PRTG - What is a Sensor?



Transcript - What is a sensor?

The concept of a sensor is central to PRTG, so in this video, I'm going to explain exactly what we mean by a sensor. When you're running PRTG, you will see that each device has a number of small, colored boxes that display information about that device. Each of these boxes is one sensor, and they are the basic monitoring elements in PRTG. One sensor monitors one single aspect on one device. For example, on a typical server, you would want to monitor the CPU usage, RAM, and disk space. Each of these things is one sensor. Since you usually want to monitor several things on each device, you will end up with multiple sensors on each device. Let's look at a ping sensor now:
Within each sensor, there are multiple individual metrics that make up the sensor. For example, in this ping sensor, you can see the ping time, the maximum and minimum ping time so far, and the percent packet loss. The individual metrics are called channels. So, this ping sensor has five channels, which all together, monitor ping on this device. The number of channels in the sensor varies, depending on the type of sensor and on the target device.

PRTG offers around 200 pre-defined sensor types, which you see either inside the software or on our website. Inside the software, click on Add Sensor at the bottom of the tree, or under the Sensors Menu select Add Sensor, or right-click on a device and select Add Sensor. This brings you to a page with a list of all of the sensors that are available. You can use these radio buttons to limit the list to certain types of sensors < CPU usage / Linux >, or you can search for specific sensor types in the input box < traffic >. And then you just click on the sensor type you would like, to add it to your installation. You can also find a list of all of the sensors on our website, if you search for sensor list. This page shows you all of the sensors we offer, organized into categories of things you might like to monitor. This list is great for getting new ideas or inspiration for things you could do with PRTG.

Since the PRTG licensing is based on the number of sensor you use, it's important to know how many sensors you are going to need. As a very rough estimate, we find that most customers use between 5 and 10 sensors per device. If you have PRTG running, you can see exactly how many sensors you're currently using, in the summary here , or on the PRTG status page, under Setup/PRTG Status/Database Objects
We based our licensing on the number of sensors because we believe that is the most fair method for our customers. You pay for only the level of monitoring you need, and you determine how you distribute your sensors. You can put lots of sensors on critical devices, and only a few sensors on less important devices. That brings me to the end of this video about sensors. If you're new to PRTG, which you might be if you're watching this video, then I'd just like to let you know that we have lots of additional videos on our website, under Support / Videos and Webinars.

Thanks, and goodbye.


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