<%NUMBERING1%>.<%NUMBERING2%>.<%NUMBERING3%> PRTG Manual: Architecture and User Interfaces

PRTG Network Monitor consists of different parts which can be divided into three main categories: System parts, control interfaces, and a basic administration interface.


Part of PRTG

System Parts

Core Server
This is the central part of a PRTG installation and includes data storage, web server, report engine, a notification system, and more. The core server is configured is Windows service which run permanently.

The part of PRTG on which the actual monitoring is performed. There are local probes, remote probes, and cluster probes available. All monitoring data is forwarded to the central core server. Probes are configured as Windows services which run permanently.

A special kind of probes are the mini probes. Please see the Application Programming Interface (API) Definition for details.

User Interfaces

Ajax Web Interface
The Ajax-based web interface is used for configuration of devices and sensors, as well as the review of monitoring results. Also system administration and user management are configured here.

Enterprise Console
A native Windows application (former Windows GUI) as alternative to the web interface to manage your monitoring. With the Enterprise Console, you can connect to different independent PRTG core server installations and review their data at a glance!

Mobile Web GUI
A read-only interface optimized for mobile access to your PRTG installation. View latest states, tables, and graphs. Using jQuery Mobile, this interface is compatible with almost all mobile devices available on the market, as well as with older and unsupported browser versions.

Smart Phone Apps
Monitor your network on the go with PRTG and apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry devices.

System Administration Program

PRTG Administration Tool on Core Server System
Used to configure basic core server settings, such as administrator login, web server IPs and port, probe connection settings, cluster mode, system language, and more.

PRTG Administration Tool on Remote Probe System
Used to configure basic probe settings such as name of the probe, IP and server connection settings, and more.

Core Server

The core server is the heart of your PRTG system and performs the following processes:

  • Configuration management for object monitoring
  • Management and configuration of the connected probes
  • Cluster management
  • Database for monitoring results
  • Notification management including a mail server for email delivery
  • Report generator and scheduler
  • User account management
  • Data purging (culling data that is older than 365 days, for example)
  • Web server and API server

In a cluster, the current master node is responsible for all of these tasks.

The built-in, fast, and secure web server (no additional IIS or Apache is required) supports HTTP as well as secure HTTPS (via SSL). It serves the web interface when accessed with a browser and also answers PRTG Application Programming Interface (API) calls (for example, for user scripts or the Enterprise Console).

Note: Core server and probe(s) are configured as Windows services which are permanently run by the Windows system without the requirement for a logged-in user.


On a probe, PRTG performs the actual monitoring with the sensors created on a device (for example, computer, router, server, firewall, etc.). The probe receives its configuration from the core server, runs the monitoring processes, and delivers monitoring results back to the core server. On every system running a PRTG core server, there is always a local probe running with it on the same machine.

PRTG Core Server and Local Probe Monitoring a Local Area Network

PRTG Core Server and Local Probe Monitoring a Local Area Network

The actual monitoring is performed by PRTG probe processes which run on one or more computers. During installation, the system automatically creates the so-called Local Probe. In a single-probe installation—which is the default setup—the local probe performs all monitoring.

The PRTG core server inside the corporate LAN (bottom right in the figure above) is able to monitor services and servers in the entire Local Area Network (LAN). Note: Core server and probe(s) are configured as Windows services which are permanently run by the Windows system without the requirement for a logged-in user.

In a cluster setup, a cluster probe runs on all nodes. There is an additional so-called Cluster Probe. All devices created on it are monitored by all nodes in the cluster, so data from different perspectives is available and monitoring for these devices always continues, also if one of the nodes fails.

PRTG automatically monitors system health of its own core server and of each probe to discover overloading situations that may distort monitoring results. To monitor the system status of the probe computer, PRTG automatically creates a few sensors. These include Core and Probe Health, System Health, Cluster Probe Health, Disk Free, and a bandwidth sensor for all installed network cards. We recommend keeping these sensors, but you can optionally remove all except the Health sensors. They measure various internal system parameters of the probe system hardware and the probe's internal processes and then computes a resulting value. Frequent or repeated values below 100% should be investigated. Please check the channels of a particular sensor for details.

Additional so-called Remote Probes can be created by the user in order to achieve monitoring of multiple locations, or for several other scenarios. They are using SSL-secured connections to the core and allow to securely monitor services and systems inside remote networks which are not openly accessible or secured by firewalls. For more information, please see Remote Probes and Multiple Probes section. For a video on this please see More section below.

PRTG Mini Probes allow you to create small probes on any device (not just on Windows systems). You can implement mini probes to gather monitoring data exactly like you need it and create them on any platform. For more information, see the Mini Probe API definition in the PRTG web interface.


Video Tutorial: There is a video available on the Paessler video tutorials page.




Understanding Basic Concepts—Topics

Keywords: Architecture,Architecture Basic Concept