Checkmk versus Paessler PRTG

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This article compares Checkmk and Paessler PRTG to find out if one is better than the other so you make the best choice.

Several IT monitoring solutions are available for companies to choose from. In your quest for the best software, you will come across two IT management software; Checkmk and Paessler PRTG.

To set the stage for comparison between the two key players in IT infrastructure management, below is the list of factors we’ll be looking at:

Comparison Overview

IT infrastructure monitoring can quickly get complex as a business grows. Thus, organizations must upgrade their tech stack for better performance and efficient operations.

Choosing the right network monitoring solution is paramount for a successful IT company. It improves their performance and makes them proactive & informed in decision-making. Hence, a thorough review of the features and capabilities of a monitoring tool is essential for selection.

Let’s go through a quick introduction of the two products before we dive deeper into their comparison.

Checkmk

Checkmk is an IT infrastructure monitoring software for servers, applications, networks, clouds, and containers. It’s available for various platforms and offers a complete view of your IT infrastructure. Checkmk comes with a 100% open-source monitoring system and a scalable enterprise solution with a library of over 2,000 plug-ins.

Paessler PRTG

Paessler PRTG is an IT and IoT monitoring software. It features a host of monitoring solutions for network, enterprise, and cloud monitoring for all sizes of IT infrastructures. Its scope includes diverse industries ranging from healthcare, education, finance, government, and real estate.

With Paessler PRTG, you can monitor all areas of IT, including but not limited to application, cloud, database, hardware, network, and performance.

Checkmk vs Paessler PRTG: A Thorough Exploration

1.    User Interface

Checkmk Interface

Checkmk offers a web-based interface with a customizable GUI. The main dashboard shows the current status of the network monitoring system. It allows you to set up & manage the monitoring environment. It also allows dashboard customization for users and groups.

Different data visualizations are available in the dashboard, presenting information from different perspectives.

Checkmk Interface
Checkmk Interface

Paessler Interface

Paessler offers a web-based interface along with a desktop interface and mobile applications.

  • The PRTG web interface, accessible via a browser, offers a full configuration of devices and sensors, system administration, and user management. It works as a single-page application (SPA) and uses AJAX to deliver a highly interactive, powerful, easy-to-use interface.
The PRTG web interface
The PRTG web interface
  • PRTG Desktop interface lets you connect to your on-premises PRTG server or hosted PRTG. You can use it to quickly access your data, configure your setup, view monitoring results, and keep an eye on the status of all connected PRTG servers in a central monitoring dashboard.
PRTG Desktop interface
PRTG Desktop interface
  • PRTG iOS or Android apps are a perfect free solution to monitor your network on the go. Various configuration options are also available, in addition to push notifications for alerts.
PRTG iOS
PRTG iOS
PRTG iOS or Android
PRTG iOS or Android

The Best of the Two

Both options provide easy-to-follow and comprehensive dashboards. However, additional support is available via Paessler’s multiple user interfaces, i.e., desktop and mobile applications. In terms of usability, Paessler makes a better choice with its extended platform support, monitoring touch points and easy-to-read illustrations.

2.    Price

Checkmk Pricing

Checkmk pricing is service-based, and service is any network monitoring element such as a file system, a hardware sensor, or a metric. Checkmk comes in two editions; one is a free, open-source raw edition named Checkmk Raw. The other one is an enterprise-grade edition called Checkmk Enterprise.

Checkmk Enterprise edition begins with 3000 services with approximately 100 hosts at a monthly price of $80 (billed annually at $960). The plan goes up to 30,000 services with approx. 1000 hosts at $475/ month (billed annually at $5700). You would need a quote for more than 30,000 services.

For customized plans, you can opt for Checkmk Managed Services Edition.

Checkmk offers additional support in three different support packages with additional costs.

Paessler Pricing

Paessler’s price is based on the server license. Licenses differ based on the number of sensors and allowed PRTG core server installations, which vary depending on your environment size.

License range starts from the small environment (PRTG 500) with monitoring of up to 500 device’s aspects in your network to very large environments (PRTG XL1) with monitoring of up to 10,000 aspects of your device’s network. The pricing starts at $1,799/ license annually for a small environment (PRTG 500).

In addition to perpetual plans, maintenance plans are also offered by Paessler on a renewal basis. A maintenance plan comes with continued access to product updates and technical support.

Moreover, you can opt for subscription-based licensing for Paessler PRTG Enterprise Monitor for large IT businesses and Paessler PRTG Hosted Monitor with a 10-day free trial.

The Best of the Two

Although Checkmk seems to provide the best value based on the number of services a business needs, you would have to pay extra for add-ons to enjoy particular monitoring capabilities. On the contrary, each Paessler license includes all the features and supports an unlimited number of users; in other words, there is no need for additional plugins or downloads.

Comparing the two options reveals that one sensor from Paessler PRTG usually corresponds to several services from Checkmk, making it a comprehensive network monitoring service provider.

Paessler makes the pricing decision for their customers simple, smooth and transparent with comprehensive purchasing plans and onboarding efforts. Still, if you can’t decide on the right license for your business, you can reach out to their team with your unique requirements. Their flexibility and 30-day money-back guarantee assure the users before asking for their hard-earned money.

3.    Customer Support

Checkmk Customer Support

Checkmk support comes in three packages, Basic, Standard, and Advanced, which differ based on the following factors:

  • Number of tickets
    • Support contacts
    • Support availability
    • Response time (based on 4 priority levels: Critical, Significant, Limited, Minimal)
    • Access to consulting

For 3000 services, their Basic support starts at $70/ month. Moreover, support resources offered by Checkmk include the following:

  • Comprehensive documentation
    • Monitoring basics
    • Videos to get started with Checkmk
    • Webinars to set up monitoring with Checkmk
    • Blog
    • Knowledge base
    • Podcasts
    • In-house and online training classes, in addition to training at different locations with training partners
    • Play with Checkmk – It is a Demo Environment for users to taste the power and ease of using Checkmk in a live pre-configured environment.

Paessler Customer Support

Paessler provides free 12-month maintenance when you make a license purchase. Having Paessler maintenance means you get product updates that eliminate the security risks associated with older versions and receive feature enhancements, bug fixes, and premium email support. A technical team responds to your queries within 24 hours.

PRTG Maintenance Plan requires annual renewal. To enjoy a 10-15% discount, you can choose more than 12 months maintenance plan options (36 or 60 months).

Paessler ensures that customers can solve their queries with its comprehensive set of support materials as follows:

  • Getting started tutorials (self-paced learning)
    • How to guides (to make the most out of PRTG)
    • Sessions and webinars to learn from the PRTG experts
    • PRTG Product Manual (complete documentation)
    • FAQs and Knowledge base (access to community knowledge)
    • PRTG Sensor Hub (to find sensors, scripts & templates)
    • IT knowledge expansion (IT topics explanations & PRTG Resource Center)
    • PRTG Training (training courses by Paessler to learn how to work with PRTG)
    • Paessler Partner (local distribution, implementation & training support)
    • Paessler Blog for the latest tech news

The Best of the Two

With Checkmk, users would have to purchase support along with services at an additional monthly cost, whereas Paessler provides 12 months of free support on all license purchases. 

Checkmk Advanced support is only available from 18,000 services onwards. Businesses with lower services are limited to Basic & Standard support with more than 24-hour response time and no access to consulting. This limitation means that you would have to wait the same time as a non-customer when it comes to Paessler.

Based on the above observations, Paessler stands out with its flexible and trusted customer support.

Checkmk vs Paessler PRTG: The Clear Winner

While both tools provide eyes over your entire IT environment, a closer look at the two software reveals the differences that greatly impact your IT monitoring practices.

Our comparison provides the solid ground for establishing Paessler as the clear winner with its extended core functionalities. You can check out the reviews by independent testers to see what others are saying about Paessler PRTG.

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