2010-Oct-17

iPRTG 2.1 Now Supports iPad Resolution and iPhone 4

Full iPad supportiPRTG for PRTG is available in a brand new version. As a 'Universal App' it now supports iPhone, iPod, and even the iPad with its higher resolution. iPRTG is the iPhone application for network monitoring while on the go. It enables you to quickly connect to your PRTG installation and review all monitoring results as well perform simple actions such as acknowledge alarms, pause and resume monitoring, add favorites, etc. The new version is now available for download at iTunes store. If you have already purchased iPRTG, you can download the update for free.

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2010-Aug-10

Vintage Browsers and PRTG: Why We Do Not Support IE6/IE7 Any More

There is an obvious trend for application design nowadays: Everybody wants web based applications! They offer three big advantages: 1. web based applications only require a web browser on the end-users’ computers 2. usage is, in most cases, easy to learn 3. they can be centrally managed by the administrators We anticipated this trend in 2006 when we designed the architecture of PRTG 7 which completely relies on a web based user interface.

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2010-Jul-13

The First Public Beta of PRTG 8 Is Here

Two years and 14 days ago, on June 30th 2008, we released the last new major version: version 7 of PRTG Network Monitor. Since then PRTG has seen numerous improvements, new features and enhancements. Now, the next major version is getting close to completion. With version 8 PRTG takes another big leap forward with hundreds of improvements and many new features.

Clustering and More

With this new version we introduce a unique new feature that allows PRTG users to create fail-safe, distributed monitoring systems: The "PRTG Cluster" where up to 5 PRTG instances ("nodes") work together to create a fail-safe monitoring system. We have implemented numerous new features:

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2010-Jun-21

iPRTG 2 - The Personal Network Monitoring Assistant on Your iPhone

As of now, iPRTG 2 is available in the iTunes store! iPRTG is a personal network monitoring assistant for your PRTG Network Monitor software. Always with you on your iPhone, it allows to view the current status of your network on the go. Using iPRTG, you benefit from many interesting features—wherever you are:

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2010-May-27

iPRTG in a Completely New Version - Beta Testers Wanted

Since last August users of the popular smartphone Apple iPhone can download and install a dedicated app that brings PRTG to their phone. We have received a lot of feedback and requests for enhancements. During the last months our partner company beyond content went back into their labs and actually rewrote the whole app from scratch! New development tools for the iPhone and some new API calls on behalf of PRTG's API allowed the developers to come up with an app that just blows you away! So today I am happy to announce the new version 2 of iPRTG. See iPRTG 2 in  action - start the video!

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2010-May-20

How to Use Google Font API for the Web Interface of PRTG Network Monitor

Yesterday Google have published their new "Google Fonts API" which enables webmasters to use a selection of attractive fonts for their websites. Usage of the service is free of charge. Using this API is a quick and straightforward way to individualize a PRTG installation. Here is a sample screenshot:

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2010-Apr-21

Top 5 Troubleshooting Tips for Your WMI Problems

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is a mighty tool for system administrators to monitor and to manage a whole Windows network from one central point. It allows you to start processes, read the Event Log history or even send a command to reboot a system for all computers in your network. Unfortunately, using WMI can be tricky. In most cases security and user account related problems can cause trouble. Sometimes even more complex issues occur. Users of PRTG Network Monitor—which makes extensive use of WMI for Windows monitoring—often ask us for configuration help. We have compiled several documents to help them.

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2010-Apr-15

PRTG's Email Round Trip Sensor and Google Mail

Email round trip sensors ensure the end-to-end delivery of emails and make it possible to monitor availability and performance of a complete email delivery process. In order to test your own mail servers for delivery to external mail accounts, you need a third party mail account on the Internet. Our experience is that round trip monitoring works very well with Google Mail, as it operates reliably and there are virtually no downtimes on Google's side (which means practically no false alarms).

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2010-Mar-30

PRTG Network Monitor Gets a Massive Performance Boost for Large Installations

With the just-released version 7.3.3 of PRTG we are introducing significant improvements for PRTG's built-in web server. Especially for large installations with thousands of sensors, the user experience of both Windows and web interface will be noticeably faster. In our lab, we run installations of PRTG with 10,000 and 20,000 sensors. The 20,000 sensor installation, for example, runs on a water-cooled PC (Alienware) with a Core-2-Quad CPU at 2.66 GHz, i.e. quite a powerful machine. But with PRTG 7.3.2 most web pages took 5 - 10 seconds to generate. Some even took 30 - 50 seconds. We thought that's too slow. So we got our hands dirty, found a few things that needed to be changed and – wow! – with PRTG 7.3.3 all pages are being delivered in one second or less.

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2010-Mar- 1

Paessler Launches New Knowledge Base

Last week, Paessler's new Knowledge Base went online. There, you can find a compilation of resources about network monitoring in general and – of course – support and know-how information about PRTG Network Monitor and our other software products. As a mixture of Knowledge Base and forum, users cannot only receive information, but they can interactively ask questions and even share their knowledge by answering questions themselves. To become a contributor, you simply have to sign-up once and log in.

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2010-Jan-11

Sending Notifications from PRTG to Twitter

During the recent outage of the main data center of hoster Rackspace the company used Twitter to communicate information about the outage to the outside world. Also our paessler.com website was affected by the downtime and since we could not even reach the Rackspace’s websites we turned to Twitter for up-to-the-minute information. And so did others, too. See: http://technorati.com/blogging/article/when-rackspace-goes-down-twitter-lights/ Using PRTG, you can also use Twitter to inform your customers easily and automatically via automatic status messages. Keep the world informed about your network whenever there is news - live!

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2009-Dec-17

Howto: Exporting PRTG's Raw Monitoring Data Into Daily CSV or XML Files

With PRTG Network Monitor, you can analyze your sensor data in various ways. Exhaustive reports for your whole network can be generated as well as historic data reports for single sensors. Still, there are people who just need the data of a sensor in a convenient format to do their own statistics in external programs or to use Excel to do additional computations based on the monitoring data. That is why we have included a XML and CSV export function in PRTG. This function of the web interface is handy to export data every few days. But if you need daily data for one or more sensors an automatic solution is more comfortable. With the new CSVExport command line tool finally there is a way to export data of many PRTG sensors with one single line of script! You can use it as an on-demand tool or combine it with Windows task scheduler. Don't be confused by the name – CSVExport is capable of both XML and CSV data export!

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2009-Dec- 7

VoIP Monitoring: Why and How PRTG is Different for QoS and IP SLA Monitoring

Appreciating the benefits of mobile communication, we all have learned to condone some lack of speech quality when using our mobile phones. The possibility to communicate with everyone everywhere often brings a much greater value than an overwhelming speech quality. But when it comes to Voice-over-IP technology, you can have both: Using one of the latest high density (HD) audio codecs, the connection quality can be astonishing (far better than in usual landline communication) and you can even use it wireless on the go with the according mobile provider and device.

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2009-Dec- 4

Howto: Rebooting a Computer via Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) call

The main task of PRTG Network Monitor is to optimize your network’s availability and performance by avoiding system downtimes. All systems should always be up and running properly. That’s the theory… Still some services fail, even without a complete crash of the server itself. One of the most common methods of recovery is a reboot of the server to get the failing service back online. In certain cases, it is useful to have this done automatically. PRTG initiates a reboot when it discovers a service that fails for more than 15 minutes for example. Remote reboots can be performed by command lines tools (e.g. from the Sysinternals toolset) or by using a Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) call. Today I want to share a script that performs remote reboots without any additional software (neither on the client side nor on the server side) and works with every Windows computer that is capable of WMI.

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2009-Nov-30

Howto: Branding and Customizing the PRTG Web Interface Using CSS

Many PRTG users want to use their own logos and/or corporate colors for the web interface of their PRTG installation. Today I want to write about a hidden feature of PRTG 7.2.x that allows you to modify the look&feel of the web interface using just a few CSS statements.

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2009-Nov-26

Monitoring (Almost) Any SQL Server Through ADO with PRTG Network Monitor

Today I would like to share a custom EXE sensor script for PRTG that monitors any SQL server using ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) and the PowerShell scripting language.

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2009-Nov-26

Providing Customized Login Screens for PRTG to Customers

Recently a company that uses its own PRTG installation to monitor customers' sites asked us how they can supply customized login screens with the customers' logos when they log into the MSP's PRTG installation. They are an MSP (Managed Service Provider) and offer monitoring of their customer sites as a service.

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2009-Nov-16

New Version of PRTG Consumes Less Memory and less CPU Cycles

Today we have released Version 7.2.2 of PRTG Network Monitor which includes substantial improvements regarding memory and CPU usage as well as some bugfixes. The performance related changes will affect all installations, regardless of the number of sensors, but will be most notable for installations with thousands of sensors.

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2009-Nov-16

Network Computing Has Tested All Major Monitoring Tools: PRTG Wins The Comparison!

In their October-issue German magazine Network Computing published a comparison test of all major network monitoring solutions. They included PRTG Network Monitor 7, WhatsUp Gold 14, Orion NPM 9.5 and OpManager 8.5. Their verdict was clear: PRTG wins this comparison! Quote: "PRTG Network Monitor 7.2 was in fact the most comprehensively equipped monitoring package and also the simplest to use."

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2009-Nov-10

How fast is your cloud? Depends on where you’re standing

Today I had a telefon interview about CloudClimate.com with Carl Brooks of SearchCloudComputing (techtarget.com). Afterwards Carl uploaded an interesting article about www.cloudclimate.com on their website.

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2009-Nov- 3

PRTG Running On a Netbook Monitors the Complete Paessler LAN - Can Your Monitoring Software Do this?

Today I would like to talk about my favorite toy of recent weeks. I wanted to find the smallest PC in our company that is still able to monitor our complete production LAN network. So I wandered around the office and the slowest PC that I could find was our netbook, a DELL Inspiron Mini 10. Would this tiny PC be able to monitor a thousand sensors with PRTG?

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2009-Nov- 2

Sending Notifications from PRTG to iPhones With Prowl For Free

In the past using the Short Message Service (SMS) was the easiest way to send notifications from PRTG to mobile phones. But it required a costly service provider that forwards your message via SMS. And those were not free. Now for the iPhone there is an alternate instant messaging option which is (almost) free.

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2009-Oct-16

New PRTG 7.2.2 Beta version is available, includes performance and memory usage improvements

With version 7.2.2 we will introduce several performance and memory usage improvements. These changes will affect all installations, regardless of the number of sensors, but will be most notable for installations with thousands of sensors. In order to make these improvements available as early as possible for users of PRTG that currently experience memory or performance issues we are publishing beta versions of V7.2.2. The most notable change in the new version is the reduced CPU load for the PRTG core server process. For some of our test systems the cpu load of this process has dropped by 90% (!) compared to V7.2.1. This results in an overall faster system and web interface. And it will allow setting up much larger installations, too.

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2009-Oct- 9

How We Monitor Our Own Production Webservers

Today we have started our new production servers for www.paessler.com. I thought it might be interesting to describe how we monitor these servers. There are two perspectives that need to be taken into account:

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2009-Sep-28

Monitoring Cisco ASA Firewalls using Netflow 9 and PRTG 7.2

Recently Cisco has implemented NetFlow 9 for its popular ASA 5500 security and firewall appliances. But this implementation of NetFlow is quite different from what other Cisco devices provide. It is called "Netflow Security Event Logging" (NSEL) and was originally introduced on the Cisco ASA 5580. Now, with the latest firmware (ASA 8.2.x or later), it is now extended to other Cisco ASA models. In fact ASA NetFlow was initially not intended to be used for realtime/live traffic analysis (it was created for monitoring of security events)... But it is still a viable option for bandwidth monitoring. And with PRTG Network Monitor V7.2 this option is fully supported, including bandwidth computation, Top Talkers, Top Connections and Top Protocols!

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2009-Sep-28

Official Release of PRTG Network Monitor V7.2

The latest and improved version of PRTG is now publicly available. Our development team has been working hard since the release of version 7.1 - hundreds of new features, improvements have been implemented and some bugfixes as well. Especially for users with more than a handful of sensors/devices the new version means major usability progress: The brand-new Windows GUI and the new multi-edit features make working with many sensors so much faster and easier.

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2009-Sep-17

The Best Browser for PRTG (Part 4): First Looks at Google Chrome 3

Google has released the latest version 3 of their web browser Chrome only one year after version 1 and just one week after I have published the results of our latest browser shootout (which already awarded the first place to Chrome 2). So it was time to rerun the tests and include Chrome 3. And the results are impressive.

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2009-Sep- 8

The Best Browser for PRTG (Part 3): The September 2009 Browser Shoot-Out

The web interface of PRTG uses a lot of AJAX and Javascript functions, so brower javascript performance is crucial for us. The latest versions of the most common web browsers (Safari 4, Firefox 3.5, Google Chrome 2 and Internet Explorer 8) have recently shown great performance improvements for Javascripts processing - mainly due to their new just-in-time compilers (JIT). We already conducted browser shoot-outs with PRTG last year in September (Winner: Firefox 3) and in February this year (Winner: Google Chrome). Now we wanted to know what has changed in the last 6 months:

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2009-Aug-28

New Features in PRTG 7.2: VoIP Monitoring Using Cisco IP SLA

During the beta test of version 7.2 of PRTG Network Monitor I am posting a few posts about new features that we have built into this new version. In yesterdays blog entry I wrote about the new QoS sensor which measures various service quality parameters of a network connection by probing the connection with UDP packages. Today I would like to introduce our second new monitoring solution for VoIP quality, the new IP SLA sensor.

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2009-Aug-27

New Features in PRTG 7.2: The QoS Sensor - Our take on "VoIP Monitoring"

During the beta test of version 7.2 of PRTG Network Monitor I am posting a few posts about new features that we have built into this new version. Today's post is about our new "QoS Sensor" which is used to monitor the quality of a network connection by looking at "quality of service" parameters like jitter, packet loss, packet delay variation, and other readings. Slight variations of these parameters usually have only little effect on TCP-based services (e.g. HTTP, SMTP, etc.). But for UDP-based services like VoIP and video streaming a steady stream of data packets is crucial. The sound quality of a VoIP call drops dramatically when UDP packets are not received in a timely fashion, if packets are lost or reordered.

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2009-Aug-20

New Features in PRTG 7.2: The New "S" View for Groups

During the beta test of version 7.2 of PRTG Network Monitor I will write a few posts about new features that we have built into this new version. With version PRTG 7.2 we are introducing a new "view" for the groups page which will especially appeal to all users that manage many devices with PRTG. This new view shows all groups and devices in a very compact form making it possible to have a quick overview over your network.

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2009-Aug-20

New Features in PRTG 7.2: Support for Amazon CloudWatch

During the beta test of version 7.2 of PRTG Network Monitor I will write a few posts about new features that we have built into this new version. If you are using Amazon EC2 (Elastic Comput Cloud) to host one or more servers then this new sensor is for you. Amazon offers the CloudWatch service for EC2 instances since May this year and it provides performance data for individual instances on EC2. Usage of the service costs $0.015 per hour for each Amazon EC2 instance you choose to monitor.

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2009-Aug-19

iPRTG: The iPhone App for Administrators Using PRTG Network Monitor

Don't let monitoring your network tie you to your desk! With iPRTG your network monitor is where your iPhone is. iPRTG is the iPhone App for network administrators using the PRTG Network Monitor software by Paessler AG to monitor and administrate their network. iPRTG is the one and only clear and simple viewer for the entire network monitoring environment. The iPhone requests the monitoring data directly from the PRTG server and iPRTG displays it in an "iPhonic" way.

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2009-Aug-12

Making Our Website Faster: A Comparison of Cloud Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) with Cloud Storage, Cloud Hosting and Old-Fashioned Hosting

We are currently preparing a new setup for the hosting of www.paessler.com. Because visitors to our website are coming from all over the world we decided to host CSS, images and media files on a global content delivery network in order to provide a swift website experience for all visitors. The advantage of using a CDN (Content Delivery Network, see wikipedia) is that website visitors will be served media files from the closest "edge-server" of the CDN and not from our own servers in the Rackspace data center in Dallas TX (the dynamic HTML would still be served from Dallas, though).

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2009-Aug-10

Public Beta Test for PRTG Network Monitor V7.2

Everybody here at Paessler AG is excited today! We are launching the public beta test for our upcoming version 7.2 of PRTG Network Monitor. This new version includes more than 400 new features and improvements. The new Windows GUI, new sensor types and usability improvements throughout the whole interface make this new version quite an attractive update for all users of PRTG! Here is a screenshot of the new Windows GUI:

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2009-Jul-23

PRTG Network Monitor supports VMware vSphere 4.0

A few weeks ago our system administrators began setting up our new VMware vSphere 4.0 server systems (two DELL PowerEdge R710 plus DELL PV 3000i SAN). This gave us a chance to test PRTG's VMware sensors on the vSphere servers and the new vSphere VirtualCenter and they worked nicely right out of the box. Here is a screenshot:

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2009-Jul-22

New Custom Sensors available

There are new custom EXE sensors available on prtg7addons, the Google Code open source website for PRTG.

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2009-Jul- 8

Using PRTG's iPhone Interface on Windows Mobile Devices

From time to time we are asked about the possiblity to use PRTG's built-in iPhone webinterface from a mobile device running on Windows Mobile OS.

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2009-Jul- 3

Using PageGate Paging Gateway to Relay Notifications for PRTG

Paessler's network monitoring software, PRTG Network Monitor, offers multiple methods to relay notifications, including SMTP mail relay, SMS, ICQ, etc., allowing users to ensure in various ways that they are informed if an issue (such as an outage or a slow server) needs to be brought to their attention. However, there are times when the normal relay means do not suffice, particularly if the main leased line used to connect to the network is interrupted. For these purposes, PRTG Network Monitor includes the option to trigger executable notifications which, combined with the proper external software, can overcome this issue with ease. One software we have been recommending a while is PageGate from NotePage, Inc.

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2009-Jun- 3

Don't Use Windows Vista And Windows 2008 for Network Monitoring via WMI!

Many monitoring features of our PRTG Network Monitor software (as well as many other monitoring tools) are based on WMI. Everything is fine with WMI on Windows XP and Windows 2003, even for larger networks. But when Vista and Win2k8 come into the game it is a completely different story altogether. We have received reports from a number of users that ran into trouble when using WMI monitoring for larger networks - and all of them were using Vista or Windows 2008. We tried to find out what aspects affect the performance of WMI monitoring. We selected ten servers and PCs in our testing lab. All of them ran a different version of Windows. We measured the WMI performance between them.

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2009-May-25

Habla Español? PRTG 7.1.3 now Available with Spanish User Interface

Today we have released version 7.1.3 of PRTG Network Monitor. The major new feature of this version is the Spanish translation of the user interface.

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2009-May-20

Monitoring the Birth of a Search Engine - Wolfram|Alpha Goes Online

Over the last weekend the engineers of Wolfram Research gradually launched their new search engine Wolfram|Alpha (or should I better say "knowledge engine"). We monitored their website during this launch with PRTG Network Monitor and here are the results!

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2009-May- 7

Watching the Clouds: CloudClimate.com Provides Free Performance Monitoring of Cloud Hosting Vendors

Today www.cloudclimate.com officially leaves "stealth mode", it is now publicly available. For the last weeks we have been preparing this new website that displays the live performance data of selected cloud hosting providers.

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2009-Apr-28

How we solved WMI error "8002801D : Library not registered" on an Exchange 2003 Server

When we tried to monitor a test installation of Exchange Server 2003 in our labs using WMI we always received the following WMI error message:
8002801D : Library not registered.
Using the following procedure we were able to reenable WMI monitoring for the Exchange Server:

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2009-Apr-17

How To Get Rid of Huge "Default User\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5" Folders

Some PRTG users that use the new "HTTP Full Page Sensor" on the local probe (or on remote probes) have found huge amounts of disk space eaten up by the Internet Explorer cache folder of the "default user". The folder is (on Windows XP):

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2009-Apr-14

Comparing Amazon EC2 performance with other cloud/VPS hosting options... and real hardware

We wanted to roughly rate performance of a virtual server hosted by Amazon EC2 compared to other hosting offerings. So last week we ran several performance tests on Amazon EC2 instances as well as other cloud and vps hosting platforms plus some servers in our own labs.

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2009-Apr- 8

Dutch Translation for PRTG Network Monitor Available

Thanks to avid PRTG customer Gerard Feijth from the Netherlands you can now run the PRTG user interface in Dutch. He has translated the complete user interface into Dutch!

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2009-Apr- 7

Monitoring Cloud Performance with PRTG: Comparing Disk Speed for Instance Stores and EBS Volumes on Amazon EC2

Here is another insight on Amazon's EC2 services that we found during our recent cloud monitoring experiments: For a couple of days we ran our load test sensor for disk speed monitoring on instance stores (disk volumes which come with each instance) as well as on EBS volumes (Amazon's Elastic Block Store) for all available instance types. The results for a period of 48 hours are shown in this graph from PRTG Network Monitor:

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2009-Apr- 6

Monitoring Cloud Computing Performance with PRTG: CPU, Disk, Memory Speed Comparison of Amazon EC2 Instance Types

Last Friday I have posted our first results from recent monitoring experiments on Amazon EC2 instance types were we published a comparison of average performance of the Amazon EC2 instance types. Now, three days later, I can amend our observations on how the CPU, disk and memory performance of our EC2 instances behave if you monitor them for a couple of days (in our case between April 1st and April 5th). The following graphs (taken straight out of PRTG Network Monitor) show the results of our CPU, disk and memory tests for the five available instance types. Each dot shows the results of one test:

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2009-Apr- 3

Testing Cloud Computing Performance with PRTG: Performance Comparison of Amazon EC2 Instance Types

In version 7.1 of PRTG Network Monitor we have added a set of custom sensors which can be used to test the available CPU, disk and memory resources by running short load tests. We have used these load tests to measure the performance differences between instance types of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

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2009-Apr- 3

The Browser War Revisited (Part 3): Which Browsers Do People Use Around the World?

In the last weeks I have looked at the currently available web browsers from a "performance-for-PRTG" perspective and found that Chrome and Firefox are our recommendations for PRTG. Today I ran across the StatCounter Global Stats website where web analytics service Statcounter publishes its stats about browser usage worldwide.

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2009-Mar-31

PRTG Network Monitor 7.1 - Official Release

This is an exciting day for everybody here at Paessler AG: After seven months of hard work we have finally uploaded the V7.1 release binaries of PRTG Network Monitor. This new version contains more than 800 new features, enhancements, changes, and bugfixes since version 7.0.9. Upgrading to the new version is recommended for all users of previous PRTG versions.

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2009-Mar-27

New Features in PRTG 7.1 (Part 7): "Official Support for PRTG Virtualizing"

During the beta test of PRTG Network Monitor 7.1 I am posting a number of blog articles about new features in the new version. Virtualization has become a fundamental part of the IT eco-system. Many of our customers have already moved or will soon move considerable parts of their computer systems into virtual servers. Of course we also use virtualized systems heavily in our own software test lab together with a lot of real hardware. With version 7.1 we now officially support running PRTG Network Monitor on virtualized platforms. PRTG already supports native monitoring of VMware servers since last October. Now it is a logical step to support running PRTG virtualized, too.

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2009-Mar-26

Almost There: Announcing the Release Candidate of PRTG 7.1

The official beta test for version 7.1 of PRTG Network Monitor is approaching its final stage. Today we have uploaded the Release Candidate! During the public beta test (ongoing since January 30th 2009) PRTG Network Monitor version 7.1 was thoroughly tested by our own team as well as hundreds of beta testers. Internally we called this intense test project the "mother of all software tests" and we are quite satisfied with the results: we are now convinced that the upcoming release of PRTG 7.1 is
  • 1. the best software we have ever created and
  • 2. the best tested software we have ever released.

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2009-Mar-26

How PRTG computes CPU Index, Traffic Index and Response Time Index for your network

In order to provide graphs that show a quick status overview of your complete network (or a part of it) PRTG computes so-called "index" values based on the measurements of all sensors. The "index" graphs are synthetic values between 0% and 100% based on current sensor measurements and their historic maximum values. The calculation of these index values works similar to a stock index which is computed using the current values of selected stocks. For each group and device PRTG shows four values in a graph. screenshot

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2009-Mar-25

New Features in PRTG 7.1 (Part 6): "SNMP Trap Notifications"

During the beta test of PRTG Network Monitor 7.1 I am posting a number of blog articles about new features in the new version. In PRTG V7.1 we have added a new option for notifications: If an event occurs (e.g. a sensor's state changes from up to down) PRTG can now send SNMP Traps to a computer where a so-called Trap Receiver is listening. Trap receivers usually store these messages for later analysis and/or forward traps to the administrators using other means of alerting.

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2009-Mar-24

New Features in PRTG 7.1 (Part 5): "Automatic Probe Updating"

During the beta test of PRTG Network Monitor 7.1 I am posting a number of blog articles about new features in the new version. Another new break-through feature of PRTG 7.1 is the automated probe updating. PRTG users who have set up one or more remote probes in their configuration will love this feature.

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2009-Mar-23

New Features in PRTG 7.1 (Part 4): "Email Round Trip Monitoring"

During the beta test of PRTG Network Monitor 7.1 I am posting a number of blog articles about new features in the new version. Another interesting new feature in PRTG 7.1 is "Email Round Trip Monitoring". Two new sensor types ensure the end-to-end delivery of emails and make it possible to monitor availability and performance of a complete email delivery process.

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2009-Mar-19

New Features in PRTG 7.1 (Part 3): "Copying Devices by Cloning or Using Device Templates"

During the beta test of PRTG Network Monitor 7.1 I am posting a number of blog articles about new features in the new version. After configuring a device with one or more sensors there are two options to copy it:

  • Cloning a device: Is the best option to simply duplicate a device only a few times with all its sensors and settings.
  • using a device templates: Is the preferred option if you have many similar devices and if you do not want to create all devices manually through the web interface. This is also the better option if the devices do not have the same number of ports.

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2009-Mar-16

Beta 3 (aka "Final Beta") of PRTG Network Monitor 7.1 is available

Today the final beta of PRTG 7.1 is available. This new version includes more WMI improvements, again more speed improvements for the web interface as well as many other changes. The next step on the way to the official release of PRTG 7.1 will be Release Candidate 1, scheduled for next Monday. Here is our current roadmap:

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2009-Mar-16

What to do when PRTG's ESX sensors show "Connection hangs. Check SSL on VMware server, then restart probe." message

When monitoring VMware ESX 3.5 servers with PRTG 7 we have seen situations where the HTTPS webserver of the ESX server crashes (i.e. the management interface is no longer accessible). In PRTG 7 all ESX sensors show a red alarm state as well as the message "Connection hangs. Check SSL on VMware server, then restart probe." In order to revive the web server on the ESX server please perform the following steps:

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2009-Mar-16

What to do when PRTG’s ESX sensors show "Connection hangs. Check SSL on VMware server, then restart probe." message

When monitoring VMware ESX 3.5 servers with PRTG 7 we have seen situations where the HTTPS webserver of the ESX server crashes (i.e. the management interface is no longer accessible). In PRTG 7 all ESX sensors show a red alarm state as well as the message "Connection hangs. Check SSL on VMware server, then restart probe." In order to revive the web server on the ESX server please perform the following steps:

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2009-Mar- 5

How to Set Up a PRTG 7 Core Server or Remote Probe on The Amazon EC2 Cloud

Two days ago Amazon announced support for virtual Windows servers in their European EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) datacenter. Together with the US-East datacenter (which offers hosting of Windows systems since last fall) Amazon now offers two locations where you can run Windows servers on their cloud hosting systems.

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2009-Feb-27

Beta 2 of PRTG Network Monitor 7.1 is available

Today we have uploaded Beta 2 of PRTG Network Monitor V7.1. Since V 7.0.9 more than 700 changes (new features, improvements, bugfixes) have been built into the code. Most of these changes are based on user feedback and on user requests so this new version of PRTG again covers more needs of network administrators than any previous version.

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2009-Feb-27

New Features in PRTG 7.1 (Part 2): "Toplists"

During the beta test of PRTG Network Monitor 7.1 I am posting a number of blog articles about new features in the new version. Packet Sniffing and NetFlow sensors can not only measure the total bandwidth usage, they can also break down the traffic by IP address, port, protocol, and other parameters. The results are shown in so-called "toplists". This way PRTG is able to tell which IP address, connection or protocol uses the most bandwidth. PRTG looks at all network packets (or streams) and collects the bandwidth information for all IPs, ports and protocols. At the end of the toplist period PRTG stores only the top entries of each in its database.

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2009-Feb-25

The Best Browser for PRTG 7 (Part 2): The February 2009 Browser Shoot-Out

Yesterday's announcement of the public beta of Apple's Safari 4 browser gave us reason to re-evaluate the currently available browsers from a "PRTG Network Monitor"-perspective. PRTG uses a lot of AJAX and Javascript functions for its innovative web interface. This fact makes the choice of browser a crucial one for a swift user experience. Back in September we already performed such a shoot-out with the browsers available at that time. Now Safari 4 Beta, Firefox 3.1 Beta and Chrome 2 Beta have entered the arena.

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2009-Feb-20

New Features in PRTG 7.1 (Part 1): The "Sensor Factory"

During the beta test of PRTG Network Monitor 7.1 I will post a number of blog articles about new features in the new version. One of the coolest new features in V7.1 is the "Sensor Factory". It allows to combine measurements from two or more sensors into one new sensor.

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2009-Feb-18

How to Move an Installation of PRTG 7 to Another Computer

Today we have added a new article to the knowledgebase which explains how to move an installation of PRTG Network Monitor V7 onto another computer. The steps are:

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2009-Feb-13

Monitoring the Available Bandwidth (Part 2)

Back in August I have already posted an article which explains how complicated it is to measure the bandwidth that is actually available for you. One of the problems I mentioned was that if you want to exactly measure the available bandwidth you would have to saturate your data line and then measure the achieved bandwidth. But if you saturate your data line you are actually prohibiting all other traffic. Not a good idea for everyday life.

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2009-Feb-13

Introducing an Open Source Platform for Addons for PRTG Network Monitor

To support the exchange of ideas and knowledge between the users of PRTG Network Monitor - including our own labs and developers - we have created an open source platform on Google's projects hosting platform Google Code. The prtg7addons project on Google Code will host various add-on tools for PRTG Network Monitor and their source code - created by Paessler and PRTG users.

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2009-Feb-10

Five Free and Quick Ways to Create Beautiful Network Maps Online

In order to make the results of your network monitoring available in your Intranet or for customers we recommend using the "Maps" feature of PRTG Network Monitor in conjunction with a map of your network. Visualized results make it much easier for your users to understand the situation of your network. Here are a samples for (rather simple) network maps including live monitoring data (created with PRTG 7):


But how do you create a map of your network? There are paid-for options, e.g. Microsoft Visio, and other programs that you must install locally on your computer. But in many cases using one of the following free online options may serve you well for a quick map!

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2008-Nov-11

Packet Sniffing Debug Tool Updated

Our Card Packet Counter is a small tool that shows live stats and a short term statistical history about the network data packets and streams passing a local network card. Using the Packet Sniffing Engine of PRTG Network Monitor it looks at all network packets that pass a specific network card. It was mainly developed to debug technical issues between PCs and the packet sniffing engine which is built into PRTG Network Monitor. But it is also a very useful tool for other network problem finding situations - and it's free.

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2008-Nov- 4

Using Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) to Run a Remote Probe for PRTG Network Monitor

Cloud computing pioneer Amazon Web Services recently announced support for hosting of Windows based servers on its Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. This new offering can now easily be used to create a cheap Remote Probe server for your own installation of PRTG Network Monitor! To extended our own global network of probes (we use it as a demo website for visitors interested in PRTG and as a test platform for PRTG as well) we created a new remote probe running on EC2 in less than 30 minutes. Here are the steps we took:

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2008-Oct-16

Monitoring your Internet Bandwidth Usage with a LinkSys RVS 4000 Router and PRTG Network Monitor

Many users of the freeware of PRTG Network Monitor use the software to simply monitor their Internet router and to find out how much bandwidth they consume in a month. The Linksys RVS 4000 is a good and common example and we will look at its details for this blog post. Many other Internet access routers will show quite similar behaviour. If you let PRTG's auto-discovery scan the router's IP you will get the following sensors:

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2008-Oct- 9

How We Created a Globally Distributed Monitoring System with PRTG for Less Than US$220/Month

As a testbed and demonstration website for the "Remote Probe" feature of our monitoring software PRTG Network Monitor (and out of technical curiosity) we have set up a network of monitoring stations around the globe based on PRTG. To keep our costs low we have used virtual server offerings from grid hosting or VPS hosting companies for our remote probe installations. Virtual servers are much cheaper than dedicated offerings but provide only limited resources of course. In order to act as a remote probe for PRTG that only sends out a few monitoring requests into the Internet every few seconds a VPS is perfectly enough - in all cases we purchased the smallest Windows VPS offering available and saw decent results. PRTG's remote probes usually require little CPU cycles. We have to keep in mind that - due to bottlenecks caused by other VPSs on the same hosting system that may use a lot of CPU or bandwidth - the measured values will show a lot more jitter than they would on a dedicated system. For a long term perspective these fluctuations do not really matter. And they also do not matter for pure availability monitoring (even if the probe system has little CPU power, it will still find out whether a webserver can be reached or not). As a result we now have a network of 5 monitoring stations around the globe that are connected to one core instance of PRTG Network Monitor.

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2008-Oct- 1

Monitoring System Parameters of VMware ESX Servers Hosts and Virtual Machines

With version 7.0.9 we are introducing specialized sensors for monitoring of VMware ESX servers. These sensors talk directly to the SOAP interface of ESX servers in order to monitor the system health of the host machine as well as the system health of each individual virtual machine.

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2008-Sep- 5

The Browser War is Back: Choosing the Best Web Browser for PRTG Network Monitor

Since Google have launched their new browser "Chrome" a few days ago development in the world of Web browsers is becoming quite interesting. The new contender Chrome has already created a lot of buzz and includes a number of innovative features that will raise the innovation pressure for the other players. We wanted to know which one of the four most used browsers is the best for accessing PRTG Network Monitor's web interface which offers an ajaxified web interface experience.

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2008-Aug-25

The return of the TEXTLIST interface

With the latest beta version of PRTG Network Monitor 7.0.8 we have re-implemented the so-called "TEXTLIST" interface which makes access to the current monitoring status of all your sensors easy.

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2008-Aug-20

How can I monitor my available bandwidth 24/7?

We receive questions like this every few days. User of our monitoring products want to know if their ISP or hosting service is actually providing them with the available bandwidth that they are paying for. But measuring the actually available bandwidth is almost impossible. Let me explain this:

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2008-Aug-19

Introducing the PRTG Network Monitor API

Starting with Version 7.0.8 PRTG Network Monitor (currently in public beta testing) includes a web-based API that enables external programs to have access information from the monitoring database and to manipulate the object database of PRTG. The API is HTTP based and uses a set of URLs to access the data.

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2008-Aug-15

PRTG goes mobile: Introducing the iPhone-optimized Interface

With version 7.0.8 (currently in beta) we have added a new user interface that is optimized for the Apple iPhone. This feature enables the user to quickly check the status of his servers and sensors on the road.

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2008-Jul-22

New version 7.0.6 of PRTG Network Monitor

We have uploaded a new version of PRTG 7. This version includes new features, usability improvements and a number of bugfixes. Besides a number of bugfixes and changes we have added the following new features:

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2008-Jun-30

Official Release of PRTG Network Monitor V7.0

Today we have officially released PRTG Network Monitor Version 7. This new version marks a major step in the development of Paessler's monitoring products.

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2008-Jun- 2

Introduction to PRTG 7 for IPCheck 5 users - What's new? What's different?

A new knowledge base article summarizes the differences between PRTG Network Monitor 7 and its part-predecessor IPCheck 5 - from the perspective of an IPCheck Server Monitor 5 user.

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2008-May-27

Release Candidate 1 of our new flagship product PRTG 7 is available for download

Today we have uploaded the first Release Candidate of our new monitoring tool PRTG Network Monitor.

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2008-May-23

Introduction to PRTG 7 Part 6: Why we created the PRTG 7 user interface to be a little.... different

This another posting of my series of introductory blog posts about our new software "PRTG Network Monitor 7" which is currently undergoing a public beta test. We began the development process of PRTG 7 in 2006. The first step was to make a list of features that we (and our customers) wanted to have in the software additionally to all the functionalities of PRTG 6 and IPCheck 5. We listened to feedback from our users and one major task was to create a new software that was able to monitor 10-50 times as many sensors as the old programs and - as a consequence - we also needed a new user interface to enable the users to handle hundreds and thousands of sensors with ease.

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2008-May-14

Listening to Customer Requests. That's what we've done - for PRTG 7.

I do understand that - being used to PRTG 6 - looking at PRTG 7 may let you frown at the first glance. And yes, maybe the new software isn't the kind of breakthrough user interface that we have tried to create for each and every user. There may be some areas where PRTG 6 still is quicker solution. But if you stay with PRTG 6 you will miss so much! Let me take you on a short guided tour trip so you can see why we did make many substantial changes to the software, why we created new concepts and what unbelievable power is now built into PRTG 7!

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2008-May- 9

Introduction to PRTG 7 Part 5: The "Inheritance" Concept

This another posting of my series of introductory blog posts about our new software "PRTG Network Monitor 7" which is currently undergoing a public beta test.

The hierarchical list of sensors is not only used to group sensors to organize them, there is also an important aspect involved that we call "Inheritance".

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2008-May- 8

Introduction to PRTG 7 Part 4: Object Hierarchy - Probes, Groups, Devices, Sensors, Channels

This another posting of my series of introductory blog posts about our new software "PRTG Network Monitor 7" which is currently undergoing a public beta test.

In PRTG Network Monitor the actual monitoring is performed by "Sensors". One of these sensors always monitors one single aspect of a network device, e.g.

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2008-May- 7

Introduction to PRTG 7 for PRTG 6 users - What's new? What's different?

Today we have published a new knowledgebase article that summarizes the differences between PRTG Network Monitor 7 and its predecessor PRTG Traffic Grapher 6 - from the perspective of a PRTG 6 user. The new version 7 of PRTG brings together the functionalities of PRTG 6 and IPCheck 5 into one concise network monitoring application and adds a number of new features, especially some functions to ease and automate management for larger networks.

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2008-May- 6

Introduction to PRTG 7 Part 3: User Interface Navigation

Here is another posting of my series of introductory blog posts about our new software "PRTG Network Monitor 7" which is currently undergoing a public beta test.

The main layout of PRTG Network Monitor's web-based user interface consists of the Global Status Bar at the top, the Header Area with the main menu and quick-search box below it and finally the main page content.

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2008-May- 5

Introduction to PRTG 7 Part 2: System Architecture

This blog post continues my series of introductory blog posts about our new software "PRTG Network Monitor 7" which is currently undergoing a public beta test. PRTG Network Monitor System Architecture PRTG Network Monitor consists of three main parts:

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2008-May- 2

Introduction to PRTG 7 Part 1: Product Overview

Over the next few weeks I will publish a number of introductory blog posts about our new software "PRTG Network Monitor 7" which is currently undergoing a public beta test.

Let's begin with a short overview of what PRTG 7 is:

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2008-Apr-15

The first Public Beta of PRTG Network Monitor V7 is available

After so many months of busy development work everybody at Paessler AG is proud to present the first publicly available beta version of PRTG Network Monitor 7, our new flagship monitoring product! The new version 7 of PRTG brings together the functionalities of PRTG 6 and IPCheck 5 into one concise network monitoring application and adds a number of new features, especially some functions to ease and automate management for larger networks.

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