PRTG Manual: WMI Service Sensor

The WMI Service sensor monitors a Windows service via Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).

The sensor can show the following:

  • Execution time of the monitoring request

Additionally, if you enable Monitor extended values in the sensor settings, the sensor can show these parameters:

  • CPU usage in percent
  • Pagefile usage in bytes
  • Number of handles
  • Number of threads
  • Working set in bytes

icon-i-round-redThe Running (msec) channel of this sensor shows the execution time of the monitoring request. It does not refer to the time the Windows service has been running. As of PRTG 13, the name of this channel is Sensor Execution Time.

WMI Service Sensor

WMI Service Sensor

Sensor in Other Languages

  • Dutch: WMI Service
  • French: Service WMI
  • German: WMI Dienst
  • Japanese: WMI サービス
  • Portuguese: Serviço WMI
  • Russian: Служба WMI
  • Simplified Chinese: WMI 服务
  • Spanish: WMI servicio

Remarks

  • Sensors that use the WMI protocol have a high impact on system performance. Try to stay below 200 WMI sensors per probe. Above this number, consider using multiple remote probes for load balancing.
  • This sensor requires credentials for Windows systems in the settings of the parent device.
  • This sensor requires WoW64 (Windows 32-bit on Windows 64-bit) for target systems that run Windows Server 2016.
  • This sensor supports the IPv6 protocol.

icon-prtg-on-demandYou cannot add this sensor to the hosted probe of a PRTG hosted by Paessler instance. If you want to use this sensor, add it to a remote probe device.

Add Sensor

The Add Sensor dialog appears when you manually add a new sensor to a device. It only shows the setting fields that are required for creating the sensor. Therefore, you do not see all setting fields in this dialog. You can change (nearly) all settings in the sensor's Settings tab later.

Select the services that you want to monitor. PRTG creates one sensor for each service that you select in the Add Sensor dialog. The settings you select are valid for all sensors that you create when you finish this dialog.

The following settings in the Add Sensor dialog differ in comparison to the sensor's Settings tab.

WMI Service Monitor

Setting

Description

Services

You see a list with the names of all items that you can monitor. Add check marks in front of the respective lines to select the desired items. You can also use the check box in the table header to select all items or cancel the selection.

icon-i-round-bluePRTG creates one sensor for each selection.

Name and description are provided in the language of the device's Windows installation.

icon-i-round-blueOnce set up, the sensor shows the Down status if the service does not run.

Basic Sensor Settings

Click the Settings tab of a sensor to change its settings.

icon-i-round-blueUsually, a sensor connects to the IP Address or DNS Name of the parent device on which you created the sensor. See the device settings for details. For some sensors, you can explicitly define the monitoring target in the sensor settings. See below for details on available settings.

Setting

Description

Sensor Name

Enter a meaningful name to identify the sensor. By default, PRTG shows this name in the device tree, as well as in alarms, logs, notifications, reports, maps, libraries, and tickets.

Parent Tags

Shows tags that the sensor inherits from its parent device, group, and probe. This setting is shown for your information only and cannot be changed here.

Tags

Enter one or more tags. Confirm each tag with the Spacebar key, a comma, or the Enter key. You can use tags to group objects and use tag-filtered views later on. Tags are not case-sensitive. Tags are automatically inherited.

icon-i-round-blueIt is not possible to enter tags with a leading plus (+) or minus (-) sign, nor tags with parentheses (()) or angle brackets (<>).

The sensor has the following default tags that are automatically predefined in the sensor's settings when you add the sensor:

  • wmiservicesensor
  • servicesensor

Priority

Select a priority for the sensor. This setting determines where the sensor is placed in sensor lists. A sensor with a top priority is at the top of a list. Choose from one star (low priority) to five stars (top priority).Enter topic text here.

WMI Service Monitor

Setting

Description

If Service is Not Running

Select whether you want PRTG to start or restart the service if it is stopped or paused:

  • Start/Restart service: PRTG tries to start the service if it is not running when the device is scanned. In combination with a change trigger, you can use this mechanism to trigger a notification whenever PRTG (re)starts the service.
  • Do nothing: PRTG does not automatically start any service on the device.

icon-i-round-blueIf you select the Start/Restart service option and the sensor detects that the monitored service does not run, PRTG tries to restart the service during this scan and postpones the next sensor scan for one interval. With the following scan, the sensor checks if the service runs now. If starting the service has not been successful or if the service has failed again, the sensor shows the Down status and does not try to start the service again. If the service runs after a (re)start attempt, the sensor continues monitoring as usual.

If Service is Restarted

This setting is only visible if you select Start/Restart service above. Define what to do if PRTG restarts the service:

  • Ignore changes: No action is taken on change.
  • Trigger 'change' notification: The sensor sends an internal message indicating that its value has changed. In combination with a change trigger, you can use this mechanism to trigger a notification whenever the sensor value changes.

Monitoring

Select whether you want to monitor CPU usage and other useful performance counters:

  • Just check if service is running: PRTG only monitors the channel Sensor Execution Time.
  • Monitor extended values: PRTG also monitors other useful performance counters.

icon-i-round-blueExtended monitoring might cause a class not found error on some Windows systems.

Service

Shows the Windows service this sensor monitors. Once you have created the sensor, you cannot change this value. It is shown for reference purposes only. If you need to change this value, add the sensor anew.

Description

Shows the description of the service. Once you have created the sensor, you cannot change this value. It is shown for reference purposes only. If you need to change this value, add the sensor anew.

Sensor Result

Define what PRTG does with the sensor results:

  • Discard sensor result: Do not store the sensor result.
  • Write sensor result to disk (file name: Result of Sensor [ID].txt): Store the last result received from the sensor to the \Logs\sensors subfolder of the PRTG data directory on the probe system (master node, if in a cluster). File names: Result of Sensor [ID].txt and Result of Sensor [ID].Data.txt. This is for debugging purposes. PRTG overwrites these files with each scanning interval.

icon-prtg-on-demandThis option is not available when the sensor runs on the hosted probe of a PRTG hosted by Paessler instance.

Sensor Display

Setting

Description

Primary Channel

Select a channel from the list to define it as the primary channel. In the device tree, the last value of the primary channel is always displayed below the sensor's name. The available options depend on what channels are available for this sensor.

icon-i-round-blueYou can set a different primary channel later by clicking the pin symbol of a channel on the sensor's Overview tab.

Graph Type

Define how different channels are shown for this sensor:

  • Show channels independently (default): Show a graph for each channel.
  • Stack channels on top of each other: Stack channels on top of each other to create a multi-channel graph. This generates a graph that visualizes the different components of your total traffic.
    icon-i-round-redYou cannot use this option in combination with manual Vertical Axis Scaling (available in the channel settings).

Stack Unit

This field is only visible if you enable Stack channels on top of each other as Graph Type. Select a unit from the list. All channels with this unit are stacked on top of each other. By default, you cannot exclude single channels from stacking if they use the selected unit. However, there is an advanced procedure to do so.

Inherited Settings

By default, all of the following settings are inherited from objects that are higher in the hierarchy. You should change them centrally in the root group settings if necessary. To change a setting for this object only, disable the inheritance by clicking the button next to inherit from under the corresponding setting name. You then see the options described below.

icon-square-cyanFor more information, see section Inheritance of Settings.

Scanning Interval

Click inherited_settings_button to interrupt the inheritance.

Setting

Description

Scanning Interval

Select a scanning interval (seconds, minutes, or hours). The scanning interval determines the amount of time that the sensor waits between two scans. You can change the available intervals in the system administration on PRTG on premises installations.

If a Sensor Query Fails

Define the number of scanning intervals that the sensor has time to reach and check a device again in case a sensor query fails. Depending on the option that you select, the sensor can try to reach and check a device again several times before the sensor shows the Down status. This can avoid false alarms if the monitored device only has temporary issues. For previous scanning intervals with failed requests, the sensor shows the Warning status. Choose from:

  • Set sensor to down immediately: Set the sensor to the Down status immediately after the first failed request.
  • Set sensor to warning for 1 interval, then set to down (recommended): Set the sensor to the Warning status after the first failed request. If the following request also fails, the sensor shows an error.
  • Set sensor to warning for 2 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to the Down status only after three consecutively failed requests.
  • Set sensor to warning for 3 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to the Down status only after four consecutively failed requests.
  • Set sensor to warning for 4 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to the Down status only after five consecutively failed requests.
  • Set sensor to warning for 5 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to the Down status only after six consecutively failed requests.

icon-i-round-blueSensors that monitor via Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) always wait at least one scanning interval before they show the Down status. It is not possible to immediately set a WMI sensor to the Down status, so the first option does not apply to these sensors. All other options can apply.

icon-i-round-blueIf you define error limits for a sensor's channels, the sensor immediately shows the Down status. No "wait" option applies.

icon-i-round-blueIf a channel uses lookup values, the sensor immediately shows the Down status. No "wait" options apply.

Schedules, Dependencies, and Maintenance Window

icon-i-round-blueYou cannot interrupt the inheritance for schedules, dependencies, and maintenance windows. The corresponding settings from the parent objects are always active. However, you can define additional settings here. They are active at the same time as the parent objects' settings.

Setting

Description

Schedule

Select a schedule from the list. Schedules can be used to monitor for a certain time span (days or hours) every week.

icon-square-cyanYou can create schedules, edit schedules, or pause monitoring for a specific time span. For more information, see section Schedules.

icon-i-round-blueSchedules are generally inherited. New schedules are added to schedules that you already set up, so all schedules are active at the same time.

Maintenance Window

Specify if you want to set up a one-time maintenance window. During a maintenance window, the selected object and all child objects are not monitored. They are in the Paused status instead. Choose between:

  • Not set (monitor continuously): No maintenance window is set and monitoring is always active.
  • Set up a one-time maintenance window: Pause monitoring within a maintenance window. You can define a time span for a monitoring pause below and change it even for an active maintenance window.

icon-i-round-blueTo terminate an active maintenance window before the defined end date, change the time entry in Maintenance Ends to a date in the past.

Maintenance Begins

This field is only visible if you enable Set up a one-time maintenance window above. Use the date time picker to enter the start date and time of the maintenance window.

Maintenance Ends

This field is only visible if you enable Set up a one-time maintenance window above. Use the date time picker to enter the end date and time of the maintenance window.

Dependency Type

Define a dependency type. You can use dependencies to pause monitoring for an object depending on the status of a different object. You can choose from:

  • Use parent: Use the dependency type of the parent object.
  • Select a sensor: Use the dependency type of the parent object. Additionally, pause the current object if a specific sensor is in the Down status or in the Paused status caused by another dependency.
  • Master sensor for parent: Make this sensor the master object for its parent device. The sensor influences the behavior of its parent device: If the sensor is in the Down status, the device is paused. For example, it is a good idea to make a Ping sensor the master object for its parent device to pause monitoring for all other sensors on the device in case the device cannot even be pinged. Additionally, the sensor is paused if the parent group is paused by another dependency.

icon-i-round-blueTo test your dependencies, select Simulate Error Status from the context menu of an object that other objects depend on. A few seconds later, all dependent objects are paused. You can check all dependencies under Devices | Dependencies in the main menu bar.

Dependency

This field is only visible if you enable Select a sensor above. Click the Search button and use the object selector to select a sensor on which the current object will depend.

Dependency Delay (Sec.)

This field is only visible if you enable Select a sensor above. Define a time span in seconds for dependency delay.

After the master sensor for this dependency comes back to the Up status, monitoring of the dependent objects is additionally delayed by the defined time span. This can prevent false alarms, for example, after a server restart, by giving systems more time for all services to start up. Enter an integer value.

icon-i-round-redThis setting is not available if you set this sensor to Use parent or to be the Master sensor for parent. In this case, define delays in the parent device settings or in its parent group settings.

Access Rights

Click inherited_settings_button to interrupt the inheritance.

Setting

Description

User Group Access

Define the user groups that have access to the sensor. You see a table with user groups and group access rights. The table contains all user groups in your setup. For each user group, you can choose from the following group access rights:

  • Inherited: Inherit the access rights settings of the parent object.
  • No access: Users in this user group cannot see or edit the sensor. The sensor neither shows up in lists nor in the device tree.
  • Read access: Users in this group can see the sensor and view its monitoring results. They cannot edit any settings.
  • Write access: Users in this group can see the sensor, view its monitoring results, and edit its settings. They cannot edit its access rights settings.
  • Full access: Users in this group can see the sensor, view its monitoring results, edit its settings, and edit its access rights settings.

icon-square-cyanFor more details on access rights, see section Access Rights Management.

More

icon-square-blueKNOWLEDGE BASE

My WMI sensors don't work. What can I do?

Sensor Settings Overview

For more information about sensor settings, see the following sections: