<%NUMBERING1%>.<%NUMBERING2%>.<%NUMBERING3%> PRTG Manual: Business Process Sensor

The Business Process sensor is a powerful and very flexible sensor that allows you to give a summary status of whole business processes while monitoring several process components.

This means that you can create your very own and individual sensor with channels based on data from other sensors ("source sensors") that are specific to your network.

The sensor can show the following:

  • The summarized status of the objects contained in each channel according to the individually defined error and warning thresholds
  • The overall and summarized status of all channels in the Global State channel

icon-i-round The Business Process sensor does not show values in the "Downtime" channel because they cannot be calculated for this sensor type.

icon-i-round If you want to process values from other sensors and you want to perform calculations with these values, for example, please use the Sensor Factory Sensor instead.

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

Business Process Sensor

Business Process Sensor

Click here to enlarge: http://media.paessler.com/prtg-screenshots/business_process.png

Remarks

Limited to 50 Sensor Channels

icon-i-blue PRTG does not support more than 50 sensor channels officially. Depending on the data used with this sensor type, you might exceed the maximum number of supported sensor channels. In this case, PRTG will try to display all sensor channels. However, please be aware that you will experience limited usability and performance.

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.

Sensor Settings

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

icon-i-round Usually, a sensor connects to the IP Address or DNS Name of the parent device where you created this sensor. See the Device Settings for details. For some sensor types, you can define the monitoring target explicitly in the sensor settings. Please 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.

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.

Priority

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

Business Process Specific Settings

Channel Name

Enter a meaningful name to identify the channel. To add a new channel to the sensor, click the Enter Channel Name field, enter a name for the channel, and confirm with the enter or tab key.

Error Threshold %

Set a percentage limit to define when the sensor channel displays a Down status. Please enter an integer value. Default is 50%.

icon-i-round This value depends on how many objects you feed into a business process channel.

If a channel contains less source objects in "up" condition than the error threshold defines, this channel and the Global State channel of the Business Process sensor will show a Down).

The Sensor States which allow for the "up" condition of a Business Process channel are the following:

  • Up
  • Warning
  • Unusual
  • Partial Down

All other sensor states will support the "down" condition.

For example, if you define 4 source sensors for a channel, an error threshold of 50% means that 3 source sensors have to be in "down" condition to set this channel to a Down status. So, 50% means that more than half of the source sensors must not be in "up" condition to set the sensor to Down.

To get more information, an illustration of the business process mechanisms and some use cases of the Business Process sensor, see the More section below.

Warning Threshold %

Set a percentage limit to define when the sensor channel displays a Warning status. Please enter an integer value. Default is 75%.

icon-i-round This value depends on how many objects you feed into a business process channel.

If a channel contains less source objects in "up" condition than the threshold defines, this channel and the Global State channel of the Business Process sensor will show a Warning status (and so the sensor status is Warning).

The Sensor States which allow for the "up" condition of a Business Process channel are the following:

  • Up
  • Warning
  • Unusual
  • Partial Down

All other sensor states will support the "down" condition.

For example, if you define 4 source sensors for a channel, a warning threshold of 75% means that all 4 source sensors have to be in "down" condition to set this channel to a Warning status. So, 75% means that more than three out of four of the source sensors must not be in "up" condition to set the sensor to Warning.

To get more information, an illustration of the business process mechanisms and some use cases of the Business Process sensor, see the More section below.

Objects

Enter the objects you want to have in a channel using the + sign. This way, you can choose the desired objects from the device tree with the Object Selector. You can also start typing the object's ID, name, or a tag. PRTG then suggests the possible objects to be selected.

You can add sensors, devices, groups, and probes to a channel. Each object you add is weighted equally, no matter if it is a single sensor or a whole device with many sensors. To give more weight to a specific object, add it several times. For example, add it twice to give double weight to an object, add it three times to give it triple weight.

Note: A probe, group, or device is as long in "up" condition as it does not contain any sensors in "down" condition.

icon-i-round If you encounter issues with your Business Process sensor and want to contact our support team, please send us your exact configuration. It helps us find the cause more easily and quickly. Click the little clipboard icon in the upper-right of the Business Process Specific Settings table to copy your configuration:

The Business Process Sensor Configuration Clipboard

The Business Process Sensor Configuration Clipboard

Click here to enlarge: http://media.paessler.com/prtg-screenshots/business_process_sensor_clipboard-m.png

You find your configuration in the window that opens. Copy the marked text and paste it into the support form to send it our support team.

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 will always be displayed below the sensor's name. The available options depend on what channels are available for this sensor.

icon-i-round You can set another primary channel later by clicking the pin symbol of a channel in the sensor's Overview tab.

Graph Type

Define how different channels will be shown for this sensor.

  • Show channels independently (default): Show an own 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 an easy-to-read graph that visualizes the different components of your total traffic.
    icon-i-round This option cannot be used in combination with manual Vertical Axis Scaling (available in the Sensor Channels Settings settings).

Stack Unit

This setting is only available if stacked graphs are selected above. Choose 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 following settings are inherited from objects 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. To change a setting only for this object, disable inheritance by clicking the check mark in front of the corresponding setting name. You will then see the options described below.

Scanning Interval

Scanning Interval

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

If a Sensor Query Fails

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

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

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

icon-i-round If a sensor has defined error limits for channels, it will always show a Down status immediately, so no "wait" option will apply.

icon-i-round If a channel uses lookup values, it will always show a Down status immediately, so no "wait" options will apply.

Schedules, Dependencies, and Maintenance Window

icon-i-round Inheritance for schedules, dependencies, and maintenance windows cannot be interrupted. 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, hours) every week. With the period list option it is also possible to pause monitoring for a specific time span. You can create new schedules and edit existing ones in the account settings.

icon-i-round Schedules are generally inherited. New schedules will be added to existing ones, 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" period, this object and all child objects will not be monitored. They will be in a paused state 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-round To terminate a current maintenance window before the defined end date, change the time entry in Maintenance Ends field to a date in the past.

Maintenance Begins

This field is only visible if you enabled the 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 enabled the maintenance window above. Use the date time picker to enter the end date and time of the maintenance window.

Dependency Type

Define a dependency type. Dependencies can be used to pause monitoring for an object depending on the status of another. You can choose between:

  • Use parent: Pause the current sensor if the device, where it is created on, is in Down status, or is paused by another dependency.
  • Select object: Pause the current sensor if the device, where it is created on, is in Down status, or is paused by another dependency. Additionally, pause the current sensor if a specific other object in the device tree is in Down status, or is paused by another dependency. Select below.
  • Master object for parent: Make this sensor the master object for its parent device. The sensor will influence the behavior of the device, where it is created on: If the sensor is in 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 of its parent device is in Down status, or if it is paused by another dependency.

icon-i-round Testing your dependencies is easy! Simply choose 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 the Select object option is enabled above. Click on the reading-glasses and use the object selector to choose an object on which the current sensor will depend.

Dependency Delay (Sec.)

Define a time span in seconds for a dependency delay. After the master object for this dependency goes back to Up status, PRTG will start monitoring the depending objects after this extra delayed. This can help to avoid false alarms, for example, after a server restart, by giving systems more time for all services to start up. Please enter an integer value.

icon-i-round-red This setting is not available if you choose this sensor to Use parent or to be the Master object for parent. In this case, please define delays in the parent Device Settings or in the superior Group Settings.

Access Rights

User Group Access

Define which user group(s) will have access to the object you're editing. 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, though 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 the object's settings. They cannot edit access rights settings.
  • Full: Users in this group can see the object, review its monitoring results, edit the object's 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.

For more details on access rights, please see the section User Access Rights.

More

Knowledge Base: How does the Business Process sensor calculate summarized sensor states?

Knowledge Base: How can I use the Business Process sensor?

Edit Sensor Channels

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

Notifications

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

Others

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

Sensor Settings Overview

For information about sensor settings, please see the following sections:

Keywords: