3 OT components you can bring into your IT monitoring right now
Originally published on August 19, 2022 by Shaun Behrens
Last updated on October 27, 2022 • 6 minute read
If you’re using Paessler PRTG to monitor your IT, then you already know the benefits: alerts and notifications when things go wrong, customizable dashboards to show the status of your infrastructure, and the ability to monitor a wide range of devices from all kinds of manufacturers are just a few examples of what PRTG offers. But if you have OT components in your environment (for example, a factory floor or a warehouse), then you’re probably also responsible for at least part of that. Don’t forget about the OT side of things for your monitoring!
If you’re only monitoring IT, you’re not monitoring everything
Ideally, you want to get as much monitoring data in one place as you can. With the core functionality of PRTG as well as its dedicated industrial sensors, you can bring monitoring data from your OT infrastructure into your existing monitoring concept. But you don’t need to do it alone: further down in this article, we’ll explain how Paessler can help you do that with our consulting day and health check offers. But first, let’s take a look at examples of OT components you might be interested in monitoring.
OPC UA servers
OPC UA is a widely adopted standard in industrial environments, and the result is that OPC UA servers have become a common part of OT architecture. These servers often run systems and software that are crucial to the manufacturing processes, and so keeping an eye on them is important. With the OPC UA sensors in PRTG, you can monitor the health and status of OPC UA servers, check on the status of OPC UA certificates (and know when they are going to expire), and watch statistics like OPC UA session counts for indications of problems.
The industrial Ethernet
Modern OT networks have many devices that use Ethernet connections to transmit data. Examples of these are industrial firewalls, switches, and routers. And although they might look different and have slightly different functionality, they are mostly the same as their IT brethren. That means they can be monitored in the same way, too, for example: using SNMP, APIs or MQTT.
Another vital aspect of OT networks are gateways, which collect data from sensors and other sources and transfer it to external systems for processing and analysis. These can be monitored using the examples mentioned above, as well as OPC UA for compatible gateways.
While maybe not traditionally considered as “OT”, IIoT devices have become an important part of OT environments. They are used to retrofit older machines, monitor crucial data from the factory floor, and to regulate environmental conditions like temperature, humidity, air quality, and more. PRTG can monitor two aspects of an IIoT implementation:
- The devices themselves, using webhooks and other mechanisms.
- The transmission protocol, such as MQTT or OPC UA
Let us help you bring your OT monitoring data into PRTG
Once you have all your monitoring data in PRTG, you can tailor your alerts and notifications as you need, and design unified dashboards that give you a combined view of your IT and OT components. But consolidating your monitoring concept is not always simple, especially if you don’t know the ins and outs of OT, or you don’t know exactly what PRTG offers in this regard.
That is why Paessler provides you with two options to pick the brains of our industrial monitoring experts:
- Remote consulting day, where the consulting package is personalized for your specific questions and use cases, and is focused on the implementation of our OT sensors.
- Health check, where we analyze your environment and give you a consulting call with recommendations of how to widen the scope of your PRTG installation.
Get in touch with us and learn more about how to incorporate OT monitoring.