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The term "down"

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Hi,

I am a long-time Nagios guy, now working with PRTG. I like it a lot with a few exceptions. I am user to error states being Warning and Critical in almost all monitoring systems. I cannot stand the use of the term "down" for all sensors in PRTG. If I have a file system fill, it isn't down, it's in a critical state. If a printer is low on toner, it's not down!. Does this bother anyone else? And users who get notifications don't like seeing the word "down" either. If there were a way to change this one word, I'd like PRTG a lot more.

down prtg states

Created on May 21, 2014 12:51:54 PM by  Kyle Tucker (70) 1 1



17 Replies

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Hello,

thank you very much for your KB-Post. We would recommend to change the settings on these sensors (where possible), to have this situations represented by sensors in warning state, rather than Down. We don't really add another state between Down and Warning, so if something is not 'Down' for a user, 'Warning' should be the alternate state.

best regards.

Created on May 22, 2014 11:15:25 AM by  Torsten Lindner [Paessler Support]



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Hello - I am testing PRTG for a 5,000+ sensor deployment with one of my clients. Like the poster above, I really like the product, but the term 'DOWN' is simply wrong for the majority of conditions reported as 'DOWN'. For a ping sensor, the term 'DOWN' is OK, but for anything else it is misleading and confusing.

I have demonstrated PRTG to my client, and they hate that sensors show 'DOWN' instead of 'CRITICAL'. All other monitoring systems I sell into clients use terms such as CRITICAL/WARNING/OK rather than DOWN/WARNING/UP.

DOWN MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL!! :) A filesystem is not DOWN when it's 90% full. A printer is not DOWN if it's toner is low. A server is not DOWN if it's memory usage is 90%. The solution you gave above to only use WARNING state is no solution at all. We absoultely need the three states, it's just that PRTG terminology for the states is wrong!

Please, please, please give us the option to set these statuses to something different, or at least let us send a custom status in Notifications, e.g. give the option to translate DOWN to CRITICAL in a notification message.

If I can use CRITICAL/WARNING/OK instead of DOWN/WARNING/UP then my client will buy PRTG....otherwise they will likely go Nagios or Zabbix.

thanks, DMA Consultants

Created on Jul 2, 2015 11:23:33 AM by  dma (0) 1



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Hello, Please bear in mind, the term 'Down' is our wording and foremost refers to sensors themselves being in an error or down state, because a certain value is reached, or no value can be obtained at all. Transferring this meaning 1:1 to the target may not be appropriate in all cases.
You can instead of course work with Warning limits and avoid error (down) limits if the wording does not really suit you there. We do not plan to rename the 'Down'-state, nor are there plans to introduce customizable state names. Sorry.

Created on Jul 2, 2015 11:39:21 AM by  Torsten Lindner [Paessler Support]



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Yes, I understand the term 'DOWN' refers to the sensor - but this still makes no sense at all!

The sensor is not DOWN! It is fully working and 'sensing' the object it is monitoring!

'ERROR' would be acceptable wording, but 'DOWN' is just crazy....neither the sensor nor the object being monitored are 'DOWN', but you think the best word to use is 'DOWN' ??!!??

If we just work with WARNING limits then we only get two possible states per monitored object (WARNING/UP) which is severely limiting. By the way, UP doesn't make a lot of sense either....OK would be much better!

Please explain to your customers (and potential customers) how 'DOWN' is in any way logical or sensible?!

Created on Jul 2, 2015 12:14:05 PM by  dma (0) 1



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"Down" is the word we chose for the state next to error. In our opinion, doing this for almost 20 years now, 'down' is a as good a word as any other. And as you can see in this thread, the complaints or issues with the word itself are very low.

Created on Jul 2, 2015 12:33:14 PM by  Torsten Lindner [Paessler Support]



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Beside price and difficulty to customize PRTG, the term DOWN and your being so inflexible about it are why we are currently phasing out PRTG for Nagios XI. Maybe it's a language gap, but DOWN is not the state of the majority of our alerts.

Created on Jul 2, 2015 12:38:38 PM by  Kyle Tucker (70) 1 1



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So you've spent 20 years thinking 'DOWN' is a good word to describe sensors/systems which are in fact UP...seems crazy to me.

Also, why can't we set a state trigger for 'UP' notifications? I could work round your silly 'DOWN' naming then by having my own notifications for each state....

It's a real shame, I like so many things about this product, but it has some really quirky limitations.

Created on Jul 2, 2015 3:05:33 PM by  dma (0) 1



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It doesn't seem silly or crazy to us, nor many other users apparently, but of course we do not have to agree on this.
If you want to 'replace' the word 'Down' with 'Critical' or anything else of your choice, you can do so by editing the language file of PRTG. Bear in mind though, when sensors are set into 'Down' (or you word-of choice) - State because of limits, this will still be accounted as 'Downtime'. This mechanic cannot be changed by editing the language file.

Created on Jul 3, 2015 7:04:07 AM by  Torsten Lindner [Paessler Support]



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Think of it from this perspective.....for the PRTG system owner or IT administrator, this isn't a problem....they can easily remember what 'DOWN' means in PRTG world, and how to treat these alerts.

Now think about the business user, senior manager, or an IT person who receives only infrequent, selected alerts from PRTG. They will be confused by the term DOWN which doesn't really mean DOWN. The IT team will get phone calls asking if a critical system is DOWN, when in fact it has low memory or some other condition.

Thank you for pointing out the translation option....I will look at this, but it seems a shame to have to hack the product in this way to have custom notifications (which will anyway still show words like 'Downtime' for conditions such as low memory).

By the way, I'm not trying to be difficult here - I'm just making you aware of how your product is being perceived by a (prestigious) potential client.

Created on Jul 3, 2015 9:00:40 AM by  dma (0) 1



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Please consider the possibility that we did and do think of 'management personnel' as well, and again, have had very few complaints there.
We appreciate the feedback, but I think we can conclude this with, that we don't have to agree on everything.

Created on Jul 3, 2015 9:21:06 AM by  Torsten Lindner [Paessler Support]



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OK, well I am giving you real world feedback from the very managers you're talking about. You can disagree with us all if you like, but it might be more productive to add some simple features for customising notifications. Or, if we could just have a state trigger for the 'UP' state the entire issue would be solved as we could have a fully customised notification message (using the existing customisation features) for all sensor states.

Please consider this...

Created on Jul 3, 2015 10:05:34 AM by  dma (0) 1



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Well, let's see if other users agree with you here.

Created on Jul 3, 2015 11:01:28 AM by  Torsten Lindner [Paessler Support]



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Regardless of who happens to see this forum post and makes the effort to comment on it, can you let me know if there is any chance of you implementing a state trigger for 'UP' notifications?

or is this just too complex?

Created on Jul 3, 2015 11:21:14 AM by  dma (0) 1



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Hi - I just tried changing the language file - this seems to work OK, I now have all sensors showing 'CRITICAL' instead of 'DOWN' - notifications too!

I think this will be good enough :)

Created on Jul 3, 2015 12:49:04 PM by  dma (0) 1



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Unfortunately, as you pointed out, there is just too much use of word 'Downtime' in many areas of the system, which makes it even more confusing if we use 'Critical' instead of 'Down' via translation file.

I guess we have to stick with 'Down'. :(

I have showed PRTG to over 25 people at my client office now - every single person has asked why sensors show 'Down' for things that are not down. I then have to explain the concept of 'Down' referring to the sensor state (which may or may not actually be down!), which they all understand, but nobody really likes it...

I'm going to be discussing PRTG at a London IT pro forum in a few weeks time, I will see what feedback I get there.

Created on Jul 11, 2015 12:59:51 PM by  dma (0) 1



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Did you receive feedback on this at your forum?

Created on Nov 13, 2015 6:21:37 PM by  Kyle Tucker (70) 1 1



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I realize this is an old post, but I agree 100%. The term "down" is misused.

Created on Sep 7, 2017 12:59:39 PM by  pseudoyams (0)



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