<%NUMBERING1%>.<%NUMBERING2%>.<%NUMBERING3%> PRTG Manual: Detailed System Requirements

This section shows different aspects of system requirements for PRTG. Consider these requirements to avoid issues while monitoring your network.

icon-prtg-on-demandPRTG hosted by Paessler does not require any hardware for the PRTG server, but at least one remote probe installation is necessary to monitor your local network when using PRTG hosted by Paessler.

Supported Operating Systems for PRTG Server and Remote Probes

The 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the following operating systems are officially supported for the PRTG core server service and probe service:

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2019*
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016*
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2*
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012*
  • Microsoft Windows 10
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1
  • Microsoft Windows 8
  • Microsoft Windows 7
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2*

* Windows servers in Core mode or Minimal Server Interface are not officially supported.

The version (32-bit or 64-bit) of the PRTG core server depends on the version of your operating system. The 64-bit version of the PRTG core server is installed if

  • the operating system is a 64-bit Windows system, and
  • the system provides 6 GB RAM or more.

Otherwise, the 32-bit version of the PRTG core server is installed.

  • For best performance of VMware sensors, EXE/Script sensors, and some other sensors, we recommend Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2019, or Windows 10 on the computer running the PRTG probe. This can either be the local system (every node, if on a cluster probe), or the system running a remote probe.
  • For best performance of hybrid sensors using Windows performance counters and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), we recommend Windows 2008 R2 or higher on the computer running the PRTG probe. This can either be the local system (every node, if on a cluster probe), or the system running a remote probe.
  • Microsoft .NET Framework: We recommend that you provide Microsoft .NET 4.7.2 or later (with latest updates) on all systems running a PRTG probe.
    The .NET framework is imperative for monitoring VMware and XenServer virtual environments. Some other sensors also need an installed Microsoft .NET Framework on the computer running the PRTG probe. This can either be the local system (every node, if on a cluster probe), or the system running a remote probe. The required version is .NET 4.7.2 or later.
    icon-book-bulbFor details, see the Knowledge Base: Which .NET version does PRTG require?
  • Disabled FIPS Mode: Ensure that the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) mode (Windows security option "System Cryptography: Use FIPS-compliant algorithms for encryption, hashing, and signing.") is disabled on Windows systems running the PRTG core or probe service. FIPS-compliant encryption may cause errors of sensors that use the .NET framework.
    icon-book-bulbFor details, see the Knowledge Base: Why should I disable the FIPS mode under Windows?

Hardware Requirements for PRTG Server and Remote Probes

Hardware requirements for PRTG core server service and probe service mainly depend on the used sensors and scanning intervals. The following values are provided as reference for common usage scenarios of PRTG (based on a default scanning interval of 60 seconds).

Hardware Requirements for PRTG Server and Remote Probes

CPU

We recommend that you use Microsoft Windows Server 2019, Microsoft Windows 10, or Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2. These offer superior performance for monitoring, especially if you have more than 2,000 sensors.

icon-i-roundIn general, we recommend at least 1 additional CPU core per additional 1,000 sensors.

RAM

Ping and SNMP sensors create much less load than complex sensors like xFlow sensors, VMware sensors, Sensor Factory sensors, WMI sensors, or Syslog/Trap receiver sensors, for example.

icon-i-roundIn general, we recommend at least 1 additional CPU core per additional 1,000 sensors.

Hard disk drive

We recommend that you mainly use 1-minute scanning intervals for up to 2,000 sensors and 5-minute intervals if you have more sensors.

Internet connection

We recommend that you stay below 30 active user accounts for each PRTG core server. You can work well with more users if these do not all use the user interfaces at the same time (including public dashboards).

Stable network connection for remote probes

Our general recommendation is to stay below 30 remote probes on one PRTG core server. PRTG still scales well up to 60 probes as long as you have less than 100 sensors per probe.

There are also non-hardware-dependent limitations for some sensors, for example, WMI and SNMP v3 sensors. These limitations can be overcome by distributing the sensors over multiple remote probes. For clusters, we recommend that you stay below 2,500 sensors per cluster.

icon-i-redFor a PRTG server to work properly, it is crucial to have a certain amount of hardware resources available. If the server runs out of resources, PRTG sends warning and emergency messages to the primary email address of the PRTG System Administrator user. You receive warning messages if the available disk space falls below 1 GB or if the available memory falls below 500 MB, and emergency messages if the available disk space or memory fall below 50 MB. In this case, react immediately and free up system resources.

Network Size: Recommendations

  • Rule of thumb: Typical PRTG installations almost never have performance issues when they stay under 5,000 sensors, under 30 remote probes, and under 30 user accounts.
  • PRTG can scale much higher if the installation is well planned. Read on if you plan to go beyond these numbers and/or if you plan an elevated use of resource-intensive features like reporting, xFlow sensors, or clustering.
  • If you plan an installation that monitors more than 10,000 sensors with one instance of PRTG on a physical device, or more than 5,000 sensors with PRTG running on a virtual machine (VM), we ask you to contact your presales team for consultation.
  • To give you an impression: To monitor 5,000 sensors with a 1-minute scanning interval, PRTG takes 7.2 million measurements and evaluates, notifies, and stores them—this adds 700 MB of additional data to the database every single day.

icon-prtg-on-demandPRTG hosted by Paessler is restricted to max. 5,000 sensors, more sensors are not possible.

Apart from the processing power required for the monitoring itself, several aspects can affect the number of sensors that you can use with PRTG. The following recommendations are for a PRTG single core setup (without clustering) on a physical machine.

Size Recommendations

Operating system

We recommend that you use Microsoft Windows Server 2019, Microsoft Windows 10, or Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2. These offer superior performance for monitoring, especially if you have more than 2,000 sensors.

Sensors

Ping and SNMP sensors create much less load than complex sensors like xFlow sensors, VMware sensors, Sensor Factory sensors, WMI sensors, or Syslog/Trap receiver sensors, for example.

Sensor channels

We recommend that you use sensors with less than 50 channels. Note that sensors with more than 50 channels are not officially supported and can have a high impact on system performance.

Scanning interval

We recommend that you mainly use 1-minute scanning intervals for up to 2,000 sensors and 5-minute intervals if you have more sensors.

Number of users

We recommend that you stay below 30 active user accounts for each PRTG core server. You can work well with more users if these do not all use the user interfaces at the same time (including public dashboards).

Number of remote probes

Our general recommendation is to stay below 30 remote probes on one PRTG core server. PRTG still scales well up to 60 probes as long as you have less than 100 sensors per probe.

CPU-intensive features

Try keeping the usage of the following features down: Many quickly refreshed dashboards, frequent generation of huge sensor reports, heavy usage of packet sniffing, factory sensors, and Toplists, frequent automatically scheduled auto-discoveries for large network segments, constant queries of monitoring data via the API, among others.

Network connection quality

The quality of your network also plays an important role. When monitoring via User Datagram Protocol (UDP), for example, a high packet loss rate can lead to frequent timeouts. Remote probes that connect via unstable (WAN) connections can lead to delays as well.

In general, consider the following rules for the performance impact of different sensors:

sensor type

Performance impact considerations

SNMP v1 and v2, Ping, Port, and HTTP

We recommend that you use these sensor types for scenarios with thousands of sensors.

SNMP v3

You can monitor about 5,000 SNMP v3 sensors with an interval of 60 seconds on a common two core computer, and about 10,000 sensors on a four core system (the main limiting factor is your CPU power).

WMI

Try to keep the number of WMI sensors per probe below 120 sensors (with a 60-second interval), or 600 sensors (with a 300-second interval).

xFlow (NetFlow, jFlow, sFlow, IPFIX)

Monitoring the maximum number of sensors depends on the traffic pattern, the number of xFlow packets per second received by the PRTG probe, as well as the performance of the probe system.

Packet Sniffer

These sensors create the highest CPU load on the probe system. This technology is only recommended for monitoring of low traffic connections (<50 Mbit/s steady stream). When traffic is often over 10 Mbit/s a dedicated remote probe should be used.

VMware monitoring

Monitoring of VMware is limited to about 20 sensors at a 60-second monitoring interval, or 100 sensors at a 5-minute interval. On probes running on Windows Server 2012 R2 or later, you can use more VMware sensors. These limitations issue from the VMware platform.

icon-book-bulbFor details, see the Knowledge Base: Increasing Maximum Connections for VMware sensors

Other sensor types

The impact of a specific sensor type on performance is indicated by a color range when adding a sensor to a device. It ranges from dark green (very low impact) to bold red (very high impact).

To overcome any limitations mentioned in this section, you should distribute the sensors among two remote probes or more.

Running PRTG on Virtual Machines

You can run the PRTG core server as well as PRTG remote probes on virtualized platforms. However, we strongly recommend that you use a dedicated physical machine to run the PRTG core server or PRTG remote probes.

There are several reasons why we recommend that you run PRTG (core server and remote probes) on real hardware, especially for thousands of sensors. Each sensor request has to go through many virtualization layers, which affects performance and makes measurements less exact. In our experience, a physical machine simply works best for a thousand sensors and more.

Our recommendation to use real hardware is valid for the PRTG core server and for remote probes. If you must run PRTG on a VM, we recommend that you stay below 5,000 sensors per VM and consider running several PRTG core server instances instead.

icon-i-round-redFor performance and stability reasons, we recommend that you not run more than 5,000 sensors with PRTG installations on VMs. In this case, migrate PRTG to one or more, preferably physical, machines.

icon-i-roundPerformance can also vary depending on the number of channels per sensor. Note that sensors with more than 50 channels are not officially supported and can have a high impact on system performance.

icon-i-roundWhen running PRTG on a VM, do not use dynamic resource allocation, but make sure that full resources are available to the VM at any time. In our experience, dynamic resource allocation does not work efficiently for a monitoring software and can lead to massive performance issues. Do not distribute CPU cores among different CPU sockets in your VM configuration. Scheduling threads does not work properly in this case, which results in performance issues.

icon-book-bulbFor more details, see the Knowledge Base: I run PRTG on VMware. How can I obtain best performance?

Running PRTG in a Failover Cluster

We recommend a single failover setup if you need fail-safe monitoring. This consists of two PRTG core servers that each work as a cluster node.

In a PRTG failover cluster, the monitoring load doubles with each cluster node, so the performance of each additional cluster node is halved. Therefore, in a single failover cluster, divide our recommended numbers from earlier in the section in half.

icon-prtg-on-demandThis feature is not available in PRTG hosted by Paessler.

Web Browser Requirements

The following browsers are officially supported by the PRTG web interface (in order of performance and reliability):

  • Google Chrome 72
  • Mozilla Firefox 65
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 11

For security and performance reasons, we strongly recommend that you always use the latest version of Google Chrome to access the PRTG web interface.

icon-i-round-redFirefox is potentially vulnerable to cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks. These XSS exploits are possible if you click, for example, phishing links in emails that contain malicious code, and you are currently logged in to PRTG with Firefox. For more information, see the Knowledge Base: How secure is it to access the PRTG web interface with Firefox?

icon-i-roundMicrosoft Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge, as well as other current browsers that are not officially supported, have issues with some functionalities of the PRTG web interface. However, you can access the web interface with any browser.

icon-i-roundDeprecated Internet Explorer versions as well as some mobile browsers might not be able to display the fully featured PRTG web interface.

icon-i-roundPlugins may have an effect when viewing the PRTG web interface. Make sure to add exceptions for PRTG in the plugins' settings, especially when using ad blockers. For more information, see the Knowledge Base: The logs page in the PRTG web interface does not load. What can I do?

Screen Resolution

A screen resolution of at least 1024x768 pixels is sufficient for most functions of PRTG. However, we recommend a screen resolution of 1200x800 or higher.

Requirements for Monitored Devices

Requirements for monitored devices

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) monitoring

The monitored devices must be equipped with SNMP v1, v2c, or v3 (an SNMP-compatible software must be installed on the device). SNMP must be enabled on the device and the machine running PRTG must be granted access to the SNMP interface.

icon-book-arrowsFor details, see section Monitoring via SNMP.

Windows/WMI monitoring

To use WMI monitoring, you need a Windows network. For client PCs monitored with WMI, only the specified operating systems are officially supported, but do not use Windows Server 2008 for WMI monitoring (strong performance issues).

icon-book-arrowsFor details, see section Monitoring via WMI.

xFlow monitoring

The device must be configured to send NetFlow data packets (NetFlow version 5, 9, or IPFIX) or sFlow packets (version 5) to the machine running the PRTG probe.

icon-book-arrowsFor details, see section Monitoring Bandwidth via Flows.

Packet Sniffer monitoring

Only data packets passing the local machine's network card can be analyzed. Switches with monitoring ports are necessary for network-wide monitoring in switched networks.

icon-book-arrowsFor details, see section Monitoring Bandwidth via Packet Sniffing.

Other sensor types

Depending on the specific sensor, you can find requirements (for example, modules, components, device configurations) that may have to be fulfilled in the corresponding section, as well as when adding the sensor to a device.

Requirements for Smartphones and Tablets

PRTG supports optional mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.

icon-book-arrowsFor more information and system requirements, see section PRTG Apps for Mobile Network Monitoring.

More

PRTG Manual:

Knowledge Base: How can I speed up PRTG—especially for large installations?

Knowledge Base: My WMI sensors don't work. What can I do?

Knowledge Base: Frequent Questions about xFlow (NetFlow, sFlow), Packet Sniffing, Traffic Monitoring and Cisco

Knowledge Base: How can I increase the connection limit on VMware systems? PE121

Knowledge Base: My SNMP sensors don't work. What can I do?

Knowledge Base: I run PRTG on VMware. How can I obtain best performance?

Knowledge Base: Which ports does PRTG use on my system?

Knowledge Base: Which .NET version does PRTG require?

Knowledge Base: How secure is it to access the PRTG web interface with Firefox?

Knowledge Base: Why should I disable the FIPS mode under Windows?

Knowledge Base: My HTTP sensors don't work. What can I do?

Paessler Website: System Requirements for PRTG - Recommended setup for most PRTG users

 

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