By Florian Staffort • Dec 11, 2014
PRTG Now Supports Push Notifications
In some jobs reaction time is vital. For paramedics and emergency doctors receiving early notification and reliable information can be a matter of life and death. Although your life as an IT administrator is hopefully not threatened by receiving delayed information, being informed as soon as some component or service in your network behaves in an unusual way at least can save your free evening or your weekend. With push notifications, PRTG Network Monitor now offers a feature that can alert you in the blink of an eye.
What are the Advantages of Push Notifications?
Until now, you were able to receive pull notifications when using our mobile Android and iOS apps. That means the apps receive status information of the PRTG Core server on a regular basis. If sensors are in "warning" or "down" state, the app can pull this information and display a corresponding notification. This can drain your battery, and it may take a while to deliver so you may get a notification not as timely as you’d wished: precious time which could really make a difference.
Push notifications, on the other hand, you'll usually receive in an instant. Similar to a text message (SMS), you'll be notified immediately. Push notifications are generated in PRTG using a notification trigger, which is the same as for text messages (SMS) or e-mails, for example. Besides nearly immediate delivery, push notifications also save battery life, because only a small part of the app will run when your system receives a push message. In order to send push notifications, simply set up an according notification trigger for your sensors. For a detailed guide on how to setup push notifications, please have a look at the "Push Notifications from PRTG" article in the Paessler Knowledge Base.
However, as we can't guarantee the uptime of third party services involved, we recommend you to have a backup notification method in place. Although push notifications are very fast and reliable, you should—just as with any other technology that is key for your IT to be working—create a backup, for example, a text message (SMS) in case an alert hasn't been acknowledged within a certain period of time.
What's the Workflow of Push Notifications from PRTG?
Receiving a push notification is the simplest thing in the world, but behind the scenes, they require a really advanced setup. If you use one of our push-enabled apps, your mobile device requests a unique token from Google (PRTG for Android) or Apple (PRTG for iOS) and reports it to the PRTG core server, where the token is stored for the associated user account.
To provide our users with the possibility to use push notifications, we run a special cloud service. Every PRTG installation communicates directly with the PRTG Cloud:
When a push notification is triggered, the PRTG server sends a request to the PRTG Cloud to push a notification to the device with the respective token. The cloud simply forwards this request via Amazon SNS (Simple Notification Service) to the Google or Apple cloud—from there, the push notification is sent directly to your target device. Voilà! You now can read what has changed in your network.
For detailed information on the PRTG Cloud and the workflow of push notifications, please have a look at the corresponding article in the Paessler Knowledge Base. Here you'll get all the technical details about the onetime registration process and the regular delivery process of push notifications from PRTG:
Although this notification mechanism seems (and is) quite complex, according to our tests, it can be even faster than receiving text messages (SMS), plus it is more convenient to use. Even a GPRS data connection is sufficient to receive push notifications.
Do you want to stay up-to-date about the status of the Paessler cloud? Follow our special Twitter feed @PRTGCloudStatus and learn about status changes as soon as possible.
Please note: Push notifications from PRTG are currently in beta phase and we're excited about the possibility to provide this service to our users. With your help we will be able to test our cloud under real world conditions and can further optimize it.
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