Paessler PRTG Enterprise Monitor versus Broadcom DX NetOps

IT monitoring
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September 15, 2022

There are many network monitoring tools available today. In this article, we will compare two remarkable candidates: Paessler PRTG Enterprise Monitor and Broadcom DX NetOps.

Over the years, with the continuous development of network facilities, network performance management tools have been widely used. Especially now that service providers and customers often sign a Service Level Agreement (SLA). In this contract, it is usually defined service standards and corresponding obligations that the service provider is obligated to meet, including many specific aspects: quality, availability, and accountability. Therefore, it is more necessary for service providers to adopt appropriate network monitoring tools to assist them in fully performing the obligations stipulated in the SLA contract.

These are the aspects we looked at, so you can make your choice:

Installation and deployment, main features, presentation and Interface design, cost structures and customer service

Comparison between Paessler PRTG Enterprise Monitor and Broadcom DX NetOps

Paessler has been focusing on the development of network monitoring tools since the 1990s. They are constantly iterating on products and services and have launched a series of products and services over the years. PRTG Enterprise Monitor is the most powerful and professional product of them.

Broadcom is a global company best known for its semiconductor business. They have an extensive product line in software too, including a range of network monitoring tools. DX NetOps is the latest one of them.

Installation and deployment

Although PRTG Enterprise Monitor is first designed for Windows systems, there are also full-featured PRTG products and services available for Linux environments. Ideal network monitoring performance can be achieved even in a network where windows and Linux servers are mixed.

If conditions permit, the recommended practice is to use a separate Windows server to install the PRTG core server. The installation environment requires .NET Framework 4.7.2 or later, and the Windows system version can be Windows Server 2022, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, or Windows 11. PRTG Enterprise Monitor can also run in a virtual environment, as long as you make sure you have a unique Windows security identifier per system.

The installation process of PRTG Enterprise Monitor is simple and smooth, PRTG automatically provides the “smart setup” feature to assist with a new PRTG installation. This setup assistant is friendly and easy to use, providing guidance during the installation process.

Broadcom DX NetOps can only be installed in a Linux environment and only supports a few major Linux distributions: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.x, 7.3 and higher; Oracle Linux 7.3 and higher; SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP2/3/4/ 5, openSUSE 42.3; CentOS 8.x, 7.3 and higher.

A successful DX NetOps Performance Management deployment requires manual installation of four parts: the NetOps Portal, the data repository, the data aggregator, and the data collectors. During the installation process, you need to enter the appropriate commands on the Linux command line, including setting a custom MySQL password, etc. This may be difficult for users unfamiliar with the Linux operating system.

After this, you may also need to install other related tools in a similar way, including Disaster Recovery System, DX NetOps Mediation Manager, NetOps Kafka, Log Analytics for Insights, and so on.

Main features

PRTG Enterprise Monitor

For small and medium-sized enterprises, start-up teams, or large-scale Internet projects, PRTG provides an all-in-one solution. With the help of more than 10 technical solutions such as sending emails, mobile phone pushes, sound warnings, and sending HTTP requests, you don’t need to worry about not receiving alert notifications. Even if you are out and about, you can still receive SMS text messages or push notifications through your mobile device.

In most cases, installing and running a PRTG server on a dedicated server is sufficient. For particularly large and highly reliable clustered networks, PRTG Enterprise Monitor provides an automatic failover handling solution: if the primary server fails to work, another node immediately takes over all its responsibilities, including the sending of notifications. PRTG Enterprise Monitor monitors all aspects of network applications with a complete set of frameworks: cloud services, packet loss, network traffic, web page, environment, ping status, and so on.

Since problems tend to be on the database side, it’s a good idea to monitor the database. PRTG Enterprise Monitor can monitor a lot of databases, including ICMP, SQL, MySQL, SNMP, WMI, PostgreSQL and REST, etc. It can not only monitor whether the database is running, but also display key data such as the SQL cache memory, the number of batch requests, and connections. PRTG Enterprise Monitor also has the ability to analyze the running performance of the database, such as the actual execution time of queries.

In addition to that, PRTG Enterprise Monitor has built-in monitoring functionality for applications such as Dropbox and others, and also has the ability to run scripts / .exe files and monitor windows services. For the health condition of devices in the network facilities, PRTG Enterprise Monitor can keep eyes on the health status of various hardware devices, including hard disks, printers, servers, etc.

Broadcom DX NetOps

The Broadcom monitor tool also provides decent monitor functions. However, the more striking is the “AIOps” concept proposed by Broadcom. AIOps  is  shorthand  for  “Artificial  Intelligence  for  IT  Operations.” Broadcom claims that AIOps is a set of technologies that use machine learning algorithms and other advanced heuristics to enhance the capabilities of IT operations management tools. For network performance management tools, AIOps capabilities can extract more insight from them, making them smarter and easier to use, with  anomaly detection, natural language explanations of events, and suggestions  for guided remediation.

Although the concept sounds great, it is not easy to put it into practice and achieve good results. AI technology based on machine learning often needs to iterate and fine-tune parameters based on large amounts of data to work, this process may require In-depth cooperation with manufacturers. Generally speaking, large companies with huge network facilities and daily processing of large amounts of monitor alarm information are suitable for investing in this type of technology.

Information presentation and Interface design

PRTG Enterprise Monitor provides a well-designed, easy-to-use user interface with a variety of distinctive diagrams and symbols. From this, you can easily add and manage devices and control how they appear on the map. Furthermore, your devices can also be mapped to a geographic map and displayed, so as to better display their geographic space and connections. You can also generate a topology map of the network, which is a visual representation of connections between systems/computers, via omitting unimportant details and highlighting key structures. It helps a lot to understand the physical connections between various systems/computers in a network.

(PRTG Enterprise Monitor Panel)
(PRTG Enterprise Monitor Panel)

Broadcom DX NetOps provides a web-based graphical user interface that can implement corresponding functions. In contrast, the richness of information and diagrams displayed is less.

(Broadcom DX NetOps Panel)
(Broadcom DX NetOps Panel)

Cost structures and Customer service

Whether it is a start-up team, a small business, or a large company, you can find a suitable option in the tiered pricing system of PRTG Enterprise Monitor. The architecture of PRTG Enterprise Monitor is composed of a PRTG server and sensors. A sensor in PRTG is defined as one aspect that you can monitor on a device, such as the CPU load on a machine, a port of a switch, a specific URL, or the traffic of a network connection. The PRTG server is at the center of the architecture, where monitoring data from detectors is received and processed, reports and notifications are generated, the web interface is generated that users can view in their browser, and much more. The pricing of PRTG Enterprise Monitor is mainly based on the number of sensors, which makes pricing easy to understand so that users do not need to worry about the performance of the server is not enough. PRTG also provides clients with a series of detailed tutorials, manuals, and hotline services. Furthermore, PRTG is developing partners all over the world, you can find the nearest partner and get help from him.

Broadcom DX NetOps does not provide a public price list, you need to contact its pre-sales department or partners for specific information. As one of Broadcom’s many product lines, the related documents of DX NetOps are relatively not easy to find on Broadcom’s official website.

Wrapping up

PRTG Enterprise Monitor is a solid choice for most ordinary businesses and teams. You can get a one-stop solution at the right price, including comprehensive features and services. The AI concept of Broadcom DX NetOps sounds appealing, however, its installation and deployment require a high degree of professionalism, and it usually requires in-depth cooperation with suppliers to develop, which is more suitable for ultra-large network enterprises with high network monitoring requirements.