<%NUMBERING1%>.<%NUMBERING2%>.<%NUMBERING3%> PRTG Manual: PerfCounter Custom Sensor

The PerfCounter Custom sensor monitors a configured set of Windows Performance Counters. You can define your own channels. There are no predefined channels available for this sensor type.

The sensor can show the following:

  • Windows Performance Counters tailored to your needs

icon-book-bulbTo find available performance counters and their names on the target system, see the Knowledge Base: How can I find out the names of available Performance Counters?

Which channels the sensor actually shows might depend on the monitored device and the sensor setup.

PerfCounter Custom Sensor

PerfCounter Custom Sensor

Sensor in Other Languages

Dutch: Prestatie Meters Klantspecifiek, French: PerfCounter personnalisé, German: Leistungsindikator (benutzerdef.), Japanese: パフォーマンスカウンターカスタム, Portuguese: PerfCounter (Customizado), Russian: Специальные настройки PerfCounter, Simplified Chinese: 性能计数器自定义, Spanish: PerfCounter Personalizado

Remarks

  • Requires Windows Server 2008 R2 or later on the probe system.
  • Requires that the Remote Registry Windows service is running on the target computer.

icon-prtg-on-demandYou cannot add this sensor type to the Hosted Probe of a PRTG hosted by Paessler instance. If you want to use this sensor type, add it to a remote probe device.

Requirement: Windows Credentials

icon-tools

Requires Windows credentials in the parent device settings.

Preferably, use Windows domain credentials.

icon-i-round-redIf you use local credentials, make sure that the same Windows user accounts (with the same username and password) exist on both the system running the PRTG probe and the target computer. Otherwise, a connection via performance counters will not be possible.

icon-i-round-redThe user account has to be a member of the Performance Monitor Users user group on the target system.

Requirement: Remote Registry Service

icon-toolsFor this sensor to work with Windows Performance Counters, please make sure the RemoteRegistry "Remote Registry" Windows service is running on the target computer. If you fail to do so, a connection via Performance Counters will not be possible.

To enable the service, log in to the respective computer and open the services manager (for example, via services.msc). In the list, find the respective service and set its Start Type to Automatic.

Requirement: Windows Version

icon-toolsIn order for this sensor to work with Windows Performance Counters, please make sure a Windows version 2008 R2 or later is installed on the computer running the PRTG probe: This is either on the local system (on every node, if on a cluster probe), or on the system running a remote probe.

Add Sensor

The Add Sensor dialog appears when you manually add a new sensor to a device. It only shows the setting fields that are required for creating the sensor. Therefore, you will not see all setting fields in this dialog. You can change (nearly) all settings in the sensor's Settings tab later.

The following settings in the Add Sensor dialog differ in comparison to the sensor's Settings tab.

Performance Counter Settings

List of Counters

Enter the performance counters that you want to query. Enter one counter per row. PRTG creates one channel for each counter. Use the following syntax: the name of the counter, followed by two colons (::), and the unit.

Example: \Processor(_Total)\% Processor Time::%

icon-i-blueIt is not possible to monitor different performance counters with the same name in one sensor. The sensor uses the counter as the channel name, so this would create duplicate channels, which PRTG does not support. If you want to monitor different performance counters with the same name, please add one sensor for each counter. You can also create a custom sensor. For example, you can write a PowerShell query that connects to the target device, retrieves the desired counters with the Get-Counter cdmlet, and reports them to PRTG as individual channels.

icon-i-redIf your custom performance counter includes an angle bracket (< or >), please do not edit the Sensor Channel Settings (for example, limits) after creating the sensor! This might lead to a malfunctioning sensor.

Mode

Define the mode for the return value of the performance counter. This setting determines if the returning value will be displayed as an absolute value or if the difference between the last and the current value will be used. Choose between:

  • Absolute (recommended): The returning value will be displayed as absolute value.
  • Difference: The difference between last and current value will be displayed.
    icon-i-round-redMake sure that all counters that you monitor are capable of this mode if you select it.

Sensor Settings

On the details page of a sensor, click the Settings tab to change its settings.

icon-i-roundUsually, a sensor connects to the IP Address or DNS Name of the parent device on which you created the sensor. See the Device Settings for details. For some sensor types, you can explicitly define the monitoring target in the sensor settings. See below for details on available settings.

Basic Sensor Settings

Sensor Name

Enter a meaningful name to identify the sensor. By default, PRTG shows this name in the device tree, as well as in alarms, logs, notifications, reports, maps, libraries, and tickets.

Parent Tags

Shows Tags that this sensor inherits from its parent device, group, and probe.

This setting is shown for your information only and cannot be changed here.

Tags

Enter one or more Tags, separated by spaces or commas. You can use tags to group sensors and use tag–filtered views later on. Tags are not case sensitive.

We recommend that you use the default value.

There are default tags that are automatically predefined in a sensor's settings when you add a sensor. See section Default Tags below.

You can add additional tags to the sensor if you like. Other tags are automatically inherited from objects further up in the device tree. These are visible above as Parent Tags.

icon-i-roundIt is not possible to enter tags with a leading plus (+) or minus (-) sign, nor tags with parentheses (()) or angle brackets (<>).

Priority

Select a priority for the sensor. This setting determines where the sensor is placed in sensor lists. A sensor with a top priority is at the top of a list. Choose from one star (low priority) to five stars (top priority).

Default Tags

performancecounter, performancecountercustom

Performance Counter Settings

List of Counters

Shows the performance counters that this sensor monitors. Once you have created a sensor, you cannot change this value. It is shown for reference purposes only. If you need to change this value, please add the sensor anew.

Mode

Shows the mode in which the sensor displays the returning values. Once you have created a sensor, you cannot change this value. It is shown for reference purposes only. If you need to change this value, please add the sensor anew.

Sensor Display

Primary Channel

Select a channel from the list to define it as the primary channel. In the device tree, the last value of the primary channel is always displayed below the sensor's name. The available options depend on what channels are available for this sensor.

icon-i-roundYou can set a different primary channel later by clicking the pin symbol of a channel on the sensor's Overview tab.

Graph Type

Define how different channels will be shown for this sensor.

  • Show channels independently (default): Show a graph for each channel.
  • Stack channels on top of each other: Stack channels on top of each other to create a multi-channel graph. This will generate a graph that visualizes the different components of your total traffic.
    icon-i-roundThis option cannot be used in combination with manual Vertical Axis Scaling (available in the Sensor Channel Settings settings).

Stack Unit

This field is only visible if you enable Stack channels on top of each other above. Select a unit from the list. All channels with this unit will be stacked on top of each other. By default, you cannot exclude single channels from stacking if they use the selected unit. However, there is an advanced procedure to do so.

Inherited Settings

By default, all of the following settings are inherited from objects that are higher in the hierarchy and should be changed there if necessary. Often, best practice is to change them centrally in the Root group's settings. For more information, see section Inheritance of Settings. To change a setting for this object only, disable inheritance by clicking the button next to inherit from under the corresponding setting name. You will then see the options described below.

Scanning Interval

Click inherited_settings_button to interrupt the inheritance. See section Inheritance of Settings for more information.

Scanning Interval

Select a scanning interval (seconds, minutes, or hours). The scanning interval determines the amount of time that the sensor waits between two scans. You can change the available intervals in the system administration on PRTG on premises installations.

If a Sensor Query Fails

Define the number of scanning intervals that the sensor has time to reach and check a device again in case a sensor query fails. Depending on the option that you select, the sensor can try to reach and check a device again several times before the sensor will show a Down status. This can avoid false alarms if the monitored device only has temporary issues. For previous scanning intervals with failed requests, the sensor will show a Warning status. Choose from:

  • Set sensor to down immediately: Set the sensor to a Down status immediately after the first failed request.
  • Set sensor to warning for 1 interval, then set to down (recommended): Set the sensor to a Warning status after the first failed request. If the following request also fails, the sensor will show an error.
  • Set sensor to warning for 2 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to a Down status only after three consecutively failed requests.
  • Set sensor to warning for 3 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to a Down status only after four consecutively failed requests.
  • Set sensor to warning for 4 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to a Down status only after five consecutively failed requests.
  • Set sensor to warning for 5 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to a Down status only after six consecutively failed requests.

icon-i-roundSensors that monitor via Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) always wait at least one scanning interval before they show a Down status. It is not possible to immediately set a WMI sensor to a Down status, so the first option will not apply to these sensor types. All other options can apply.

icon-i-roundIf you define error limits for a sensor's channels, the sensor will immediately show a Down status. No "wait" option will apply.

icon-i-roundIf a channel uses lookup values, the sensor will immediately show a Down status. No "wait" options will apply.

Schedules, Dependencies, and Maintenance Window

icon-i-roundYou cannot interrupt the inheritance for schedules, dependencies, and maintenance windows. The corresponding settings from the parent objects will always be active. However, you can define additional settings here. They will be active at the same time as the parent objects' settings.

Schedule

Select a schedule from the list. Schedules can be used to monitor for a certain time span (days or hours) every week.

icon-book-arrowsYou can create schedules, edit schedules, or pause monitoring for a specific time span. For more information, see section Account Settings—Schedules.

icon-i-roundSchedules are generally inherited. New schedules will be added to existing schedules, so all schedules are active at the same time.

Maintenance Window

Specify if you want to set up a one-time maintenance window. During a maintenance window, the current sensor and all child objects will not be monitored. They will be in a Paused status instead. Choose between:

  • Not set (monitor continuously): No maintenance window will be set and monitoring will always be active.
  • Set up a one-time maintenance window: Pause monitoring within a maintenance window. You can define a time span for a monitoring pause below and change it even for a currently running maintenance window.

icon-i-roundTo terminate a current maintenance window before the defined end date, change the time entry in Maintenance Ends to a date in the past.

Maintenance Begins

This field is only visible if you enable Set up a one-time maintenance window above. Use the date time picker to enter the start date and time of the maintenance window.

Maintenance Ends

This field is only visible if you enable Set up a one-time maintenance window above. Use the date time picker to enter the start date and time of the maintenance window.

Dependency Type

Define a dependency type. You can use dependencies to pause monitoring for an object depending on the status of another object. You can choose from:

  • Use parent: Use the dependency type of the parent device.
  • Select a sensor: Use the dependency type of the parent device. Additionally, pause the current sensor if another specific sensor is in a Down status or in a Paused status caused by another dependency. Select below.
  • Master sensor for parent: Make this sensor the master object for its parent device. The sensor will influence the behavior of its parent device: If the sensor is in a Down status, the device will be paused. For example, it is a good idea to make a Ping sensor the master object for its parent device to pause monitoring for all other sensors on the device in case the device cannot even be pinged. Additionally, the sensor will be paused if the parent group is paused by another dependency.

icon-i-roundTesting your dependencies is easy! Simply select Simulate Error Status from the context menu of an object that other objects depend on. A few seconds later, all dependent objects should be paused. You can check all dependencies in your PRTG installation by selecting Devices | Dependencies from the main menu bar.

Dependency

This field is only visible if you enable Select a sensor above. Click the Search button and use the object selector to select a sensor on which the current sensor will depend.

Dependency Delay (Sec.)

This field is only visible if you enable Select a sensor above. Define a time span in seconds for dependency delay.

After the master sensor for this dependency comes back to an Up status, monitoring of the dependent objects will be additionally delayed by the defined time span. This can help avoid false alarms, for example, after a server restart, by giving systems more time for all services to start up.

Enter an integer value.

icon-i-round-redThis setting is not available if you set this sensor to Use parent or to be the Master sensor for parent. In this case, please define delays in the parent Device Settings or in its parent Group Settings.

Access Rights

Click inherited_settings_button to interrupt the inheritance. See section Inheritance of Settings for more information.

User Group Access

Define the user groups that will have access to the selected object. A table with user groups and types of access rights is shown. It contains all user groups from your setup. For each user group, you can choose from the following access rights:

  • Inherited: Use the access rights settings of the parent object.
  • None: Users in this group cannot see or edit the object. The object neither shows up in lists nor in the device tree. Exception: If a child object is visible to the user, the object is visible in the device tree but it is not accessible.
  • Read: Users in this group can see the object and review its monitoring results.
  • Write: Users in this group can see the object, review its monitoring results, and edit its settings. They cannot edit access rights settings.
  • Full: Users in this group can see the object, review its monitoring results, edit its settings, and edit access rights settings.

You can create new user groups in the System Administration—User Groups settings. To automatically set all objects further down in the hierarchy to inherit this object's access rights, set a check mark for the Revert children's access rights to inherited option.

icon-book-arrowsFor more details on access rights, see section User Access Rights.

Channel Unit Configuration

Click inherited_settings_button to interrupt the inheritance. See section Inheritance of Settings for more information.

Channel Unit Types

For each type of sensor channel, define the unit in which data is displayed. If defined on probe, group, or device level, these settings can be inherited to all sensors underneath. You can set units for the following channel types (if available):

  • Bandwidth
  • Memory
  • Disk
  • File
  • Custom

icon-i-roundCustom channel types can be set on sensor level only.

More

Knowledge Base: How can I find out the names of available Performance Counters?

Knowledge Base: Remote Monitoring of Specific Performance Counters

Edit Sensor Channels

To change display settings, spike filtering, and limits, switch to the sensor's Overview tab and click the gear icon of a specific channel. For detailed information, see section Sensor Channel Settings.

Notification Triggers

Click the Notification Triggers tab to change notification triggers. For detailed information, see section Sensor Notification Triggers Settings.

Others

For more general information about settings, see section Object Settings.

Sensor Settings Overview

For information about sensor settings, see the following sections:

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