Adamís notes from 9/13/16 BNUG meeting on systems monitoring



Intro: upcoming:

HP VM explorer and backup [later canceled]

Linoma software-- secure managed file transfer, similar to Ipswitch software

identity and access management as a service-- Oracle with Okta, Microsoft with Azure, Sentrify


Marc looking for small IT business to explain what makes its business special -- we would introduce the vendor who works with that small business, and both would explain their product from their point of view.†


Add Valerie's info for internship program on BNUG website.†† Reach out to students.


Ethics professor at Bentley College--may come to discuss his nonprofit.


O'Reilly might donate-- does anyone have contact with them or other pbook publishers?


Next meeting is Oct 4-- topics TBA. [Later: Adam speaking on Cryptolocker and Remote Access]

Dec 6th-- 30th anniversary


Greg Ross from Paessler was at EMC, Monstoer, and Brookstone.

Based in Nuremburg. Started as side project for Dirk Paessler. He was dissatisfied with monitoring. In 2003, did first shareware. Now have 150,000 installations

Broadleaf Services, Glenn Fundís company, is one of their partners.


PRTG network monitor:

One solution, instead of combination of dell, hp, etc.† There are dozens of solutions, some are on website.


Our objective is end-to-end. Recognized by Gartner for network monitoring and diagnostics. PRTG touches every endpoint-- storage, hardware, virtual.


Hybrid cloud -- you can run from cloud and monitor cloud from Amazon Web Services and Azure.


Free solution for 100 sensors -- feature complete. Most competitors have add-in modules, instead of all features. This helped differentiate from other products.† When people discover they can do everything with PRTG, they get very excited.


What is a sensor? Install PRTG on windows device -- hardware agnostic. No SQL, no web server. Run the installer, within 5 minutes -- 180M download.


If you have a small local network, a local probe is all you need. You can also have a remote probe to branch offices. Most other solutions use a transactional database. PRTG uses a flat file, per sensor per day. This avoids the scaling issues.


You can use a sensor to monitor some behavior -- free space, pagefile, etc. A sensor gives relevant metrics.† A ping sensor measures ping time etc. You can set up warning thresholds. You can set up notifications.


They charge by number of sensors -- smallest paid package is $1600 for 500 sensors.† Can use in any way you like -- e.g. temperature of cisco switch. For remote probes, you need to have a windows machine -- you could use a mini on your customer's network, like a Kangaroo.


On a typical cisco switch -- temp, memory, power supply


You could use it to know underlying health of a Hyper-V system.


Note, this is agentless monitoring. But we're listening to bandwidth monitoring. Can listen for specific xml files.


You can use a sensor to actually USE a service -- query a database, do a round trip message. They call this "consuming" a service.


SMNP sensor can be a very rich sensor -- within a single sensor, you can study traffic in many ways.


PRTG has sensor for VMware and other virtual systems. You can monitor hardware status. You can show how the host is being used -- memory, power, cpu ready-- this can be a trigger for adding provisioning. You can also turn on SMNP in your virtual environment.


Competitor is Solar Wind. They tend to license by node, rather than by sensor.


Great to have a dashboard, but also to get emails, you can also get texts.


PRTG lets you respond to issues: you can run a script, restart a process, sync global catalog server. You can program this automatically with a PowerShell script or command line. You can also hook into the API of ticketing system. You can make lights go on in a data center!†


People can also put info into the PRTG API.


The Dashboard: you can create a web page that gives you a visual picture of your vital processes.


You could get an Amazon account, and run Windows 2012 server, and then run the monitoring from there.


20% of Greg's calls are MSPs with data center.


You can get a MS Azure account for free if working on an app.


You can monitor printers -- paper count, etc.


You can set schedules for monitoring, so you won't be alerted, say at night when system is supposed to be shut down. You can put sensors in pause state.


We talked about how an IT consultant could resell this product.


If router goes down, you can have a dependency so you don't get blown away by all the other notifications caused by the down.


Mobile monitoring -- and controls, like pausing sensor.† You can choose mobile access if you wish, but some people are uncomfortable with that, so they just use amazon push monitoring.


You can make a sensor drag and drop map with icons of your choice.


You can then create all kinds of layouts, even link google maps, CNN.


You can show top talkers, using netflow v5. You can build your own channels a la wireshark.


You can have one netflow sensor monitoring multiple switches.


Support is provided from Germany via email. Support people sit right next to developer. Greg is presales engineer who tries to help you get set up.


40 or 50 videos on youtube, learning page, and community bulletin board.†


They also have clustering option -- one on cloud, one local. This is available at all levels.†


Does number of sensors slow down? Solar wind does a lot of things PRTG doesn't do -- but sometimes may be slow.


Ipswitch makes a competing product