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How to enable WinRM with domain controller Group Policy for WMI monitoring

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If you don't have a domain controller but would still like to monitor your Windows devices, you'll need to enable WMI device by device. Please see How to enable WMI monitoring on a single Windows device for complete instructions.

Auvik uses the Windows Remote Management (WinRM) protocol to access Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) data. This article walks you through how to enable and configure WinRM using Group Policy so you can use Auvik to remotely manage all Windows devices on your network.

Keep in mind there’s a delay between completing the set-up steps and the change propagating to all computers in your network.

Note: These instructions are written for Windows Server 2012 R2. If you're using an older version of Windows Server, your steps and the labels you see may vary.

First, we need to create a Group Policy object for your domain.

  1. From the start menu, open Control Panel.
  2. Select Administrative Tools.
  3. Select Group Policy Management.
  4. From the menu tree, click Domains > [your domain’s name].
  5. Right-click and select Create a GPO in this domain, and Link it here.
  6. Input Enable WinRM.
  7. Click OK.

Next, edit the new Group Policy object you just created. When you’re done, there will be three WinRM service settings enabled:

  • Allow remote server management through WinRM
  1. Right-click on the new Enable WinRM Group Policy Object and select Edit.
  2. From the menu tree, click Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates: Policy definitions > Windows Components > Windows Remote Management (WinRM) > WinRM Service.
  3. Right-click on Allow remote server management through WinRM and click Edit.
  4. Select Enabled to allow remote server management through WinRM.
  5. Enter an asterisk (*) into each field.
  6. Click OK.

Now that Windows Remote Management has been enabled on the Group Policy, you need to enable the service that goes with it.

  1. From the Group Policy Management Editor window, click Preferences > Control Panel Settings > Services.
  2. Right-click on Services and select New > Service.
  3. Select Automatic as the startup.
  4. Enter WinRM as the service name.
  5. Select Start service as the service action.
  6. All remaining details can stay on the defaults. Click OK.

Now you must allow for inbound remote administration by updating the firewall rules. When you’re done, there will be two rules enabled:

  • Windows Firewall: Allow inbound remote administration exception
  • Windows Firewall: Allow ICMP exception
  1. Using the Group Policy Management Editor, from the menu tree, click Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates: Policy definitions > Network > Network Connections > Windows Firewall > Domain Profile.
  2. Right-click on Windows Firewall: Allow inbound remote administration exception and click Edit.
  3. Select Enabled.
  4. Enter the IP address into the field called Allow unsolicited incoming messages from these IP addresses. To allow messages from any IP address, enter an asterisk (*) into each field. You can also restrict unsolicited incoming messages from the Auvik virtual appliance only, by entering the appliances IP address. Otherwise enter a comma-separated list that contains a combination of IP addresses (10.1.100.0), subnet descriptions (10.2.3.0/24), or strings (localsubnet) for the set of devices that will have access for remote administration.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Right-click on Windows Firewall: Allow ICMP exception and click Edit.
  7. Select Enabled.
  8. Check Allow inbound echo request.
  9. Click OK.

Almost done! The final steps is to create a new inbound firewall rule and update the network list manager for unidentified networks.

  1. From the menu tree, click Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Windows Firewall with Advanced Security > Windows Firewall with Advanced Security > Inbound Rules.
  2. Right-click on Inbound Rules and click New Rule.
  3. Select Predefined.
  4. Select Windows Remote Management from the list of services.
  5. Click Next.
  6. Uncheck the Public rule. Leave the Domain, Private rule checked.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Leaving the defaults, click Finish.
  9. Right-click on the new rule and click Properties.
  10. Click the Advanced tab.
  11. Uncheck Private.
  12. Click OK.
  13. From the menu tree, click Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Network List Manager Policies.
  14. Right-click Unidentified Networks and click Properties.
  15. Change the location type from Not configured to Private.
  16. Click OK.
  17. Close the Local Group Policy Editor window.

All the Windows machines on your network are now WMI-enabled and can be monitored and managed through Auvik.

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Comments

  • Avatar
    Brandon Fox

    Please note that in different versions of Windows the first step looks for: "Allow remote server management through WinRM" but sometimes it is called: "Allow automatic configuration of listeners."

  • Avatar
    Krista Foisy

    Thanks Brandon! :)

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