PRTG Goes 64bit

 By Daniel Zobel
Aug 20, 2012 • 7 minute read

Today is an exciting day for the development team of PRTG. After months of development work our friendly automated buildmaster system "Jenkins" has built and uploaded the first public version of PRTG that uses a 64bit core server!

[UPDATE Oct 24th 2012: The 64bit core server has made it into the stable channel, see the release notes]

You can now run PRTG with 64bit yourself by switching your PRTG installation to the "Canary" update channel (64bit Windows OS required). Just don't do this with your production systems. Canary builds should be considered alpha versions and we strongly recommend you only install them on dedicated test systems!

Why is 64bit Important for PRTG?

The existing 32bit core server of PRTG could only manage up to 3 GB of memory. This was good for up to approximately 10,000-20,000 sensors (depending on the sensor types and graph settings used). To work with more than 10,000 sensors it was necessary to observe some rules and to work with certain limitations. Until today, our recommendation for sites that required more than 10,000 sensors was to split them up into multiple server installations and to stay well below 20,000 sensors on a single core server at all times. Otherwise, memory usage peaks could cause instabilities which often materialized as "Out of memory" messages in the core log.

The new 64bit core server can now address all the available memory of the host computer without any limitations. This effectively means that the maximum number of sensors that you can run on one PRTG server installation is not any more limited by the 3 GB barrier. Of course, CPU, network, and disk performance of the server also limit the number of sensors, but in most situations, these performance limits can be circumvented by increasing the monitoring interval in order to lower the ongoing load for CPU, disk, and network.

 

With the 64bit version existing PRTG installations with 5,000 sensors or more will benefit from PRTG's ability to address as much memory as necessary. And this will improve stability and performance for large installations.

And the 64bit version will allow much larger installations of PRTG. In our lab, we already have an installation of PRTG with 50,000 sensors on a shiny brand new DELL R710 server with Intel Xeon Processors (24 Cores, 128 GB RAM). The system idles most of the time, even with this huge monitoring load. The core service consumes 11 GB of memory, so theoretically we should be able to ramp up to 500,000 sensors on this system.

 

But there are two obstacles that we need to take care of: On one side hardware performance constraints like CPU and disk performance will need to be addressed and we will need to also rework some parts of the PRTG code to make it better suitable for such big installations: Some internal processes that work fine with a few thousand sensors simply take too long with 5-digit sensor counts.

Beta Testers Wanted

You are invited to run this new version of PRTG inside your network and with your equipment. To bring this exciting new feature to the stable channel asap we need as much feedback as we can! Even if you don't run thousands of sensors your feedback will be valuable for our development team!

[UPDATE Oct 24th 2012: The 64bit core server has made it into the stable channel, see the release notes]

You will get the 64bit version of PRTG automatically when you switch any PRTG installation to the "Canary" channel and trigger an automated update. Please send any feedback regarding the 64bit version to support@paessler.com.

And remember: Please install Canary versions only on dedicated test systems and never on a production system that you must rely on!