The page below is from the manual of PRTG, our quick-to-install and easy-to-use network monitoring software

Try PRTG now and see how it can make your job easier.
 

Free Trial Download
You will be up and running in 2 minutes
Learn More
Screenshots, Features, Videos


Aurelio, System Admin at Paessler AG

The Windows Network Card sensor monitors bandwidth usage and traffic of a network interface using Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) or Windows Performance Counters, as configured in the "Windows Compatibility Options" of the parent device.

It can show the following:

  • Total traffic on the network card
  • Traffic in and traffic out
  • Number of received and sent packets
  • Total number of packets
  • Number of discards (in and out)
  • Number of errors (in and out)
  • Number of unicast packets (in and out)
  • Number of non-unicast packets (in and out)
  • Number of unknown protocols (in)

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

Windows Network Card SensorWindows Network Card Sensor

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

Remarks

  • Requires Windows credentials in the parent device settings.
  • Requires Windows 2008 or later on the probe system to work with Windows Performance Counters.
  • Requires the Windows Remote Registry service to be running on the target computer.
  • Can use a hybrid approach to query monitoring data: Performance counters as standard approach and WMI as fallback.
  • Requires Windows 2008 / Windows 7 or later to be able to monitor 64-bit counters of the class "Network Adapter" (virtual network interfaces). On older target systems the sensor can only monitor 32-bit counters of the class "Network Interface" (the physical interface) and will show less channels.
  • This sensor type supports teamed network adapters ("NIC teaming") on Windows Server 2012.

icon-prtg-on-demandYou cannot add this sensor type to local probes in PRTG on demand. If you want to use this sensor type, please add it to a remote probe device.

Requirement: Windows Credentials

icon-toolsRequires credentials for Windows systems to be defined for the device you want to use the sensor on. In the parent device's Credentials for Windows Systems settings, please prefer using Windows domain credentials.

icon-i-redIf you use local credentials, please make sure the same Windows user accounts (with same username and password) exist on both the system running the PRTG probe and the target computer. Otherwise, a connection via Performance Counters will not be possible. However, WMI connections may still work.

Hybrid Approach: Performance Counters and WMI

icon-i-roundBy default, this sensor type uses Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) to request monitoring data. You can change the default behavior to a hybrid approach in the Windows Compatibility Options of the parent device's settings on which you create this sensor: if you choose this option, the sensor will first try to query data via Windows Performance Counters and use WMI as a fallback if Performance Counters are not available. When running in fallback mode, the sensor will re-try to connect via Performance Counters after 24 hours.

icon-i-redSensors using the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) protocol have high impact on the system performance! Try to stay below 200 WMI sensors per probe. Above this number, please consider using multiple Remote Probes for load balancing.

icon-i-roundFor a general introduction to the technology behind WMI, please see Monitoring via WMI section.

Requirement: Windows Version

icon-toolsIn order for this sensor to work with Windows Performance Counters, please make sure a Windows version 2008 or later is installed on the computer running the PRTG probe: This is either on the local system (on every node, if on a cluster probe), or on the system running a remote probe.

Requirement: Remote Registry Service

icon-toolsIn order for this sensor to work with Windows Performance Counters, please make sure the Remote Registry Windows service is running on the target computer. If you fail to do so, a connection via Performance Counters will not be possible. However, WMI connections may still work.

To enable the service, please 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 will not see all setting fields in this dialog. You can change (nearly) all settings in the sensor's Settings tab later.

Select the network cards you want to monitor PRTG creates one sensor for each interface you select in the Add Sensor dialog. The settings you choose will be valid for all sensors that you create when you finish this dialog.

The following settings for this sensor differ in the Add Sensor dialog in comparison to the sensor's settings page.

Sensor Specific

Network Interface

Select the network card(s) you want to add a sensor for. You see a list with the names of all items that are available to monitor. Add check marks in front of the respective lines to select the desired items. PRTG creates one sensor for each selection. You can also use the check box in the table head to select and deselect all items.

Sensor Settings

On the details page of a sensor, click the Settings tab to change its settings.

icon-i-roundUsually, a sensor connects to the IP Address or DNS Name of the parent device where you created this sensor. See the Device Settings for details. For some sensor types, you can define the monitoring target explicitly in the sensor settings. Please see below for details on available settings.

Basic Sensor Settings

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

Tags

Enter one or more Tags , separated by spaces or commas. You can use tags to group sensors and use tag–filtered views later on. Tags are not case sensitive. We recommend that you use the default value.

You can add additional tags to the sensor if you like. Other tags are automatically inherited from objects further up in the device tree. These are visible above as Parent Tags .

Priority

Select a priority for the sensor. This setting determines where the sensor is placed in sensor lists. Top priority is at the top of a list. Choose from one star (low priority) to five stars (top priority).

Sensor Specific

Selected Interface

Shows the name of the network card that this sensor monitors. Once a sensor is created, you cannot change this value. It is shown for reference purposes only. If you need to change this, please add the sensor anew.

Debug Options

Sensor Result

Define what PRTG will do with the sensor results. Choose between:

  • Discard sensor result : Do not store the sensor result.
  • Write sensor result to disk (Filename: "Result of Sensor [ID].txt") : Store the last result received from the sensor to the Logs (Sensor) directory in the PRTG data folder on the probe system the sensor is running on (on the Master node if in a cluster). File names: Result of Sensor [ID].txt and Result of Sensor [ID].Data.txt . This is for debugging purposes. PRTG overrides these files with each scanning interval.
    icon-book-arrowsFor more information on how to find the folder used for storage, see section Data Storage .
     

icon-prtg-on-demandYou cannot access stored logs of sensors that run on the local probe of PRTG on demand.

Sensor Display

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 will always be displayed underneath the sensor's name. The available options depend on what channels are available for this sensor.

icon-i-roundYou can set another primary channel later by clicking on the pin symbol of a channel in the sensor's overview tab.

Chart Type

Define how to show different channels for this sensor.

  • Show channels independently (default) : Show an own 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 will generate an easy-to-read graph which visualizes the different components of your total traffic.
    icon-i-round-redYou cannot use this option in combination with manual Vertical Axis Scaling (available in the Sensor Channels Settings ). Manual scaling is not possible if you choose this option.
  • Show in and out traffic as positive and negative area chart : Show channels for incoming and outgoing traffic as positive and negative area chart. This will visualize your traffic in a clear way.
     
    icon-i-round-redYou cannot use this option in combination with manual Vertical Axis Scaling (available in the Sensor Channels Settings ). Manual scaling is not possible if you choose this option.
     
    icon-i-round-redYou cannot show a positive/negative chart for a channel if you choose to display its data in percent of maximum (available in the Sensor Channels Settings).

Stack Unit

This setting is only available if you choose Stack channels on top of each other above. Choose a unit from the list. All channels with this unit will be 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 following settings are inherited from objects higher in the hierarchy and should be changed there, if necessary. Often, best practice is to change them centrally in the Root group's settings. To change a setting only for this object, disable inheritance by clicking the check mark in front of the corresponding setting name. You will then see the options described below.

Scanning Interval

Scanning Interval

Select a scanning interval (seconds, minutes, or hours) from the list. The scanning interval determines the time the sensor waits between two scans. You can change the available intervals in the system administration on PRTG on premises installations.

If a Sensor Query Fails

Define the number of scanning intervals that a sensor has time reach and check a device again in case a sensor query fails. The sensor can try to re-reach and check a device several times, depending on the option you select here, before it will be set to a Down status. This helps you avoid false alarms if the monitored device has only temporary issues. For previous scanning intervals with failed requests, the sensor will show a Warning status. Choose between:

  • Set sensor to "down" immediately : The sensor will show an error immediately after the first failed request.
  • Set sensor to "warning" for 1 interval, then set to "down" (recommended) : After the first failed request, the sensor will show a yellow warning status. If the following request also fails, the sensor will show an error.
  • Set sensor to "warning" for 2 intervals, then set to "down" : Show an error status only after three continuously failed requests.
  • Set sensor to "warning" for 3 intervals, then set to "down" : Show an error status only after four continuously failed requests.
  • Set sensor to "warning" for 4 intervals, then set to "down" : Show an error status only after five continuously failed requests.
  • Set sensor to "warning" for 5 intervals, then set to "down" : Show an error status only after six continuously failed requests.

icon-i-roundSensors that monitor via Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) always wait at least one scanning interval until they show an error. It is not possible to set a WMI sensor to "down" immediately, so the first option will not apply to these sensor types. All other options can apply.

icon-i-roundIf a sensor has defined error limits for channels, it will always show a Down status immediately, so no "wait" option will apply.
 

icon-i-roundIf a channel uses lookup values, it will always show a Down status immediately, so no "wait" options will apply.

Schedules, Dependencies, and Maintenance Window

icon-i-roundInheritance for schedules, dependencies, and maintenance windows cannot be interrupted. The corresponding settings from the parent objects will always be active. However, you can define additional settings here. They will be active at the same time as the parent objects' settings.

Schedule

Select a schedule from the list. Schedules can be used to monitor for a certain time span (days, hours) every week. With the period list option it is also possible to pause monitoring for a specific time span. You can create new schedules and edit existing ones in the account settings.

icon-i-roundSchedules are generally inherited. New schedules will be added to existing ones, so all schedules are active at the same time.

Maintenance Window

Specify if you want to set up a one-time maintenance window. During a "maintenance window" period, this object and all child objects will not be monitored. They will be in a paused state instead. Choose between:

  • Not set (monitor continuously) : No maintenance window will be set and monitoring will always be active.
  • Set up a one-time maintenance window : Pause monitoring within a maintenance window. You can define a time span for a monitoring pause below and change it even for a currently running maintenance window.

icon-i-roundTo terminate a current maintenance window before the defined end date, change the time entry in Maintenance Ends field to a date in the past.

Maintenance Begins

This field is only visible if you enabled the maintenance window above. Use the date time picker to enter the start date and time of the maintenance window.

Maintenance Ends

This field is only visible if you enabled the maintenance window above. Use the date time picker to enter the end date and time of the maintenance window.

Dependency Type

Define a dependency type. Dependencies can be used to pause monitoring for an object depending on the status of another. You can choose between:

  • Use parent : Pause the current sensor if the device, where it is created on, is in Down status, or is paused by another dependency.
  • Select object : Pause the current sensor if the device, where it is created on, is in Down status, or is paused by another dependency. Additionally, pause the current sensor if a specific other object in the device tree is in Down status, or is paused by another dependency. Select below.
  • Master object for parent : Make this sensor the master object for its parent device. The sensor will influence the behavior of the device, where it is created on: If the sensor is in Down status, the device will be 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 will be paused if the parent group of its parent device is in Down status, or if it is paused by another dependency.

icon-i-roundTesting your dependencies is easy! Simply choose Simulate Error Status from the context menu of an object that other objects depend on. A few seconds later all dependent objects should be paused. You can check all dependencies in your PRTG installation by selecting Devices | Dependencies from the main menu bar.

Dependency

This field is only visible if the Select object option is enabled above. Click on the reading-glasses and use the object selector to choose an object on which the current sensor will depend.

Dependency Delay (Sec.)

Define a time span in seconds for a dependency delay. After the master object for this dependency goes back to Up status, PRTG will start monitoring the depending objects after this extra delayed. This can help to avoid false alarms, for example, after a server restart, by giving systems more time for all services to start up. Please enter an integer value.

icon-i-round-redThis setting is not available if you choose this sensor to Use parent or to be the Master object for parent . In this case, please define delays in the parent Device Settings or in the superior Group Settings .

Access Rights

User Group Access

Define which user group(s) will have access to the object you're editing. A table with user groups and types of access rights is shown: It contains all user groups from your setup. For each user group you can choose from the following access rights:

  • Inherited : Use the access rights settings of the parent object.
  • None : Users in this group cannot see or edit the object. The object neither shows up in lists nor in the device tree. Exception: If a child object is visible to the user, the object is visible in the device tree, though not accessible.
  • Read : Users in this group can see the object and review its monitoring results.
  • Write : Users in this group can see the object, review its monitoring results, and edit the object's settings. They cannot edit access rights settings.
  • Full : Users in this group can see the object, review its monitoring results, edit the object's settings, and edit access rights settings.

You can create new user groups in the System Administration—User Groups settings. To automatically set all objects further down in the hierarchy to inherit this object's access rights, set a check mark for the Revert children's access rights to inherited option.

For more details on access rights, please see the section User Access Rights .

Channel Unit Configuration

Channel Unit Types

For each type of sensor channel, define the unit in which data is displayed. If defined 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

icon-i-roundCustom channel types can be set on sensor level only.

More

Knowledge Base: My Windows sensors do not work when using direct Performance Counter access. What can I do?

Edit Sensor Channels

To change display settings, spike filter, and limits, switch to the sensor's Overview tab and click the gear icon of a specific channel. For detailed information, please see the Sensor Channels Settings section.

Notifications

Click the Notifications tab to change notification triggers. For detailed information, please see the Sensor Notifications Settings section.

Others

For more general information about settings, please see the Object Settings section.

Sensor Settings Overview

Copyright © 1998 - 2017 Paessler AG