Ep. 3: Monitoring Windows

Note: All the videos on our website offered in the German language have English subtitles and transcripts, as given below.

[0:00:11] Welcome back to the Checkmk Channel.
[0:00:13] Today we cover a very special topic – because this time we want to monitor Windows.
[0:00:16] We excluded Windows from the first episode.
[0:00:18] In that episode we installed Checkmk and began monitoring a host,but because Checkmk itself runs on Linux, in that example it was a Linux host.
[0:00:25] Today I would like to show you how to install the Checkmk Agent for Windows, and how to add a Windows Server into monitoring system in the usual way.
[0:00:34] Here I have logged into the monitoring system under Windows which we installed together last time.
[0:00:40] You can still see the single host in the monitoring - this is our Linux server, so it is the actual monitoring server itself.
[0:00:45] What we now need is the Checkmk agent for Windows.
[0:00:48] For that I go to the WATO Configuration Menu, under Monitoring Agents, and then here to the Windows column – where you can find the MSI package for the Windows agent.
[0:00:57] I click on that, and I can now execute it directly.
[0:01:04] The package is now being downloaded from the monitoring server.
[0:01:08] Windows warns us that the package is not certified by Microsoft – but that doesn't matter, it is okay.
[0:01:14] So I confirm that I do want to let it ‘run anyway’.
[0:01:19] You will now see the Setup Wizard from the Checkmk agent running, and here simply select Next, where you will be asked to accept the license.
[0:01:28] In this case it is the GNU General Public License, which is the open source license which is completely harmless to accept, and so I just keep going.
[0:01:38] The installation path is simply the standard path Program Files x86, which I will leave as it is.
[0:01:43] Important here: The Install and Start Service is already checked – just leave it that way.
[0:01:46] If you already have an older Checkmk agent on your computer, you can let it be automatically removed at this point, but since in this case we are starting from the beginning we do not need this option.
[0:01:58] So, that's actually all you have to do.
[0:02:00] I press install, and the agent will be installed and started immediately, and that's it.
[0:02:07] So what have we actually just done now?
[0:02:09] The Windows Agent has been installed as a service.
[0:02:14] It is now waiting on TCP port 6556 for requests from the Checkmk server.
[0:02:19] The nice thing about the Checkmk Agent for Windows is that it is beautifully simple and small, and requires very little CPU and storage space.
[0:02:26] We can also easily expand it with our own scripts, e.g., through Visual Basic Script, or in the Power Shell.
[0:02:33] Next, as usual, we add the host to the monitoring.
[0:02:37] To do this, in WATO I'm going back to Hosts.
[0:02:40] Select New Host, as always, I need two pieces of information: first is the name, by which the monitored server should be known in Checkmk, here enter, for example, windows01.
[0:02:52] And here I enter the IP address, because my name cannot be resolved here via DNS.
[0:02:58] In my case, and now I'm performing an intermediate step by selecting Save and Test.
[0:03:08] That means I first look at whether the agent answers – there is a ping test here – whether I have entered the IP address correctly, and whether the computer can be reached.
[0:03:18] It's green here now.
[0:03:19] The Checkmk Agent has answered – this is just the beginning of the response output.
[0:03:23] You can see the agent version here, that this is actually the Windows computer, and here you can also see the host name of the Windows computer itself.
[0:03:34] And now that everything looks good, I'm going to go here to Services to determine what I want to monitor on the computer.
[0:03:40] At Undecided services I just click the Monitor button,so that I simply monitor everything that was found.
[0:03:48] Next I go back to my Changes button and activate the changes, and after a second or so the host will be in the monitoring system.
[0:03:59] I'll go back to the top here on the sidebar, and in the Tactical Overview I now have two hosts, I can see the Windows host, and also see a whole list of services that have been automatically included in the monitoring system.
[0:04:15] If this doesn't work for you, or if you have trouble getting the data from the agent, it could be due to the Windows Firewall.
[0:04:22] For how to configure this correctly, you will find tips in our user manual.
[0:04:28] In the manual you will of course find everything in the article on monitoring Windows.
[0:04:37] There is a section about the firewall, and there is a command here – and very practically ready for entering in the command line – where you can see how to create a rule so that you can access the Checkmk agent from outside.
[0:04:50] You have to open port 6556 for TCP.
[0:04:55] So that's it for today. I hope it was interesting.
[0:04:58] If you have any further questions or need more details, of course everything and much more is in the manual.
[0:05:07] So for now I will say, see you again in Episode 4.
[0:05:10] Ciao, and all the best!

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