Agent-less vs Agent-based Monitoring

What is Agent-less Monitoring

Agent-less monitoring is implemented in two ways: using a remote API accessible by the platform for the monitored service or through the direct analysis of network packets moving between service components. In addition to agent-based Monitoring, network packet analysis (Uptime Monitoring) is implemented.

SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is an agent-less protocol for monitoring servers and network devices. WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) is used on Windows servers and provides a far more comprehensive metrics collection than SNMP monitoring.

SNMP Monitoring

Compared to agent monitoring, SNMP offers a significantly reduced set of data. Using SNMP monitoring, you are limited to what data is exposed by the vendor, which can not be extended.

WMI Monitoring

WMI is a windows server monitoring in network. Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is an example of how some vendors supply additional server and platform metrics for agentless Monitoring. WMI is the most powerful gateway for agentless Monitoring of Windows-based servers. In many cases, however, an agent-based monitoring approach might be preferable. For example, a dynamic IT environment with many operating systems (Windows Server, Linux Servers) might benefit from a solution that combines agent-based and agent-less Monitoring in a single dashboard.

What is Agent-based Monitoring


Agent-based Monitoring relies on a software component, often a small and lightweight application that installs/runs on the client’s server to collect data. The information is subsequently transmitted to the monitoring node. This is the optimal approach since it makes the agent relatively lightweight and capable of gathering significant metrics for better Monitoring while leaving alerting, reporting, and higher levels of analysis and root cause detection to the monitoring node.

On the other hand, some agents are significant users of the client’s server resources that they are monitoring. For example, agents adhere to the agent’s guidelines to manage their gathered data rather than the monitoring node. Can increase the burden on the client’s server. Ironically, these agents work against their main purpose: monitoring performance, which can be hampered by the significant load caused by the agent.

The ideal solution is a lightweight agent that can collect detailed metrics and information from the server while causing no discernible strain. The agent talks with the monitoring node at predetermined intervals provides the collected data, and creates Alerts (incidents) if the metrics exceed user-defined criteria (Trigger system).

With configurable service monitors, agent developers can add abilities that verify the status of services and gather non-standard metrics from apps and hardware, allowing for higher scalability. These custom monitors can enhance the agent’s capability to support applications and services that the monitoring core does not cover.

Pros & Cons


Deeper and more comprehensive metric collection for enhanced monitoring and issue reporting.
Lower risk of downtime.
Extendibility for monitoring non-standard metrics.
Leaving resource-intensive tasks to the monitoring nodes rather than the client’s server.


The requirement for deployment and installation on the client’s server.
Internal approval for deployment on production servers in some companies.
More expensive in some cases.

Which one is the best?

One of the most important things to remember is that Monitoring is only one phase in the IT infrastructure management process; the ideal solution should include Monitoring and Reporting, deep historical reporting, innovative alerting functionalities, and ease of use in large IT environments. A decent monitoring solution should also include agent-based and agentless Monitoring at a price that makes a CIO happy.

Look for an easy-to-deploy, low-cost monitoring solution that supports agentless and agent-based metric collecting, allowing the IT staff to report on their services in terms of availability, performance, and dependability. You can ensure that enough capacity is available to fulfill the current and future needs of your users/consumers by reviewing ongoing and historical data.

You should be aware that agent-less server monitoring solutions are an outdated technology that is difficult to deploy. This is something you should be mindful of. Imagine you have a large network with a large number of servers and you need to implement agent-less server monitoring. How would you go about doing this? This is going to be a challenging endeavor. In addition, in recent years enterprises have increasingly been equipped with big networks, making the usage of agent-less server monitoring software unfeasible.

Agent-based server monitoring systems offer an ideal solution for every type of network and come with a wide variety of benefits. Xitoring is an agent-based server monitoring system that offers several benefits, including the following:

  • Xitoring can deploy on many servers at the same time
  • Xitoring can start working in less than one minute on many servers at the same time
  • Xitoring is both uptime monitoring and agent-less server monitoring

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