In NMIS version 8.6.0 we've added support for collecting data from Windows systems using the Windows Management Instrumentation infrastructure (or WMI for short). As of NMIS9 support for domains has been enhanced to make it easier to configure.
This page describes how to approach modelling devices for WMI, and where WMI modelling differs from modelling for SNMP.
To collect WMI data NMIS has to use a WMI access tool. As of NMIS 8.6.0 we are using
wmic, a commandline tool belonging to the Samba software suite.
NMIS 8.6.0 ships with a precompiled
wmic program, and installs it as
/usr/local/nmis8/bin/wmic. If the precompiled version should not work on your platform, the installer will notify you of that problem and you'll have to perform a manual build of
wmic. The sources for
wmic can be downloaded here: http://dl-nmis.opmantek.com/wmic-omk.tgz and you shouldn't have to do more than unpack that, and run
make. When the build is complete, you should copy the resulting
wmic file to
On the target systems, the WMI service must be running and the network (and any firewalls) must be configured to let WMI accesses pass. WMI accesses are generally negotiated to use dynamic ports (following up on an initial conversation on TCP port 135), but Microsoft provides instructions on how to setup fixed ports for WMI.
NMIS does not attempt any WMI accesses unless the node in question is configured with both a
wmiusername and a
wmipassword property. This can be done in the GUI, under "Edit Node'; the WMI options are shown prominently near the top of the page.
If the node in question requires a windows domain for the WMI access, then In NMIS 8 prepend that to the
wmiusername followed by a "/", e.g. "
somedomain/theuser". In NMIS 8.6.7 and newer you can also provide the domain in the form "
In NMIS9, in addition to the NMIS8 syntax, there is a dedicated 'WMI Domain' field to make configuration easier.
Automatic model selection does include WMI as a source of information, if SNMP is not available and if
wmipassword are set. Automatic Model selection in NMIS uses the device property "sysDescr" (an SNMP property) for WMI only devices the sysDescr is auto created from the WMI received variables "winosname" and "winversion" e.g getNodeInfo, winosname=Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Datacenter winversion=10.0.14393 this string is then interpreted to sysDescr as Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Datacenter Windows Version 10.0.14393.
We recommend that you verify the availability of WMI (and your credentials) with
wmic, before performing any modelling work. This should be done using the
wmic tool on your NMIS server, like in the following example:
If WMI is properly configured and the access details match you'll see output similar to the three lines shown.
Besides using the standard Widows models that NMIS ships with as examples, you will likely also need to consult the online WMI reference documentation for determining what is available in the WMI universe where and how to tell NMIS about it.
The wmic client will accept a user in the following format:
In the inside, NMIS calls the windows wmic client using the following parameters:
To test this exactly command, a file /tmp/authfile with the following information is needed (and for NMIS9, '
domain = domain' is supported as well):
We should not expect the same data as the one collect by SNMP. WMI can work without snmp, but WMI data structure is different. We should probably expect data in the interfaces, system and systemHealth sections.
Even though, the model should be discovered automatically, the same as in SNMP.
More info - Using WMI to query and monitor Windows devices
WMI Modelling in a nutshell
Let's examine an example model:
Here are the crucial aspects:
- Wherever an
snmpsection is allowed in a model, you may add a
- A model may have either or both
wmisections, but the collected variables must be uniquely named.
- Just like SNMP sections, a WMI section consists of any number of variable collection definitions.
- A WMI section may also contain a section called
-common-, which specifies a shared
queryproperty for variables without explicit
- A WMI variable definition must have a
query(or inherit one from
-common-) and a
queryis issued to the host in question using the
wmictool, and must at least select the field/column you're interested in.
For efficiency you should use the same combined query for as many variables in your section as possible; i.e.
select * from someclass.
If you have multiple variables in your section and set the same query argument for all of them, then NMIS will issue the query just once and reuse the results.
The same goes if you use the
-common-mechanism as shown in the example above, in which case you don't have to give your variable section an explicit
fieldis used to select the column or property from the query result.
The field is case-sensitive! (The
selectattributes are generally not.)
- All other NMIS modelling mechanisms work the same, i.e.
Here is another example, this time of an indexed
This example illustrates one more crucial aspect:
- If your WMI-sourced variables are indexed (i.e. belong to a table with multiple instances), then you must set the
indexedmodel property to the name of the variable.
And, of course, there must be a variable section for the given variable to index by (in the example above, it's called
Nameand indicates the name of the page/swap file).
- If you are collecting such variables both for current display (
syssection) and long-term collection (
rrdsection), then both sections must contain the same indexed property, not just 'true'.
In an SNMP section under
rrd, 'true' is sufficient because the property to index by can be deduced in that case. For WMI this doesn't hold.
WMI Modelling Limitations
As of version 8.6.0 there are a few modelling limitations that we plan to remedy incrementally.
- It is not possible for a
systemHealthsection to have both
This is because only one index per
systemHealthsection is supported, but
snmpcan not share that single index.
- At this time, collection of the following types of statistics from WMI is not supported:
Server-type processor and load information
- NMIS does not yet support service tests for WMI-sourced process information.
- Collection of indexed WMI sections is not optimised for maximum efficiency yet.
query results are reused to some extent but not universally, and further optimisations are planned.
- The GUI model editor does not support editing of WMI sections yet.