Dynatrace: Leverage WMI to enable full observability and monitor performance of Windows hosts and services


With Dynatrace, you can now monitor Windows hosts and Windows based services like Active Directory or Microsoft Exchange with just a few clicks. You can gather all the relevant data for continuous monitoring of your hosts and services with custom entities, metrics and alerts without the need to install an agent. This speeds up and makes the process of setting up new hosts and services to monitor more convenient than ever.

The new Dynatrace Extensions 2.0 infrastructure allows you to easily and quickly transmit metrics and event data to Dynatrace and use it in dashboards, alerts and configurations. The range of automation features provided by the new extension framework meet the scalability requirements of modern businesses and enable Dynatrace to respond quickly to the monitoring needs of your environment.

We announced the new extension framework a few months ago. We are now very happy to announce that we are expanding its capabilities with support for another protocol: Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI). WMI is the infrastructure for managing data and operations on Windows operating systems. Extensions 2.0 usesthe WMI protocol to release a wide range of features to better understand Windows environments.Instrumentation can even be used to expose analytical data for any Windows application.

The new remote Windows host monitoring extension provides:

  • Configure the WMI data source forOneAgent and agentless surveillance
  • Topology definition and feature extraction rules
  • Dashboard Templates
  • Unified analysis

Agentless monitoring of Windows hosts

With the ever-growing range of Microsoft Windows systems and custom software exposing state information and analytical data through WMI, in order to make this information adjustable and reusable, customizable extensions are needed.

Typically, Dynatrace OneAgent is used to collect and provide all the data necessary to monitor the health and performance of the monitored hosts. For years, this has been highly appreciated by our users and recognized by Gartner, Forrester, ISG,and others. In some cases, however, an internal company policy prevents the installation of any additional software, such as OneAgent, on a Windows host for compatibility, security, or legal reasons.

The newly released remote Windows host monitoring extensionleverages WMI to collect data from Windows hosts, without the need for an agent. This enables agentless remote monitoring while providing the same transparency and visibility to Windows hosts that is available by installing OneAgent.

All monitored remote Windows hosts expose:

  • CPU and memory usage trends
  • I / O operations and disk usage trends
  • Network interface and traffic statistics
  • Details of running processes and network service

This data can be used to monitor Windows Server 2003+ hosts and some older Windows XP hosts, such as ATMs.

Extend observability to all Windows applications

WMI also provides instrumentation for Windows applications. Application vendors can use it to expose details about the performance and health of their applications. Most Microsoft server software, applications, and tools already use WMI to provide additional performance data and metrics.

This information can also be used in conjunction with OneAgent capabilities to extend visibility into services such as Active Directory (DNS, DHCP, DFS) or Microsoft Exchange services that are running on monitored Windows hosts..

Thanks to their openness and flexibility, all extensions can easily be adapted to your specific needs or even be transformed into new extensions, if necessary.

In addition, potential security holes can be identified by Monitor DNS and DHCP services running in the Active Directory domain. By adding more information from WMI events (forthcoming), you will get all the details you need to diagnose and be alerted to the root causes of such violations.

Domain expertise as a set of configurations in an extension

Our vision for the new extension framework is to provide the most comprehensive value in a single package so that you have a solution for all of your monitoring needs in a specific area of ​​expertise with the use of a single extension. All introduced extensions now contain multiple configurations applied when configuring extensions through the Dynatrace Hub.

Metric data and metadata collection

The new extensions collect all the details needed to route the metrics and their associated dimensions into Dynatrace, allowing for more detailed analysis. In the case of WMI, queries and the transformation of their responses make the data available as metrics in Dynatrace.

Additional attributes are gathered for each metric collected, making it easier to find them or explain their purpose.

Definition of topology

Metrics alone are not enough; Information about where the metrics come from and how they fit into your environment makes the metrics understandable. The context of a metric often means as much as the value of the metric itself. As environments become more and more complex, we see a great need to model and customize the topology definition rules that come out of the box. Declarative topology definitions allow Dynatrace to model any combination of features and their relationships. Extensions can contain declarative topology definitions, making your topology more accessible and easier to understand.

Definition of entity type Definition of topology

Not only does Dynatrace’s topology model make it easier to understand dependencies, it also enables Davis AI’s causal engine to correlate reported events, enabling more comprehensive and focused problem detection, root cause analysis and resolution.

Alert rules

Dynatrace Davis AI makes the difference – metric anomalies can be either automatically detected or configured using a static threshold. A Dynatrace 2.0 extension supports both static and auto-detected baselines, whichever best suits your needs, so that it is dedicated to the specific technology supported.

Host Observability Alert Rules

Dashboards and analyzes

Configurable dashboards are usually a starting point for proactive health checks or performance analysis. Dynatrace Extensions provide custom dashboards so you can start with a clear overview of the status of the monitored technology, then navigate further for more details.

Unified Analysis Pages allow for customization while providing a consistent look across Dynatrace. You may have noticed from the screenshots above that the scan pages for remote Windows hosts look a lot like other scan pages in Dynatrace. These can now be tailored to the specific needs of a monitored technology while reducing the learning curve of new technologies, thanks to our unified approach to analytics pages. The transition to unified analytics has just started and will continue to be phased. Based on your feedback and our research, you can expect to see more unifications and usability improvements.

And after

We will have more for you on the WMI monitoring extension in particular and the extensions framework as a whole. Watch for our announcements regarding:

  • Windows Event Reports
  • Integration of Log Monitoring with extensions
  • Tool to support the extension development process

  • Additional protocols, allowing support for an even wider set of technologies as part of the extensions.

We want to hear from you

Some of the solutions described here are new, others are to buildtto concepts we haveintroduced earlier. We rely on our community of users and partners and listen carefully to all suggestionsandfeedback.Please letweknowWhat you think about our novelties, if you want to share a virtual coffee with us, if youwait more, or if you preferhandle product reviews in a different way.


Dynatrace Inc. published this content on September 14, 2021 and is solely responsible for the information it contains. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on September 14, 2021 06:41:03 PM UTC.

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