At the recommendation of a client in 2010, Clair Global’s network architect Ben Harris downloaded Paessler’s free 100-sensor version of its PRTG Network Monitor software to monitor RealTime media networks events to provide peace of mind to their clients that the AV was running properly during events. When he moved into a larger networking role within the company, he said that Paessler’s PRTG Network Monitor was the clear choice from the price point and feature perspectives. “The interface is straightforward; the usability and price are great; and the flexibility to deploy custom plugins sold it for us. We haven’t looked back since.” When they could not find a company to help them deploy an enterprise-level temporary audio distribution network for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Clair Global decided to build it themselves and selected PRTG to monitor it. This kickstarted a new revenue stream for the company and a new department that specializes in rapidly deployable, portable and high-density IT networks to support concert tours, music festivals and sporting events – all monitored by PRTG. Now, several years later, Clair Global has significantly expanded its use of PRTG to benefit its clients.
MikroTik provides routing, switching and wireless equipment for all possible uses – from the customer location up to high-end data centers. Back in 1997, MikroTik developed a RouterOS software system that provides extensive stability, controls, and flexibility for all kinds of data interfaces and routing. Five years later, MikroTik created their own hardware called RouterBoard which today in combination with RouterOS supports all the necessary features for an ISP - routing, firewall, bandwidth management, wireless access point, backhaul link, hotspot gateway, VPN server, and more. Their products are not only used by ISPs, but also by individual users and companies for building data network infrastructures all around the world.
With our recent focus on industrial IT, we've previously written about how PRTG and INSYS icom smart edge gateways can be used together. Now we want to go more into detail about a potential use case for getting data from the factory floor to PRTG using an INSYS icom gateway and Node-RED. But first, it makes sense to take a look at the INSYS part of the equation, which is what I'm going to do in this article. In a future post, I will take a look at how to get data into PRTG, so make sure you subscribe to our blog!
It is increasingly obvious that online meetings on Zoom, Teams, et al. will be a permanent part of our business lives in the future – remote work is becoming a daily habit for many of us. We usually hold meetings and video calls to convey a message, and we can improve the effectiveness of this message with a good Zoom appearance. Well, you can as long as you are not one of those receiving/consuming parties in video conferences who turn off the camera most of the time...
The production environment continues to prepare for the digital, more efficient future and in the sector this is very often paraphrased with the initially cryptic, but ultimately meaningful terms greenfield and brownfield. While a greenfield industrial plant is built "on a greenfield site", completely new and according to specific ideas, brownfield installations are those in which an existing plant is modernized. This article is part 2/2 of a short series on the topic of retrofitting. Here you can read part 1/2.
It was at the end of October when we released our PRTG Network Monitor Release 20.4.63 as a stable release. Some of you are probably already working with the latest version, all others can't wait to click on "update" after this article. :) But first things first.
In my last article I introduced the new OPC UA sensors in PRTG Network Monitor. Today I would like to introduce the new Modbus TCP Custom sensor, which has also been available since version 20.4.63. Compared to others, Modbus TCP is one of the most established protocols to enable communication between industrial machines and devices.
The digitization or digitalization of established industrial processes can be called by numerous fancy names, the most common one being "Industry 4.0". This name is so appealing to many due to its idea of continuity. The first industrial revolution was mechanization by means of water and steam power. The second one was characterized by mass production using assembly lines and electrical energy. And the third one (digital revolution) was the use of electronics and IT to automate production. It is often true that the fancier the name, the more half-baked or too theoretical the idea is. This is really not the case with Industry 4.0. But if you want to get even basic information on this topic for the first time from the Internet, you have to dig deep into the dense buzzword jungle to find reliable details. Hence the idea for this article. My suggestion: You read this article, and I spare you buzzword terms like Fourth Industrial Revolution, IIoT, M2M, or whatever. Deal?
Since version 20.4.63, PRTG Network Monitor includes 2 new sensors, the OPC UA Server Status sensor and the OPC UA Custom sensor. These two sensors allow you to monitor OPC UA servers as well as individual values of up to 5 nodes.
In the world of industrial IT, there have traditionally been two kinds of monitoring solutions: those for monitoring the IT aspects, and those for monitoring the Operational Technology (OT) aspects. But convergence in industrial IT — which is bringing IT and OT together — requires a more unified view. And it's this unified view that PRTG Network Monitor can provide with new capabilities for monitoring OT. PRTG is the perfect holistic monitoring system for your plant due to its powerful IT monitoring, support for several common industrial protocols, and a license that does not limit you regarding the number of users (PRTG is licensed by the number of sensors, or "data collectors" you need). Watch the video below and read on for a detailed look at just how PRTG is a good fit for industrial IT environments.
When critical incidents happen in IT or production, every minute counts. PRTG already helps you to monitor your systems and to detect issues. However, workers are not able to sit in front of a dashboard all the time. An email alert easily gets lost in the sea of other emails. An SMS message might not be loud enough to wake somebody up at night.
I guess the following article might be interesting for some of you with a larger PRTG installation. Up until recently (i.e. until August 2020), we at Paessler had provided support for installing PRTG on a VM with up to a maximum of 5,000 sensors or, more precisely, a sensor range of 2,500-5,000 sensors. In practice, this corresponds to an average of about 500 monitored devices and is still supported as per our PRTG system requirements.
One of the biggest challenges with monitoring enterprise IT — which we define as environments with over 1.000 devices — is getting a unified overview. In such large environments, you almost certainly have several monitoring servers collecting data from different parts of your infrastructure. This leads to all kinds of problems, such as alert noise or multiple monitoring tools; but the biggest issue is that it causes you to lose sight of the overview. When this happens, you can't gauge the health of your entire infrastructure at a glance anymore. But how do you bring data from multitudes of devices and sources in different locations into one centralized overview?
The production environment continues to prepare for a digital, more efficient future. In this sector, digitization or digitalization are often paraphrased with the somewhat cryptic, but ultimately meaningful terms greenfield and brownfield. While a greenfield industrial plant is built on a "greenfield site", completely new and according to specific ideas, a brownfield scenario is one where an existing plant is being digitally modernized. It is obvious that brownfield (or retrofitting - the two terms are often used interchangeably) is the much more attractive choice for most existing plants. This article is part 1/2 of a short series on the topic of retrofitting.
Back in the mists of time (March 2019), I wrote a blog post describing how a REST Custom sensor can be used to read energy consumption data from a Sonoff POW2 smart switch. One of the cool features provided by the Tasmota custom firmware used in that project is support for the MQTT protocol.