Network Monitoring Specialist Provides Tips & Tricks for the Most Common Issues Experienced with Windows Management Instrumentation

Los Angeles and Nuremberg, Germany (August 18, 2010) - Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is a powerful Microsoft standard that allows system administrators to monitor and manage a whole Windows network from one central point. WMI technology is a key component of most network monitoring tools, as it provides vital and detailed information on devices and applications running on the Microsoft operating system such as CPU usage and temperature, or usage of RAM .

However, administrators are not always able to exploit the full potential of WMI. According to Dirk Paessler, CEO of global network monitoring solutions provider, Paessler, "For three quarters of our customers, Windows based operating systems represent more than 90% of their network; however this isn't without its challenges. Indeed, countless calls to our support team are from customers experiencing problems with WMI."

"In most cases, problems stem from security and user account related issues, but more complex issues can also give administrators a headache. We are often asked to help customers with configuration as WMI needs to be properly installed and configured for administrators to take full advantage of all the opportunities that it offers."

The support team at Paessler has identified the most common WMI problems and recommends that administrators take the following steps to ensure WMI is working as it should:

Five Steps for Troubleshooting WMI

  1. Simplify user credentials: For each WMI query, Windows asks for user identification. To simplify complex rights management, make each user a member of the Domain Administrators group in the same Active Directory section as the target computer. Alternatively, set up a local system administrator account on the target computer to be used for login. Each user must also have remote access rights to use WMI and the appropriate Windows login data can be easily be entered individually into PRTG for each target computer.
  2. Enable WMI on the local firewall: To ensure that all inquiries reach the target computer, it is essential to ensure that the firewall of the target computer allows incoming WMI requests.
  3. Configure firewall and group policies: If the firewall is enabled on the basis of certain group policies, the setting "Allow Remote Administration Exception" must be activated for this policy.
  4. Open the port: The RPC server for the target computer using WMI should be running in port 135 by default (unless configured otherwise). Ensure that this port is not blocked by another (hardware) firewall on the route to the remote computer.
  5. Check the security software: Double-check to ensure that some local security software isn't blocking the WMI connections. Locate the specific software setting for these parameters and make sure that the connection is explicitly "allowed."

"With WMI sensors built right in, PRTG Network Monitor is one of the few monitoring solutions that include this common component at an affordable price in every license," Paessler said. "This makes for the most effective network monitoring solution at a better value than others' 'premium' versions."

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