I would like to know more about Mini Probes. Do you provide application examples of the PRTG Mini Probe interface? Are there Mini Probe implementations that I can instantly use and I just need to download?
This article applies to PRTG Network Monitor 14.x.10 or later
The PRTG Mini Probe Interface
Probes are the part of PRTG that run monitoring processes and deliver monitoring data back to the PRTG core server. The standard probes in PRTG are Local Probes and Remote Probes but you can create these “big” probes only on Windows systems. The PRTG Mini Probe API (Application Programming Interface) enables you to add probes to any device, running on any operating system. This makes it possible to fulfill specific monitoring needs.
The following Mini Probes are available for free and ready to use:
Note: We do not further develop the currently available Mini Probe API because we plan major changes to the underlying API in PRTG. You can still use the Mini Probe API, for example, if the available HTTP push sensors are not sufficient for your needs.
Agentless vs Agent-Based Monitoring
The focus of PRTG is to monitor systems agentless. This means that you do not need to install any software on the particular target systems. PRTG “big” probes connect to remote systems using, for example, SSH, WMI, or SNMP to retrieve data. This is the preferred monitoring method because this does not require any maintenance on behalf of you, the PRTG user.
However, there are situations where it can be a good idea to do it the other way around: You install a small software on the remote system which connects to the PRTG server to deliver the monitoring results.
Agent-Based Monitoring Options
PRTG offers two options for the agent-based monitoring approach:
- HTTP Push Data sensors:
- A program, for example, a script, cron job, or service on the remote system sends one value per request to a PRTG sensor using HTTP or HTTPS (this function is referred to as webhook). Currently, PRTG provides three sensor types for this purpose: HTTP Push Count sensor, HTTP Push Data sensor, HTTP Push Data Advanced sensor
- The PRTG Mini Probe API that uses the following monitoring approach:
- It is a small application running on the remote system,
- connects to the PRTG core server using HTTPS,
- announces the sensor types it can monitor,
- gets configuration from the server (i.e., the monitored sensors),
- schedules and runs the sensors by itself,
- and delivers the sensor results back to the core server.
After you have connected a Mini Probe to the PRTG core server, you can use it in the PRTG user interface like common “big” probes, i.e., add sensors, review monitoring data, and perform other monitoring tasks. Mini Probes have just a smaller set of sensors, depending on what types you implement.
The Mini Probe API is publicly available, so you can create your own probes and corresponding sensors for any application scenario. This enables you to gather monitoring data from systems that do not run the supported Windows versions. See the Mini Probe API documentation in your PRTG web interface. You can also access it via the public demo installation of PRTG.
However, you do not have to start from the scratch. You can simply extend our open source code for sample Mini Probe usages and add your own sensor types. See below for a list of Mini Probe applications that you can download for free.
PRTG Mini Probe: Proof-of-Concept
- Python Mini Probe (open source): The Python Mini Probe runs monitoring processes on Debian based systems (e.g., Linux, Raspbian). For details, see the following article:
- JMX Mini Probe (open source): The JMX Mini Probe can run on any Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to monitor your Java applications. For details, see the following article:
- PRTG Mobile Probe for Android: The PRTG Mobile Probe for Android monitors your network from the mobile point of view. For details, please see the following article:
If you implement your own Mini Probe and want to share your work with other PRTG users, feel free to publish it in our Knowledge Base or contact us directly!
Note: Articles about Mini Probes are provided for your information only. All steps described in the respective Mini Probe articles have been tested carefully. However, we cannot offer deep technical support for customizing the proofs of concept nor for writing your own mini probes.