Professional all-in-one
WMI monitoring software

 


  • PRTG monitors Microsoft servers and workstations with WMI



  • Hybrid Windows sensors included using performance counters
    and WMI

     

  • PRTG incorporates other technologies such as SNMP

 

Free Download

Unlimited version of PRTG for 30 days. After 30 days, PRTG reverts to a free version.
Or, you can upgrade to a paid license anytime.

 

 

 

 

 

Why you should consider using WMI Monitoring


WMI Monitoring gives you detailed insights into your servers and workstations running Windows. Through WMI you can access many Windows system status values and configurations. WMI can also be used to monitor things like Active Directory, SharePoint, or a SQL database. WMI Monitoring with PRTG also provides you with important metrics like bandwidth usage, memory load or free disk space.
If you have a special corner case, there's also the possibility to create a custom query and monitor the returned values.

 

What is WMI Monitoring?

iWhat is a sensor?

In PRTG, “sensors” are the basic monitoring elements. One sensor usually monitors one measured value in your network, e.g. the traffic of a switch port, the CPU load of a server, the free space of a disk drive. On average you need about 5-10 sensors per device or one sensor per switch port.

View video (3:26 min.)

WMI is Microsoft standard

WMI is Microsoft standard

The Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is a commonly used Microsoft standard which provides detailed data during a centralized monitoring of Windows workstations and servers. WMI shows information about, among others, operating system metrics, process state, service state and file system usage. The standard is based on the DCOM (Distributed Component Object Model) communication protocol and has been an integral part of all Windows operating systems since 2000.

WMI Monitoring is a technology for agentless monitoring of Microsoft servers and workstations. A WMI Monitor gives you insights into real-time performance of any Windows server or application.

WMI is the default protocol  

WMI is the default protocol

WMI is enabled by default in Windows workstations and servers and runs as a Windows service (“Windows Management Instrumentation”). Initially, administrators do not need to worry about how they are going to monitor their servers or workstations, for in simple scenarios the entering of administrator access data on the target device usually suffices. WMI is able to access a variety of Windows performance data, such as CPU load, memory utilization, data traffic on the network card, and other information.

WMI is resource-hungry

WMI is resource-hungry

But there is also a downside: WMI is resource-hungry. It puts a heavy burden on your system. We recommend using a maximum of 200 WMI sensors in the PRTG probe system, and implementing a longer scanning interval. While an interval of one minute is generally the norm, this interval should be increased to five minutes with WMI.

Alternative 1: As an alternative to WMI, administrators may use SNMP for their monitoring. With SNMP, a number of parameters are also queried by default, such as availability, CPU load, memory, and network card information. SNMP uses a significantly lower load, but in most cases must be set up on target computers and servers first.

Alternative 2: Hybrid sensors, which use Windows performance counters as the primary method for requesting data, are another alternative to WMI. These sensors are much more effective than WMI. At the same time, WMI is used as a fallback should the performance counters not be available.

 


Free Download

Unlimited version of PRTG for 30 days. After 30 days, PRTG reverts to a free version.
Or, you can upgrade to a paid license anytime.

 

 

Traffic Monitoring: WMI, SNMP, Packet Sniffing, NetFlow in comparison

How would you like to implement your bandwidth monitoring?
PRTG features a variety of different options, both with WMI and SNMP Monitoring, Packet Sniffing und NetFlow Monitoring. Each of these tools has its own pluses and minuses. A summary:

 

An overview: WMI, SNMP, packet sniffing, xFlow

 

WMI

SNMP

Packet Sniffer

xFlow (IPFIX, NetFlow, sFlow, jFlow)

Setup

Medium

Easy

Easy to complex (depending on filter rules used)

Can be complex (e.g., the switch must be configured)

Traffic can be filtered

NO

NO

YES

YES

Differentiate bandwidth usage by protocol or IPs

NO

NO

YES

YES

PRTG can show Toplists (Top Talker, Top Connections, Top Protocols, custom)

NO

NO

YES

YES

Filter bandwidth usage by IP

NO

NO

YES

YES

Filter bandwidth usage by MAC address

NO

NO

YES

NO

Filter bandwidth usage by physical network port

YES

YES

NO

NO

Monitor network parameters other than bandwidth usage

YES

YES

NO

NO

CPU load on the machine running PRTG

Medium

Low

Higher, depends on the amount of traffic

Higher, depends on the amount of traffic

Excess bandwidth usage of monitoring

Small

Small

None (except when monitoring switch ports are used)

Depends on the traffic

 

A quick introduction to PRTG:
WMI Monitoring Tool
 

 

Get started at once: More than 10 WMI sensors are predefined in PRTG

 

 

 

iWhat is a sensor?

In PRTG, “sensors” are the basic monitoring elements. One sensor usually monitors one measured value in your network, e.g. the traffic of a switch port, the CPU load of a server, the free space of a disk drive. On average you need about 5-10 sensors per device or one sensor per switch port.

View video (3:26 min.)


PRTG features a wide variety of WMI sensors. You can also create individual WMI sensors with just a few clicks.

Some examples:

  • Windows System Uptime Sensor: The Windows System Uptime sensor measures the operating time of your network’s Windows devices with WMI.
  • Windows CPU Load Sensor: The Windows CPU Load sensor monitors the CPU load of your computer with WMI.
  • WMI File Sensor: With the WMI File sensor, you can monitor the files of your Windows server and workstations.
  • Windows Network Card Sensor: Use this sensor to monitor data traffic and bandwidth use on the network card of a Windows computer.
  • WMI SharePoint Process Sensor: Use the WMI SharePoint Process sensor to monitor your Microsoft SharePoint server.
  • WMI Security Center Sensor: This sensor monitors all security protocols used by the Windows Security Center.
  • PerfCounter Custom Sensor: This sensor monitors a set of Windows performance counters which you configure yourself.
  • WMI Custom Sensor: With the WMI Custom sensor, you can create your own WMI sensor with a customized WQL query.
  • WMI Storage Pool Sensor: This sensor monitors a storage pool.
  • WMI Battery Sensor: This sensor monitors the available capacity and the state of connected batteries of a Windows-based device.
 

Free Download

Unlimited version of PRTG for 30 days. After 30 days, PRTG reverts to a free version.
Or, you can upgrade to a paid license anytime.

 

Your WMI sensors at a glance
– even on the go

PRTG can be started within minutes and it's compatible with many mobile devices.

 

PRTG comes with all the features you need, plus more your IT infrastructure won't want to live without.

 

PRTG monitors these vendors and applications, and more, in one view!

 

 

WMI Monitoring: Why PRTG is the right choice for you!

20 years of experience

20 years of experience

PRTG is the fruit of the PAESSLER AG, which was founded in 1997. Our Windows performance monitoring software is our only product, and thus gets the full attention of all our developers. Our Support department has encountered practically every problem associated with WMI - and is equipped to offer you solutions or alternatives.

administrators

300,000 administrators

Over 300,000 administrators worldwide use our network monitoring tool. In particular, our software is used for complex systems and infrastructures which require a high degree of reliability. Read more on this topic in our Case Studies.

Easy setup

Easy setup

PRTG comes with more than 250 standard sensors, some of which are automatically created during setup. Among these are numerous WMI sensors. You can even create your own custom WMI sensors to meet the specific requirements of your system.

Built-in alarm

Built-in alarm

PRTG features a built-in notification system that is quick and easy to configure. PRTG alerts you promptly - before the onset of more serious problems. At the same time, the alarm feature can be configured so you are not flooded with notifications. This means you can focus on your other tasks with peace of mind.

All-in-one

All-in-one

PRTG is a comprehensive monitoring solution. Thanks to our tool, you can keep an eye on your servers, workstations, virtual environments, and much more. Whether WMI, SNMP, Packet Sniffing, or NetFlow: With PRTG, you get access to several different protocols.
 

“We can all work with greater peace of mind knowing that our systems are constantly
being monitored.”

Markus Puke, Network Administrator, Schüchtermann Klinik, Germany

 

Trusted by 300,000 users
and recognized by industry analysts as a leader

 

“Fantastic network and infrastructure monitoring solution that is easy to deploy and easier still to use. Simply the best available.”

Read more reviews

“Software is absolutely perfect, Support is superior. Meets all needs and requirements, This is a must have solution if you are needing any form of monitoring.”

Read more reviews

“The tool excels at its primary focus of being a unified infrastructure management and network monitoring service.”

Read more reviews

 


Free Download

Unlimited version of PRTG for 30 days. After 30 days, PRTG reverts to a free version.
Or, you can upgrade to a paid license anytime.

 

 

Paessler Study on WMI Network Monitoring

Paessler AG regularly conducts extensive studies on WMI network monitoring. These studies help us come up with our recommendations for using WMI. The goal is to establish monitoring that is as efficient and trouble-free as possible. One of our larger studies took place in 2012. Here is a summary:

  • For PRTG core server installations, the 2012 Windows Server 2008 R2 is best suited for quick WMI monitoring. Based on our experience, this version is equally as good as the current Windows Server 2012 R2.
  • The use of Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 R1 is not recommended for computers installed with core servers or remote probes.
  • According to the 2012 study, you should opt for Windows Server 2008 R3 for client systems whenever this is possible. Nevertheless, newer versions such as Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 also perform well with WMI.
  • In contrast, Windows XP, Server 2003, Server 2008, Windows 8, and Server 2012 are less suitable for client monitoring.

 

Table with the full results from the 2012 WMI test

WMI

 

The values correspond to the number of milliseconds necessary to carry out a WMI request in the respective operating system

 

Results of the 2012 WMI test as a bar chart

 

wmi_graphic_2.png
 

You got stuck with your WMI monitoring? Use our PRTG WMI Tester!


WMI tends to be racked with problems. It is complicated to configure, e.g. when it comes to access rights or when the monitoring is to be set up outside a particular domain. Thanks to the PRTG WMI Tester, you can quickly determine if it is possible to access the target device from your PRTG server with WMI, and establish the causes of errors.

 

 

Practical tip: Hey Volker, do you have any WMI Monitoring tips up your sleeve?

„WMI is awesome technology for monitoring Windows computers. If problems do occur, they are often the result of an overload which arises from the querying of too many target devices with too many sensors in too short of intervals. Otherwise, WMI encounters problems with network access rights and domain restrictions. In both cases, I would recommend setting up one or more PRTG remote probes so you can find a quick and easy solution."

Volker Uffelmann, PRTG Software Developer

 

Things to consider for your WMI Monitoring


In order for WMI monitoring to function properly, a number of requirements must first be met. Here is an initial overview:

 Rights

Rights

The Windows user who sends WMI requests via PRTG must possess appropriate access rights. The user should be a member of the domain’s administrator group in the same Active Directory as the target computer. The respective user must also possess remote access rights.

 DCOM

DCOM

The DCOM communication protocol must be activated on both the PRTG server and the target. DCOM requires open UDP ports between 1024 and 5000 and chooses one of these ports dynamically.

 Firewall

Firewall

Configure your firewall so WMI requests are allowed to pass through. You should also activate “Enable Remote Management” if the firewall is set up according to group guidelines.

 Security Software

Security Software

Local security software such as anti-virus programs should also be checked to ensure WMI connections do not become blocked.

 RPC Server

RPC Server

The RPC server, which is used for WMI on the target computer, runs by default on port 135. It is important to ensure that this port is not blocked by another network (hardware) firewall and that the settings in PRTG conform to it.

 

Find out more on this topic in this detailed article in our Knowledge Base. For information on the most common problems associated with this server (and their corresponding solutions), please see this additional article.

 

 

PRTG: The swiss army knife for sys admins

Adapt PRTG individually and dynamically to your needs relying on a strong API:

  • HTTP API: Access monitoring data and manipulate monitoring objects using HTTP requests
  • Custom Sensors: Create your own sensors for customized monitoring
  • Custom Notifications: Create your own notifications to send alarms to external systems
  • New REST API Sensor: Monitor almost everything that provides XML or JSON

 

PAESSLER AG –
German quality
engineering

Free Download
  • Unlimited version of PRTG for 30 days
  • After 30 days, PRTG reverts to a free version
  • Or, you can upgrade to a paid license anytime

 

Most administrators want to test a tool for free before deciding to make an investment.


The many advantages of PRTG:

1. Free trial version: Take the time to explore PRTG so you can determine if it satisfies your needs and meets your expectations. Once the trial is over, it’s easy to upgrade your already configured version of PRTG, which means you’re much less likely to make an incorrect purchase.

2. One tool, one overview: Administrators often use a variety of monitoring solutions for their network or for the individual components of their infrastructure. But using several different tools every time you want to create an overview costs time and energy. PRTG is an “all-in-one” solution. Our dashboard and app provide a comprehensive overview, whenever you want it.

3. Quick customer support: Got a question? Stuck on a problem and need a hand? PRTG is backed by a dedicated development and support team. We do our utmost to answer every customer inquiry within 24 hours (on business days). Browse all our support topics here.

Configure your PRTG today. The trial version is free of charge. Save time, worry, and money with our monitoring tool designed for your network and entire infrastructure.

 

PRTG

Network Monitoring Software - Version 20.4.64.1402 (November 24th, 2020)

Hosting

Download for Windows and hosted version available

Languages

English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese

Pricing

Up to 100 sensors for free (Price List)

Unified Monitoring

Network devices, bandwidth, servers, applications, virtual environments, remote systems, IoT, and more

Supported Vendors & Applications

More

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