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PRTG vs Zabbix Comparison for Network Monitoring and Management

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When looking for the differences between PRTG vs Zabbix, in terms of Network, Server and Infrastructure monitoring, we want to evenly consider the benefits, pros & cons and strengths/weaknesses of each software suite before making the decision on which one to deploy in our environments. We’ll layout out which is the best choice for networking monitoring and a table laying out their features and options.

Some major considerations that we’ve brought up in previous comparisons and breakdowns of PRTG and other major open-source and commercial alternatives are as follows:

  • Support and Enterprise Assistance (Most Important for us)
  • Ease of Configuration and Intuitiveness
  • Scalability for Future Growth
  • Automatic Network Discovery and Mapping
  • Extensive Hardware Vendor Support (OID’s and MIB)
  • Alerts, Reporting, and Notifications (via Email/SMS)
  • UI Friendliness and Ease of Use
  • Web/Mobile Accessibility and/or App

These requirements above are just a few things we are looking for when comparing these two software suites, and further more, how well they perform in real-world environments.

Price

One of the most important, if not THE MOST important, questions is Pricing.

Zabbix is a Free, Open-Source software package. However, we do not recommend you make your decision based on price alone. As many admins and engineers realize at one point or another in their IT career, you will eventually need help with an issue that arises from a software package you are using. This is where Support and/or Google comes into play. When dealing with an open-source, Free software package, you’ll notice that support is at times, lackluster.

PRTG, on the other hand, has a Free version that allows you to monitor up to 100 Sensors for as long as you want. Pricing then goes up from there as seen in the image below:

pricing paessler

Paessler has a team that responds to support issues within 24 Hrs of less (except for weekends) for all Support issues and requests, on top of their ever growing Knowledge base, FAQ’s, training videos, Resource center, and Manuals.

Don’t let PRTG’s price fool you though, as with Zabbix, if you are looking to Buy Enterprise Support or even Migration/Update services, the pricing is not made public, only the levels of support are, as seen below:

Zabbix Upgrade services are however made public, and can be seen here: http://www.zabbix.com/upgrade_services

Here’s are the Main Differences and a Comparison between PRTG vs Zabbix:

PRTG

Zabbix

Network Uptime & Critical
Monitor
YesYes
Scalability/ExpandabilityYesYes
Notification & Alerting SystemYesYes
Automatic Network and Device
Discovery
YesYes
(Website states Auto Mode
But not fully featured)
SNMP/Agentless SupportYesYes
Syslog & Event consolidationYesYes
Extensive Built-in Vendor SupportYesYes
(but not Extensive)
GUI/Web Intuitive InterfaceYesYes
(very Basic compared
to PRTG)
Network and Topology MapsYesNo
Bandwidth and Netflow Analysis
(sFlow, jFlow, IPFix, etc)
Yes
(Full Support)
No
Hardware Health MonitoringYesYes
Wireless Network Mapping and
Monitoring
YesNo Mapping
/Monitoring Yes

(Plugin needed)
VMware & Hyper-V SupportYes
(Vmware, Hyper-V, ESX, Xen Server)
Yes/3rd Party Add-on
VoIP and QoS SupportYesCustom Scripts
Required
Cloud Service SupportYesYes
(AWS Specific)
Server Room Environmental
Monitoring
YesYes
Active Directory/LDAP IntegrationYesYes
Native Mobile App (iPhone/Android)YesNo
IP SLA Support/ReportingYesYes
CostFree Edition up to 100 Sensors (Unlimited Time)
More Pricing for Additional Sensor Found on their PRICE LIST
Free
Download PRTG Free!Go to Zabbix.com

We’ve also broken down the a comparison of PRTG vs Nagios here and against MRTG here if you wanted a further breakdown of features PRTG has over other software packages.