Home > PRTG, SNMP > PRTG – Basic Installation

PRTG – Basic Installation

It’s been a while since I’ve worked with PRTG, but need some monitoring in the lab. Also, I’ve had some environments asking me about general monitoring and some software to recommend. While Nagios is nice from a “free” and “can do whatever you want”, it’s not incredibly user friendly. For this, and a predominately Windows shop, I’d often recommend PRTG (http://www.paessler.com/prtg). I’m not going to go very deep into a “sales” presentation on the software, other than to point out that it’s good for Windows and SNMP monitoring.

Things we want it to do for us:

· Monitor all Windows systems for health

· Should be able to have “templates” that overlay by types. For example, we want an “All Windows Servers” group, a “Windows SQL Servers” group, a “Windows Exchange Servers” group, etc. The hope would be that we can overlay these so that a server with multiple roles doesn’t need to be a custom one off, but based on the applications installed, can apply the right monitoring

  • VMware monitoring – ESXi and vCenter
  • NetApp monitoring – volumes, LUN’s, ports, etc
  • Switch monitoring – ports, port channels, bandwidth, fans, power supplies
  • UPS monitoring – power load, battery status, etc.

What we’ll need to know to get started:

  • A Windows Service account with rights to the systems. I’ve created a “svcPRTGAdmin” account that will get these rights. For now, it’s a copy of the Domain Administrator, but really should be restricted a bit more.
  • A common SNMP community, if possible. If not, then a list of the SNMP communities to try when auto-scanning
  • NetApp root/admin logins
  • Subnet(s) we want to scan.

First, let’s get the software installed. Go to the website, register for the software and download it. Once you have it downloaded, launch the installer, and accept the licence agreements. This is where we will start.

1) Accept the licence agreements and such. You’ll be asked for an e-mail address to get notifications from Paessler on. This is probably not the “Alerts From” or “Alerts To” e-mail address:

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Click NEXT

2) Enter the licence key:

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You can either go without a key for 10 sensors, or request a 30 day trial key. Click NEXT.

3) Select the installation folder and click Next to start the installation:

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4) When the installation completes, a web page will open showing the status, and the GURU setup wizard will start:

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Click START GURU.

5) The first option will ask to use SSL, which you should, even if it is self-signed:

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Click YES, SWITCH TO SSL.

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You will be prompted that the core server will need to restart to make this change effective. Click YES, SWITCH TO SSL NOW.

6) When it restarts, you’ll see a standard SSL prompt to trust as shown above. Then you’ll get the PRTG login:

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You may be wondering when it asked you for a password. Don’t worry, it has not. Click on DEFAULT LOGIN to start. Then click START GURU again.

NOTE: The default username/password is in fact “prtgadmin”/”prtgadmin”.

7) You’ll be asked to set up the User Account:

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Here you can change the login name if you wish. I use a standard for e-mails of “<system>-alerts@<fqdn>” so that I can easily create rules to sort “*alerts@” into a folder. Change the password, so people can’t login with the defaults. Click SAVE & NEXT.

8) Enter the default credentials for scanning Windows Systems:

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This will need a domain name, the username for the service account and the password. I highly recommend a non-default account, so when you see logins in audit logs you can verify if this is a “PRTG” login or a “User” login event. Click SAVE & NEXT.

9) Next we’re asked for default SNMP credentials:

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You can either indicate that all devices use default “public” for read or enter your own. I have entered my read community string of “nw-public” which is just modified enough to not be default. A little later on, we’ll tell it to ALSO scan the default and any other options, in case we have a mixed mode environment where some devices were changed and some were not. Click SAVE & NEXT.

10) We now enter credentials for virtualization:

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We will do a later configuration to accommodate vCenter Server itself. So this is for the ESXi root accounts. Click SAVE & NEXT.

11) Next, we are prompted for Unix credentials:

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I don’t have many Linux systems, but every now and again I do and have virtual appliances that may be Linux based. So I’ll configure at least one account here so it can try to scan those if it finds them. Click SAVE & NEXT.

12) We will now monitor our Internet:

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This could likely be a place to enter ISP based DNS servers vs internal. Click SAVE & NEXT.

13) We can now set up LAN Servers:

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These will be the DC’s and the Exchange servers. You can add other servers, but I’d like to be able to set that up via auto-discovery, as I don’t want to have to add them manually each time. We’ll configure that a little later. Click SAVE & NEXT.

14) I have no web sites that I want to monitor, so I will ignore this option:

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However this may be where you would put www.company.com to check for that. Note, if you put something like a blog in here, it will of course check it, but it may skew your analytics if you’re checking it every 5 minutes. Click SAVE & NEXT.

15) Next, we configure cloud services:

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I don’t see anything here I need to worry about. If some of these were critical to your company, you would check them here and follow their advanced configuration, as they’re going to want logins and such. Click SAVE & NEXT

16) Next we configure basic auto-discovery:

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This will scan this subnet periodically. Note that if you need more than 1, we do this in a later step. Click SAVE & NEXT.

17) Once complete, you’ll get a thank you. Click “OK! LET ME VIEW MY NEW SENSORS”.

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Note the icons highlighted that show NEW LOG ENTRIES, NEW SENSORS, and AUTO DISCOVERY BACKGROUND TASKS. It’s been performing some of this work as you’ve completed the GURU wizard.

18) You’ll see the main screen now, showing the sensors and groups.

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Note that you’ll see many are still doing Auto-Discovery, and will pop up with new sensors that are not green while they scan for the first time.

Expect the first pass scan to take a bit, as it tries to do a lot of auto-configuration. I’m going to pause here and come back, as there’s no point fighting the system. We’ll wait to see what it discovers, before we customize the sensors.

19) On the main toolbar, click SETUP -> SOFTWARE AUTO UPDATE:

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Then click the SETTINGS tab. Here you can change if you want the system to auto-update to new releases.

20) Click on SETUP -> NOTIFICATIONS:

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Click on EDIT next to any of these.

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Here you can modify the e-mail address it will send to, as well as the subject lines. You may find you want to modify these subject lines for things like how readable they are by default on your mobile device of choice.

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You can also perform additional tasks. Maybe you want to send a syslog message, or update an Event Log or trigger a program (eg: dial a serial attached modem is one I’ve used in my past). This would be how and where you can facilitate the events triggering into other systems.

Click SAVE.

21) Under SETTINGS -> OPTIONAL DOWNLOADS you will find:

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The Client App for Windows if you need a non-web based console.

Client Apps for mobile devices

Remote Probe installer. Remote Probes are used like a proxy at a remote site to consolidate and package multiple sensors without latency and bursts across the WAN.

22) Under SETTINGS -> SYSTEM ADMINISTRATION you will find the following:

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Check your Notification Delivery to ensure that e-mails are being sent as expected. Note that the default SMTP option uses a built in server, so that even if your Exchange/Mail systems are down, you’ll still get alerts – unless of course you’re sending alerts to your company e-mail on said server J

This covers the basic installation of PRTG. Expect more to come later as I get to some specific configurations such as:

  • VMware Monitoring – ESXi and vCenter
  • Switch Monitoring – this has a bit more configuration to it
  • Monitoring groups and templates.
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Categories: PRTG, SNMP
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