Introducing the new OPC UA sensors for monitoring industrial devices

 Originally published on October 26, 2020 by Michael Becker
Last updated on October 29, 2020 • 5 minute read

Since version 20.4.63, PRTG Network Monitor includes 2 new sensors, the OPC UA Server Status sensor and the OPC UA Custom sensor. These two sensors allow you to monitor OPC UA servers as well as individual values of up to 5 nodes.

What's behind OPC UA?

OPC UA (Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture) is an open standard that specifies information exchange for industrial communication. Particularly on devices inside machines, between machines and from machines to systems in a convergence of IT (Information Technology) and OT (Operational Technology).

It can be used with any software platform such as Windows, Linux, Mac or Android and this makes OPC UA scalable. From simple embedded controllers to massive cloud infrastructure. It is suitable for a closed network or for being used over the internet.

 

Let's take a closer look at the two new sensors:

OPC UA Server Status sensor

The OPC UA Server Status BETA sensor monitors the status, uptime, and diagnostic information of your OPC UA server. With this new sensor type, you can ensure your devices are available using OPC UA and your production processes run flawlessly.

OPC-UA-Server-Status-sensor

The sensor can show the following:

  • Server status
  • Session Count
  • Session Timeout Count
  • Subscription Count
  • Uptime
  • ... more

For more details, please have a look at the PRTG Manual.

OPC UA Custom sensor (experimental*)

The OPC UA Custom sensor monitors up to five numeric values returned by specific OPC UA node IDs. With this sensor type you can receive information such as the PLC state, when batteries need to be replaced, device failure or system-specific error states.

OPC-UA-Custom-sensor-ALPHAThis sensor can be designed individually. In this example the sensor shows the following:

  • CPU Temperature
  • Fan Speed
  • Mainboard Temperature

*This sensor is a part of the experimental features in PRTG. You can now enable experimental sensors to test the most recent developments from our sensors team. Read here how to enable and use experimental sensors.

IT/OT convergence

Integrating these two new sensors into PRTG Network Monitor gives you the possibility to combine both IT (Informational Technology) devices and OT (Operational Technology) devices in one monitoring solution. Please have a look at this video how PRTG supports you to monitor your whole environment in one application:

 

 

Do you use OPC UA in your infrastructure? How could you use these sensors? We're happy to receive your comments or feedback on the OPC UA sensors. Gladly also by email to support@paessler.com.