How to set up notifications
via the PRTG web interface

 

1. What's the benefit of setting up notifications?

 
  • PRTG is the monitoring tool that checks devices, applications, web servers, databases, and more to inform you about their actual status
  • Each of the objects will be monitored by sensors and for each company, monitoring objectives are probably different. Therefore, PRTG allows you to set the values that are important for your device, application, or any other objects
  • PRTG monitors your network 24/7/365, but this does not mean that you have to constantly check everything as well. This is where notifications come in play.
  • Notifications should help you to only be informed by PRTG when it’s really important
 

2. Which notification types exist?

 

By default, PRTG will send a notification using email. When installing the product, you are asked to provide an email address.

You can change the email address at any time after installation. This how-to guide will explain the different types of notifications that are available and how to set them up.

Getting started

What do you need to consider when setting up a notification? Please remember that PRTG works with inheritance. This can be corrected at each level. But in many organizations there only needs to be a correct setting at the root (top) of the device tree.

Who in your company is involved in this process?

  • Make a matrix for each object or object group of the people who need to be informed
  • Include the days of the week

How can the person who needs to react be reached (multiple options may apply)?

  • Email
  • Push Notification (with PRTG for Android or iOS)
  • SMS/Pager Message
  • Slack Message
  • Microsoft Teams Message
  • Add Entry to Event Log
  • Syslog Message
  • SNMP Trap Message
  • Execute HTTP Action
  • Execute Program
  • Amazon SNS Message
  • Ticket

When a notification is triggered, do you want to execute a script or a program?

  • What is the name of the script or program?
  • What account should execute the script or program?
  • What parameters does the script or program need?

Which object in PRTG needs to be investigated when a sensor's values change?

Not all sensors require an action.

  • Avoid notification floods
  • Review the sensor limits (there is a how-to guide)
 

3. How to set up notifications in 4 steps

 

There are two ways how to set up notifications
 

Notifications for individual devices

  • Choose this option if all sensors on a device should send notifications in the same manner
  • Setting up notifications for individual devices is a good idea because it will prevent a flood of information!

Notifications for certain groups of sensors

  • Choose this option if a group of sensors should send notifications in the same manner
  • With this option, you need to review the notifications of the sensors on the devices that are not in the group in order not to override settings
 

Notifications for individual devices

 

1. Quick setup of notification delivery settings

 

Create user accounts and user groups as needed

From the PRTG main menu, choose Setup | System Administration | Notification Delivery. Here you can define and test global settings for notification delivery.

 

Notification Delivery settings: SMTP Delivery

Some options are not available in PRTG hosted by Paessler!

  • For SMTP Delivery Mechanism, select Use SMTP relay server (recommended in LANs/NATs) for setting up your own SMTP relay server to send emails
  • Enter a Sender Email address and a Sender Name to use as sender of all emails
  • Enter the HELO Ident for SMTP. This must be a unique name, preferably the DNS name of the machine running PRTG
  • Choose if an SMTP Relay Authentication is required and if you want to encrypt SMTP connections (Encrypt Connection)

Notification Delivery settings: SMS Delivery
  

  • For Configuration Mode, choose Select an SMS provider from a list of providers
  • Select a service provider from the list. PRTG offers a small incomplete list of providers
  • Enter a username and password for the service provider account

Some providers need an additional API ID / Account information. If provided, enter it here as a string, or leave the field empty.

 

2. Quick setup of notification contacts

 

From the PRTG main menu, choose Setup | Account Settings | Notification Contacts. Here you can define and change your notification contacts.

  • Email contact (also add important, external email addresses)
  • SMS contact (unless you do not use SMS)
 

3. Quick setup of notification templates

 
  • You can use more than one notification method in each template
  • Consider what will happen if you only rely on email and delivery via email fails
  • Use the company matrix you created previously
 

From the PRTG main menu, choose Setup | Account Settings | Notification Templates. Here you can define and change your notification messages as such.

Click the Notification Templates tab to show a list of existing notification templates, what actions they perform, and if they are active or paused.

On the right side, mark one of the objects. Using the Edit buttons, perform the following actions to set up a notification template:

  • Send test notification: Trigger this notification immediately for testing purposes
  • Used by: Show all objects that trigger this notification
  • Pause: Pause this notification. If a notification is paused, PRTG will not send messages when this notification is triggered
  • Resume: Resume monitoring of a paused object at any time
  • Clone: Create a clone of this notification
  • Delete: Delete this notification (not possible for predefined notifications)
  • Settings: Open the settings of a notification template
 

Hover over  and select Add Notification Template from the menu to add a new notification template, or click the name of an existing notification template to edit it. 

You can choose one method or combine several methods from the list. Whenever the notification is triggered, PRTG sends out messages or performs actions for all configured methods at once.

 

4. Detailed setup of notification triggers

 

Notifications can be triggered on the basis of the status or the data of a sensor. When a sensor’s values change, notification triggers then provoke one or more notifications to be sent out.

These are the different types of Notification Triggers you can apply:

  • State Trigger: Activates when a sensor changes its current status
  • Speed Trigger: Activates when the currently monitored speed in a sensor changes (for example, a traffic sensor)
  • Volume Trigger: Activates when a sensor (for example, a traffic sensor) reaches a certain volume limit in a specified time
  • Threshold Trigger: Activates when a sensor reaches specific values
  • Change Trigger: Activated by an 'on change' trigger. Some sensors offer the option to send such a trigger whenever sensor values have changed

You can add a notification trigger to an object. An object can be a device (a switch, printer, server, etc.), but also a process, database, or application.

Have you thought about only adding a notification trigger to a sensor rather than to the whole device? It is up to you, but you decide how to avoid the flood of messages when something happens to that device.

Keep in mind that not every notification type will be applicable to every sensor type. Example: If you monitor CPU usage, a speed trigger might not be helpful.

 

Setup steps

 

In the PRTG web interface find the desired object and select it. In this example, the probe device has been selected.

 

 

On an object’s detail page, select the Notification Triggers tab.

Here you can create notification triggers and define if triggers that can be inherited from the parent objects will be inherited and also apply for this object.

Here you can see that a State Trigger that is defined by default for the Root Group will be inherited. What's your benefit?

  • When the sensor status is Down for 600 seconds or more, an email and a push notification will be sent to the admin (to see how this is set up or to edit the notification, simply click on the notification)
  • If the sensor is no longer in a Down status, an email and a push notification will be sent to the admin again
 

 

If you would rather define notification triggers for this object and not inherit other objects, you need to add new triggers under Notification Triggers. Also make sure to switch to the option Only use the triggers defined above.

Hover over  and select the desired trigger type.

 

 

The chosen trigger is displayed. 

  • Change the settings according to your needs and select a notification template.
  • Save the notification trigger by clicking the check mark 
  • If necessary, you can also add other notification triggers with other templates to the object
 

 

Now that you have set up the notification trigger, you might want to make sure it works. You can test it by simulating an error status via the sensor’s context menu.

Right-click on a sensor of your choice and select Simulate Error Status.

 

 

After a short moment, the sensor will simulate an error status and you should receive the email notification.

If you do not receive the email notification, this might indicate a problem:

  • An incorrect or mistyped email address
  • A firewall setting
  • Your public IP address is blocked because of botnets or other reasons
 

 

If you received the email, you need to use the resume the sensor so that it is no longer in a simulated error status.

The sensor then returns to the previous status. You now have a working notification for this object.

 

Notifications for certain groups of sensors

 
  • You can group certain types of sensors, for example disk space sensors, bandwidth sensors, or CPU sensors
  • This option is different from the settings for individual devices regarding the number of objects that you can modify in one action. Everything else is the same
  • How do I build a group of objects? The answer is to use Libraries
  • For example, if you want to set up your notifications for all bandwidth sensors, click on the Libraries entry in the main menu to show the libraries main screen and then click All bandwidth sensors
 

Setting up notifications based on Libraries

  • You can define notification triggers for any kind of object libraries

In your library, click the Notification Triggers (1) tab.

Hover over  and select a trigger type (2) from the menu. In the described example, a state trigger is added (Add State Trigger).

Enter the desired notification specifications in the definition box (3), including here:

  • Initial parameters (triggering state, triggering state duration, notification type triggered) 
  • Escalation parameters (triggering state is always the same, ongoing duration that triggers escalation, the type of the escalation notification triggered, and how often it is repeated) 
  • The type of notification to be triggered if the trigger parameters no longer
    apply

An overview of all currently defined triggers appears.

 

Summary
 

  • Step 1: Set up global notification delivery settings
  • Step 2: Create a notification template with the method to be used for notifying people and how (Email, Push Notification, SMS/Pager Message, Slack Message, Microsoft Teams Message, Add Entry to Event Log, Syslog Message, SNMP Trap Message, Execute HTTP Action, Execute Program. Amazon Simple Notification Service Message, Ticket)
  • Step 3: Assign one or more templates to objects individually or use libraries for larger groups of sensors
  • Step 4: Test your notification
  • Step 5: If your test is working fine, resume the sensors. If not, check the settings you made in steps 1,
    2 and 3.
  • Step 6: Review your work: If you get too many notifications, you might need to correct the type of sensors or the time that is used to generate such notifications. Keep in mind the importance for your organization rather than monitoring for monitoring’s sake.