NetBrain Amplifies PRTG for Seamless, Faster Troubleshooting

Steve Lamont
By Steve Lamont June 7, 2018 5 minute read
Steve Lamont is a senior marketing manager at NetBrain Technologies. He has been an in-house content editor writing about operational and information technologies for over 10 years.

NetBrain now integrates seamlessly with Paessler PRTG Network Monitor to take faster network troubleshooting to a whole ’nother level. The combination of PRTG’s 24×7 unified infrastructure monitoring and NetBrain’s unparalleled mapping and automation is one of those cases where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Think of it as a one-two punch: as soon as PRTG discovers a network problem, NetBrain kicks in to diagnose the problem instantly, collecting and visualizing all the data you need to address the issue.

In today’s business climate, the people holding the purse strings are (understandably) looking to consolidate vendors and reduce the glut of tools flooding their IT departments. Most organizations are looking for “best in breed” solutions, but this perfectly reasonable approach presents challenges:

  1. Information is spread across many tools — each requiring a different login and specialized knowledge — leading to data silos.
  2. Data is not contextualized to the task at hand (targeted to a specific problem area).
  3. When an alert is dtected in one tool, it does not typically trigger automation in another.

Consequently, API-integrated solutions that amplify the effectiveness other tools — ones that up-level what you already have in place — have now become the Holy Grail. To borrow a term from military science, enterprises are looking for solutions that are “force multipliers” for their existing toolset.

NetBrain is the Rolls-Royce of network mapping tools.

Paessler’s Ultimate Guide to Network Mapping

That’s why Paessler has selected NetBrain as a partner for its Uptime Alliance Program, a carefully chosen group of complementary and integrated solutions that add value for customers. Specifically, network administrators can now leverage the power of NetBrain Dynamic Maps and Executable Runbooks to automatically visualize and analyze problems detected by PRTG Network Monitor.

Here are just three ways the synergy of NetBrain and PRTG together help you do your job better and make your life easier:

Map performance issues instantly

PRTG has some basic mapping capability, but nothing like NetBrain’s powerful on-demand Dynamic Maps. NetBrain’s automatic network discovery engine “learns” your infrastructure and builds a digital twin of your network, end to end, from live network data. Every network performance monitoring and diagnostics (NPMD) solution (PRTG included) relies on SNMP to build maps, but NetBrain automatically also collects CLI data across all devices. It’s this depth and breadth of data that enables NetBrain to map the network (or any part of it) on demand, and dynamically drill down into virtually any details about the network’s topology, configuration, and underlying design. That’s why in its Ultimate Guide to Network Mapping Tools, Paessler calls NetBrain “the Rolls-Royce of network mapping tools.”

Say PRTG flags something going on in the network worth investigating — there’s an application slowdown, for example. With NetBrain, you can instantaneously build a Dynamic Map showing the actual traffic paths between the app server and the end user. You get a map tailored for the problem at hand, with data contextualized for the specific issue — not some one-size-fits-all generic network map that’s either missing critical data or cluttered with extraneous details. In the example above, the slowness is caused by an overutilized router due to asymmetric application traffic paths.

Enrich Dynamic Maps with PRTG metrics

Now even more data is right there at your fingertips on the map. Dynamic Maps are loaded with virtually infinite detail about the network. If a data point can be learned via CLI or SNMP, NetBrain knows about it and makes the information available in its map. Detailed metrics about performance and availability of all infrastructure components are sent via API from PRTG to NetBrain, which embeds this information to enrich its Dynamic Maps.

You get one centralized picture of what’s going on in your network. No more jumping from screen to screen, or stitching together disparate data sets. And what makes this “single pane of glass” so powerful is that it’s a map, not a chart or a dashboard. When PRTG alerts you about a symptom (in the example above, high memory usage on a core router), you can dig right into NetBrain to address the cause (overutilized router due to asymmetric application traffic paths). A map turns data into actionable intelligence — and your troubleshooting workflow just got streamlined.

Build a Dynamic Map on the fly of any problem flagged by PRTG, with monitoring data visualized right on the map.

Trigger “just in time” automation from a PRTG alert

As soon as PRTG detects an issue and fires off a notification, NetBrain immediately maps, analyzes, and visualizes the problem area. An API call triggers NetBrain to automatically, just at the right time:

  1. Create a Dynamic Map of the problem device and its neighbors.
  2. Execute a Runbook to capture and analyze data as the issue is happening.
  3.  Save all results right onto the map

You don’t even have to be around. We call this a “level-0” diagnosis because before you lift a finger to start troubleshooting, all the data has already been collected, analyzed and visualized in context, just waiting for you.

No more trying to re-create the issue after the fact — especially helpful for intermittent application performance issues that disappear before you can get to them.Kick-start an automatic diagnosis from PRTG  to get visibility into and analytics about the event while it’s happening.

 

Paessler and NetBrain have joined forces to enhance your existing troubleshooting workflow in order to realize higher efficiency, accelerate mean time to repair (MTTR), and reduce operational costs. Your entire troubleshooting workflow is automated in one integrated solution — from discovery of the issue to detailed CLI-level analysis to problem resolution — as opposed to jumping from tool to tool in multiple separate steps.

Learn more about NetBrain-PRTG integration in our new webinar

Join our German-language webinar on June 19 to learn how the NetBrain-PRTG integration:

  • Automatically generates maps of individual areas of the network and the entire IT infrastructure
  • Delivers detailed network information, including details on performance and availability
  • Automates troubleshooting and network diagnostics in real time

Please note that the webinar will be conducted in German, not English!

Sign up for the PRTG-NetBrain webinar here