Professional All-in-One
WMI Monitoring Software

  • PRTG monitors Microsoft servers and workstations with WMI
  • PRTG includes additional hybrid Windows sensors which use performance counters first and WMI as a fallback
  • PRTG incorporates other technologies such as SNMP

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?


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 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.



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.


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:



PRTG - Bandwidth Monitoring SNMP and WMI

PRTG – Bandwidth Monitoring with SNMP and WMI

by Kimberley, Product Evangelist

This video explains in detail, how PRTG keeps an eye on your bandwidth with SNMP und WMI.

View video (14:48 Min., english)





Packet Sniffer

xFlow (IPFIX, NetFlow, sFlow, jFlow)




Easy to complex (depending on filter rules used)

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

Traffic can be filtered





Differentiate bandwidth usage by protocol or IPs





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





Filter bandwidth usage by IP





Filter bandwidth usage by MAC address





Filter bandwidth usage by physical network port





Monitor network parameters other than bandwidth usage





CPU load on the machine running PRTG



Higher, depends on the amount of traffic

Higher, depends on the amount of traffic

Excess bandwidth usage of monitoring



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

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

Some examples:

  • WMI File Sensor: With the WMI File sensor, you can monitor the files of your Windows server and workstations.

Your WMI sensors at a glance –
even on the go

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


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

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.

200,000 administrators: Over 200,000 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: PRTG comes with more than 200 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: 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: 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

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.

WMI monitoring got you stuck? 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.

Quote Volker Uffelmann

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:


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.


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.


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

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

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.

The Swiss Army knife for admins

Adapt PRTG individually and dynamically, to your specific needs, using the 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


Made in Germany: The PRTG Network Monitoring Tool is the fruit of a dedicated, international team. The company was founded by Dirk Paessler who still runs it today. PESSLER AG's headquarters are located in the city of Nuremberg, in the heart of Germany.

A quick overview: PRTG provides a quick overview, whether on your desktop or as an app on your smartphone. An individually configurable dashboard features every key stat in the form of an easy-to-understand graph, so you can always make sure your network is running smoothly.

Easy configuration: Our Smart Setup guarantees a quick and easy setup. During configuration, PRTG will ping your network and create appropriate sensors, saving you a great deal of time. Furthermore, switching from other software such as Nagios is relatively quick and easy.

Outstanding support: Our support team strives to resolve inquiries within 24 hours (on business days). Discover a wide selection of videos, webinars, and instructions in our knowledge base. Our manual is also an excellent resource.

Getting started is easy: The trial version is for free, allowing you to evaluate our monitoring tool with no strings attached. To upgrade, simply search for a suitable license. You can modify your license any time you like. 


Network Monitoring Software - Version (December 12th, 2017)


Download for Windows and cloud version (PRTG in the cloud) available


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Up to 100 sensors for free (Price List)

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