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Can I set a sensor to run at a specific time?

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I am trying to run a sensor test at 08:00 every 24 hours only to get the result of a specific query to a database table. I know the query works fine, but I just want to be able to run the query at a specific time of the day.

prtg run-time scanning-interval sensor syntax time

Created on Apr 13, 2010 12:27:10 AM by  John Kerr (55) 1 1

Last change on May 11, 2015 1:27:03 PM by  Martina Wittmann [Paessler Support]



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This article applies to PRTG Network Monitor 19 and later

How to Set Specific Points in Time as a Scanning Time for Sensors

Sensors retrieve monitoring data in defined time spans called scanning intervals. PRTG comes with predefined scanning intervals that you can choose in the sensor settings, and you can also set individual periods of time for sensor scans. For example, you can run a sensor every 30 seconds (30s), 15 minutes (15m), 12 hours (12h), and 24 hours (1d) by default. You can individually define other scanning intervals like 20 minutes (20m), 2 hours (2h), and so on. For more information, see System Administration—Monitoring.

However, sometimes it can be convenient to run a sensor at certain points in time only. For example, you might use an SQL sensor, and want it to monitor your database only once a day at a given time, or you might use an IMAP sensor to check your emails for successful backup messages that are delivered once a day at a particular time. This is possible with PRTG. Define when you want a sensor to scan your network, and follow these steps:

  1. Go to Setup | System Administration | Monitoring in the PRTG web interface.
  2. Go to Scanning Intervals. Here you can enter the scanning intervals as well as the points in time you want your network to be checked. Please use the following syntax, and write each time definition in a new line:
    For one point in time: @ UTC hh:mm For more points in time, write in one line: @ UTC hh:mm, hh:mm @ UTC hh:mm, hh:mm, hh:mm @ UTC hh:mm, hh:mm, hh:mm, hh:mm

Note: Please define concrete points in time because wildcards are not possible here. PRTG supports up to 50 points in time.

Examples:

  • Enter @ UTC 08:00 when you want a sensor to scan every day at 8:00 AM. For an everyday scan at 8:00 PM, enter @ UTC 20:00 respectively.
  • For more points in time at one go, enter @ UTC 09:05, 09:25 if you want to scan at 09:05 AM, and 09:25 AM every day. For three scans a day at 01:55 PM, 02:00 PM, and 02:05 PM, enter @ UTC 13:55, 14:00, 14:05. For scans at midnight, 06:00 AM, 12:00 AM, and 06:00 PM, enter @ UTC 00:00, 06:00, 12:00, 18:00.

Note: Usually, sensor scans are executed at exactly the time you define here. If you encounter frequent divergences, your system might be overloaded. Please keep in mind to set different points in time if you have many sensors that together create a lot of workload.


Note: The points in time for sensor scans are always based on the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Your local time may be different from the UTC! The PRTG web interface and PRTG reports use your local time.


Visualization

If you set @ UTC points in time to define a scanning interval for a sensor, the live graph will always regard your data as 24 h interval data (corresponding to the every 24 h interval), although you might have defined more than 1 scanning time per day. This means that in a default 120 values live graph, you will see a horizontal axis covering a time span of 120 days, at least at the beginning of your measurements. With your historic data base growing bigger, the horizontal axis will adapt if you set your sensor to scan more often than once a day.

For more information on live graphs, see the PRTG Manual: System Administration—User Interface, section Graph Settings.

Created on May 11, 2015 4:14:33 PM by  Martina Wittmann [Paessler Support]

Last change on Jul 25, 2019 8:46:35 AM by  Maike Behnsen [Paessler Support]



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This is not possible at the moment, but we might make that available in the next version.

For now, you can set the sensor's scanning interval to 24 hours, but you cannot specify at which time of the day it will be run.

Created on Apr 13, 2010 5:01:32 AM by  Aurelio Lombardi [Paessler Support]

Last change on Apr 13, 2010 7:46:19 AM by  Daniel Zobel [Paessler Support]



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Another solution is to create a sensor that runs with an interval of one hour and limit the time that the sensor actually runs by using a schedule that allows only one specific hour.

Created on Apr 13, 2010 10:53:40 AM by  Dirk Paessler [Founder Paessler AG] (10,880) 3 4



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UP! Please consider giving this opportunity to sensor schedule. Will be really appreciated.

Created on May 6, 2013 1:30:41 PM by  dpistollato (0)



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Bump because this is something that would add a lot of depth to PRTG and is 100% a requirement for us.

we are trying to scan staff workstations now obviously these aren't on 24h a day and are turned on at 9am and turned on at 5pm when staff leave.

thanks

Created on Jul 12, 2013 8:48:26 AM by  Ashley Nicholas (50) 1 1



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Is there any update from PRTG? thanks Ash

Created on Aug 1, 2013 9:13:43 AM by  Ashley Nicholas (50) 1 1



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This still has not been changed with the software but the solution from Dirk above can accommodate this necessity if it is only a work around.

Created on Aug 1, 2013 2:55:38 PM by  Greg Campion [Paessler Support]



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I'd also like to vote for this feature, as it's lack currently forces us to implement half-working solutions using external scheduling via the HTTP API. The solution provided by Dirk is insufficient for us as the schedule causes the sensor to pause and only show the state "paused" instead of the state seen by the last scan, thus breaking the overview.

Is this feature still in cosideration?

Created on Oct 23, 2014 7:18:13 AM by  ages (1,007) 5 1



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We're taking a second look at this in 2015. But I cannot promise anything, I'm sorry.

Created on Oct 27, 2014 10:30:45 AM by  Daniel Zobel [Paessler Support]



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As 2015 has arrived, have you had the chance to take a second look yet? This really is a feature urgently needed.

Created on Jan 30, 2015 11:49:44 AM by  ages (1,007) 5 1



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Please bear with us a little longer. I expect such a feature to be released in the PRTG Canary release channel in the next months. Please watch this article for further information.

Created on Feb 6, 2015 8:05:33 AM by  Daniel Zobel [Paessler Support]



Accepted Answer

Votes:

5

Your Vote:

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This article applies to PRTG Network Monitor 19 and later

How to Set Specific Points in Time as a Scanning Time for Sensors

Sensors retrieve monitoring data in defined time spans called scanning intervals. PRTG comes with predefined scanning intervals that you can choose in the sensor settings, and you can also set individual periods of time for sensor scans. For example, you can run a sensor every 30 seconds (30s), 15 minutes (15m), 12 hours (12h), and 24 hours (1d) by default. You can individually define other scanning intervals like 20 minutes (20m), 2 hours (2h), and so on. For more information, see System Administration—Monitoring.

However, sometimes it can be convenient to run a sensor at certain points in time only. For example, you might use an SQL sensor, and want it to monitor your database only once a day at a given time, or you might use an IMAP sensor to check your emails for successful backup messages that are delivered once a day at a particular time. This is possible with PRTG. Define when you want a sensor to scan your network, and follow these steps:

  1. Go to Setup | System Administration | Monitoring in the PRTG web interface.
  2. Go to Scanning Intervals. Here you can enter the scanning intervals as well as the points in time you want your network to be checked. Please use the following syntax, and write each time definition in a new line:
    For one point in time: @ UTC hh:mm For more points in time, write in one line: @ UTC hh:mm, hh:mm @ UTC hh:mm, hh:mm, hh:mm @ UTC hh:mm, hh:mm, hh:mm, hh:mm

Note: Please define concrete points in time because wildcards are not possible here. PRTG supports up to 50 points in time.

Examples:

  • Enter @ UTC 08:00 when you want a sensor to scan every day at 8:00 AM. For an everyday scan at 8:00 PM, enter @ UTC 20:00 respectively.
  • For more points in time at one go, enter @ UTC 09:05, 09:25 if you want to scan at 09:05 AM, and 09:25 AM every day. For three scans a day at 01:55 PM, 02:00 PM, and 02:05 PM, enter @ UTC 13:55, 14:00, 14:05. For scans at midnight, 06:00 AM, 12:00 AM, and 06:00 PM, enter @ UTC 00:00, 06:00, 12:00, 18:00.

Note: Usually, sensor scans are executed at exactly the time you define here. If you encounter frequent divergences, your system might be overloaded. Please keep in mind to set different points in time if you have many sensors that together create a lot of workload.


Note: The points in time for sensor scans are always based on the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Your local time may be different from the UTC! The PRTG web interface and PRTG reports use your local time.


Visualization

If you set @ UTC points in time to define a scanning interval for a sensor, the live graph will always regard your data as 24 h interval data (corresponding to the every 24 h interval), although you might have defined more than 1 scanning time per day. This means that in a default 120 values live graph, you will see a horizontal axis covering a time span of 120 days, at least at the beginning of your measurements. With your historic data base growing bigger, the horizontal axis will adapt if you set your sensor to scan more often than once a day.

For more information on live graphs, see the PRTG Manual: System Administration—User Interface, section Graph Settings.

Created on May 11, 2015 4:14:33 PM by  Martina Wittmann [Paessler Support]

Last change on Jul 25, 2019 8:46:35 AM by  Maike Behnsen [Paessler Support]



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Love this feature.

what about weekday like in Schedules

@ ww:hh:mm

Created on Sep 2, 2015 11:08:35 AM by  FrankDS (0)



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Hi Frank,

We are still collecting some customer feedback, the more people requesting this feature, the higher the chance that it will be developed.

Best regards, Felix

Created on Sep 8, 2015 5:11:41 AM by  Felix Saure [Paessler Support]



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I have a bunch of VPN tunnel that are up just about 1 hour every day at specific points in time. How can I set the vpn traffic sensor to be active at that time and able to go red only within that time interval, and the rest of the day for it to be paused or some state that cannot give alarms ?

Created on Apr 24, 2017 12:26:26 PM by  silavric (0) 1



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Thanks for your return.

This tip isn't in the popup help when you pass the mouse in the scanning intervals area.

It would be great to add it!

Best regards

Created on Apr 24, 2017 2:39:48 PM by  FVE (81) 1



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@silvaric You should use a combination of schedules and custom scanning intervals. For example, if your VPN should be checked four times between 3pm and 4pm, you'll use the following:

Timeslot: @UTC 3:00,3:15,3:30,3:45,3:59

Schedule:


This will pause the sensor outside of those times, i.e. from 4pm to 3pm and you won't receive any notifications then. Remember that the schedule uses the timezone of the server whilst the timeslots use UTC, so you need to fiddle a bit with the times.

@FVE That's a good idea, I'll bring it up to our documentation team :)

Created on Apr 25, 2017 8:41:17 AM by  Stephan Linke [Paessler Support]



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As I live in the US, my time relative to UTC can change based on the day of the year.

If I want a sensor to run at midnight, how should I best account for Daylight Savings differences in relation to UTC?

Created on Dec 21, 2017 8:40:10 PM by  whobutdrew (50) 1 1



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Hi there,

There are only two possibilities in this case. Either you leave it on UTC 0 and it will run on midnight the first half of the year and 1 AM on the other half or you change the scanning interval settings once a year to UTC 0 and +/-1 UTC.

Best regards.

Created on Dec 25, 2017 7:34:31 AM by  Dariusz Gorka [Paessler Support]



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This is not working for my sensors. I have followed the instructions, but the sensor doesn't run at the specified time. Thanks.

Created on Apr 27, 2018 3:48:18 PM by  cnelsen (0) 1



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Hi there,

Please note that they run in UTC, you might be located in a different timezone.

Best regards.

Created on Apr 30, 2018 7:09:37 AM by  Dariusz Gorka [Paessler Support]

Last change on Apr 30, 2018 7:09:51 AM by  Dariusz Gorka [Paessler Support]



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Is it possible to do this with your hosted PRTG (my-prtg.com)? I do not see the "Scanning Intervals" section on the Monitoring page.

Created on Jun 27, 2018 5:44:05 PM by  Noah Sutherland (2) 1



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Hi there,

I am afraid that is not possible. The reason is to avoid false configurations which can lead to an overloaded PRTG installation.

Best regards.

Created on Jun 27, 2018 6:00:15 PM by  Dariusz Gorka [Paessler Support]



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Here's another vote for being able to set a time based on your own timezone. I need to check an email arrives in a mailbox once a day. Currently I have to modify my sensor each time daylight savings occurs to ensure the scan runs at the right time. Schedules would have been perfect here but I don't want it to pause as then it won't appear on our dashboard if the email doesn't come in

Created on Sep 4, 2018 5:56:26 AM by  Mogz (0) 2



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Disclaimer: The information in the Paessler Knowledge Base comes without warranty of any kind. Use at your own risk. Before applying any instructions please exercise proper system administrator housekeeping. You must make sure that a proper backup of all your data is available.