for monitoring low traffic connections (<50 Mbit/s steady stream). When traffic is often over 10 Mbit/s, you should use a dedicated remote probe.

VMware monitoring

Monitoring VMware is limited to about 30 sensors at a 60-second scanning interval, or 100 sensors at a 5-minute interval. On probes that run on Windows Server 2012 R2 or later, you can use more VMware sensors. These limitations issue from the VMware platform.

icon-square-cyanFor more information, see the Knowledge Base: Increasing Maximum Connections for VMware sensors

Other sensor types

The impact of a specific sensor type on performance is indicated by a color range when adding a sensor to a device. It ranges from dark green (very low impact) to bold red (very high impact).

To overcome any limitations mentioned in this section, you should distribute the sensors among two or more remote probes.

Running PRTG in Virtual Environments

You can run the PRTG core server and remote probes on virtualized platforms. However, PRTG consists of a lot of different components that all rely on the performance and the stability of the probe system where virtual environments add even more layers of complexity. This needs to be considered when you want to set up your PRTG installation in a way that you can achieve the same level of performance as on a physical server.

Most PRTG installations from 500 to 5,000 sensors do not need any specific optimization regarding your virtual infrastructure.

However, if you run larger installations of PRTG with more than 5,000 sensors, we strongly recommend that you follow the instructions in our Best Practice Guide: Running large installations of PRTG in a virtual environment.

icon-square-cyanFor more information and to download the Best Practice Guide, see the Paessler website.

Running PRTG in a Cluster

We recommend a single failover cluster for fail-safe monitoring. This consists of two PRTG core servers that each work as a cluster node.

In a cluster, the monitoring load doubles with each cluster node, so the performance of each additional cluster node is halved. Therefore, in a single failover cluster, divide our recommended numbers from earlier in the section in half.

icon-prtg-on-demandThis feature is not available in PRTG hosted by Paessler.

Web Browser Requirements

The following browsers are officially supported by the PRTG web interface (in order of performance and reliability):

  • Google Chrome 72
  • Mozilla Firefox 65
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 11

For security and performance reasons, we strongly recommend that you always use the latest version of Google Chrome to access the PRTG web interface.

icon-i-round-redFirefox is potentially vulnerable to cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks. These XSS exploits are possible if you click, for example, phishing links in emails that contain malicious code, and you are logged in to PRTG with Firefox. For more information, see the Knowledge Base: How secure is it to access the PRTG web interface with Firefox?

icon-i-round-blueMicrosoft Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge, as well as other browsers that are not officially supported, have issues with some functionalities of the PRTG web interface. However, you can access the PRTG web interface with any browser.

icon-i-round-blueDeprecated Internet Explorer versions as well as some mobile browsers might not be able to display the all features of the PRTG web interface.

icon-i-round-bluePlugins may have an effect when you view the PRTG web interface. Make sure to add exceptions for PRTG in the plugins' settings, especially when you use ad blockers. For more information, see the Knowledge Base: The logs page in the PRTG web interface does not load. What can I do?

Screen Resolution

A screen resolution of at least 1024x768 pixels is sufficient for most functions of PRTG. However, we recommend a screen resolution of 1200x800 or higher.

Requirements for Monitored Devices

Category

Requirement

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) monitoring

The monitored devices must have SNMP v1, v2c, or v3 (an SNMP-compatible software must be installed on the device). You must enable SNMP on the device and you must grant the PRTG core server system access to the SNMP interface.

icon-square-cyanFor more information, see section Monitoring via SNMP.

Windows/WMI monitoring

To use WMI monitoring, you need a Windows network. For client PCs monitored with WMI, only the specified operating systems are officially supported, but do not use Windows Server 2008 for WMI monitoring (strong performance issues).

icon-square-cyanFor more information, see section Monitoring via WMI.

xFlow monitoring

The monitored devices must send NetFlow data packets (NetFlow v5, NetFlow v9, or IPFIX) or sFlow v5 packets to the probe system.

icon-square-cyanFor more information, see section Monitoring Bandwidth via xFlows.

Packet sniffer monitoring

PRTG can only analyze data packets that pass the local machine's network card. Switches with monitoring ports are necessary for network-wide monitoring in switched networks.

icon-square-cyanFor more information, see section Monitoring Bandwidth via Packet Sniffing.

Other sensor types

Depending on the specific sensor, you can find further requirements (for example, modules, components, device configurations) in the corresponding section, as well as when you add the sensor to a device.

Requirements for Smartphones and Tablets

There are optional PRTG apps for iOS and Android.

icon-square-cyanFor more information and system requirements, see section PRTG Apps for Mobile Network Monitoring.

More

icon-square-bluePRTG MANUAL

 

icon-square-blueKNOWLEDGE BASE

How can I speed up PRTG—especially for large installations?

My WMI sensors don't work. What can I do?

Frequent Questions about xFlow (NetFlow, sFlow), Packet Sniffing, Traffic Monitoring and Cisco

How can I increase the connection limit on VMware systems? PE121

My SNMP sensors don't work. What can I do?

Which ports does PRTG use on my system?

Which .NET version does PRTG require?

How secure is it to access the PRTG web interface with Firefox?

Why should I disable the FIPS mode under Windows?

My HTTP sensors don't work. What can I do?

 

icon-square-bluePAESSLER WEBSITE

System Requirements for PRTG: Recommended setup for most PRTG users

System Requirements for PRTG: Running PRTG in virtual environments

Welcome to PRTG Network Monitor