PRTG Manual: PerfCounter Custom Sensor

The PerfCounter Custom sensor monitors a configured set of Windows performance counters. You can define your own channels. No predefined channels are available for this sensor.

The sensor can show the following:

  • Customized Windows performance counters

i_square_cyanTo find available performance counters and their names on the target system, see the Knowledge Base: How can I find out the names of available Performance Counters?

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

PerfCounter Custom Sensor

PerfCounter Custom Sensor

Sensor in Other Languages

  • Dutch: Prestatie Meters Klantspecifiek
  • French: PerfCounter personnalisé
  • German: Leistungsindikator (benutzerdef.)
  • Japanese: パフォーマンスカウンターカスタム
  • Portuguese: PerfCounter (Customizado)
  • Russian: Специальные настройки PerfCounter
  • Simplified Chinese: 性能计数器自定义
  • Spanish: PerfCounter Personalizado

Remarks

  • This sensor requires credentials for Windows systems in the settings of the parent device.
  • This sensor requires that the Remote Registry Windows service runs on the target computer.
  • This sensor requires Windows Server 2008 R2 or later on the probe system.
  • You cannot add different performance counters with the same name to one sensor.
  • If a performance counter contains angle brackets (< or >), do not edit the channel settings because this might cause an error.
  • This sensor supports the IPv6 protocol.
  • This sensor has a low performance impact.

i_podYou cannot add this sensor to the hosted probe of a PRTG hosted by Paessler instance. If you want to use this sensor, add it to a remote probe device.

Detailed Requirements

Requirement

Description

Windows credentials

This sensor requires credentials for Windows systems in the settings of the parent device. Preferably, use Windows domain credentials.

i_round_redIf you use local credentials, make sure that the same Windows user accounts (with the same username and password) exist on both the probe system and the target computer. Otherwise, a connection via performance counters is not possible.

i_round_redThe user account has to be a member of the Performance Monitor Users user group on the target system.

Windows version

For this sensor to work with Windows performance counters, make sure that a Windows version 2008 R2 or later is installed on the probe system (on every cluster node, if on a cluster probe).

Remote Registry service

For this sensor to work with Windows performance counters, make sure that the Remote Registry Windows service runs on the target computer. If this service does not run, a connection via performance counters is not possible.

To enable the service, log in to the respective computer and open the services manager (for example, via services.msc). In the list, find the respective service and set its Start Type to Automatic.

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.

The following settings in the Add Sensor dialog differ in comparison to the sensor's Settings tab.

Performance Counter Settings

Setting

Description

List of Counters

Enter the performance counters that you want to query. Enter one counter per row. PRTG creates one channel for each counter. Use the following syntax: the name of the counter, followed by two colons (::), and the unit.

Example: \Processor(_Total)\% Processor Time::%

i_round_blueIt is not possible to monitor different performance counters with the same name in one sensor. The sensor uses the counter as the channel name, so this would create duplicate channels, which PRTG does not support. If you want to monitor different performance counters with the same name, add one sensor for each counter. You can also create a custom sensor. For example, you can write a PowerShell query that connects to the target device, retrieves the desired counters with the Get-Counter cmdlet, and reports them to PRTG as individual channels.

i_round_redIf your custom performance counter includes an angle bracket (< or >), do not edit the channel settings (for example, limits) after creating the sensor. This might lead to a malfunctioning sensor.

Mode

Determine if the returning value is displayed as an absolute value or if the difference between the last and the current value is used:

  • Absolute (recommended): The returning value is displayed as absolute value.
  • Difference: The difference between last and current value is displayed.
    i_round_redMake sure that all counters that you monitor are capable of this mode if you select it.

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:

  • performancecounter
  • performancecountercustom

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).

Performance Counter Settings

Setting

Description

List of Counters

Shows the performance counters that this sensor monitors. Once you have created the sensor, you cannot change this value. It is shown for reference purposes only. If you need to change this value, add the sensor anew.

Mode

Shows the mode in which the sensor displays the returning values. Once you have created the sensor, you cannot change this value. It is shown for reference purposes only. If you need to change this value, add the sensor anew.

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.

Channel Unit Configuration

Click b_inherited_enabled to interrupt the inheritance.

Setting

Description

Channel Unit Types

For each type of channel, select the unit in which PRTG displays the data. If you define this setting on probe, group, or device level, these settings can be inherited to all sensors underneath. You can set units for the following channel types (if available):

  • Bandwidth
  • Memory
  • Disk
  • File
  • Custom

i_round_blueCustom channel types are only available on sensor level.

More

i_square_blueKNOWLEDGE BASE

How can I find out the names of available Performance Counters?

My Performance Counter sensor does not work. What can I do?

Sensor Settings Overview

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