When do I need to install an ActiveGate?

ActiveGate is a component that can help you reduce the number of outgoing connections and traffic. Therefore, if you plan to install more than 100 OneAgents or if you want to manage large-scale Dynatrace deployments in general, you should consider installing at least one ActiveGate. For 1,000 OneAgents, installing an ActiveGate is highly recommended. You don’t need to install all ActiveGates in advance—you can add additional ActiveGates at any time. If you install multiple ActiveGates in the same environment, your OneAgents and ActiveGates will configure themselves automatically to achieve optimal load balancing.

ActiveGate use cases

You need to install an ActiveGate for the following use cases:

  • Access sealed networks
    In case OneAgents don't have access to the internet, you should install an ActiveGate to serve as a single access point, rather than opening the firewall for multiple hosts running OneAgents. This approach greatly reduces the effort of managing and maintaining firewall and/or proxy configuration settings.

  • Store memory dumps
    Dynatrace supports both automatic and manual capture and analysis of memory dumps on monitored hosts. Memory dumps need to be stored in a centralized location for download and analysis. Since such dumps are often large and can contain sensitive data, Dynatrace doesn't allow you to upload dumps to the Dynatrace cluster in the cloud. Instead you should set up an ActiveGate and configure it to serve as a host for memory dumps. The Dynatrace UI provides you with download URLs for the ActiveGate REST API that serves the dumps.

  • Control load distribution of AWS monitoring
    AWS service monitoring is a resource-intensive task. Therefore, to monitor more than 2,000 AWS services, you must install an ActiveGate.

  • Collect external logs
    Log Analytics includes an option to import external log files for processing and analysis. A high volume of log data can be very demanding on ActiveGates handling OneAgents. For performance reasons, you should install a dedicated ActiveGate for collecting external logs. Make sure that your dedicated Log Analytics ActiveGate is on a host that has access to your environment (connectivity to the cluster).

  • Monitor using an ActiveGate plugin
    With ActiveGate plugins, you can extend Dynatrace monitoring to any remote technology that exposes an interface, where OneAgent installation is not an option. For example, PaaS technologies, network devices, or cloud technologies. ActiveGate plugins (aka remote plugins) are executed on ActiveGates and can acquire metrics and topology information from remote sources, thereby fully integrating remote technology monitoring into Dynatrace Smartscape and problem detection. Currently, this capability is offered only by Environment ActiveGates.

  • Monitor virtualized infrastructure
    An ActiveGate can poll your vCenter or standalone ESXi hosts to obtain information about all important resources that ESXi servers provision to your virtual machines (for example, CPU usage, memory consumption, and data-store related activity on your VMware platform). To acquire this information, Dynatrace needs a component installed in your environment that has access to the vCenter API.

  • Execute local HTTP monitors
    For HTTP monitors, an ActiveGate or a group of ActiveGates can act as a private synthetic location. The HTTP monitor will then be executed via the specified ActiveGate(s).

  • Monitor Cloud Foundry
    To monitor Cloud Foundry, installation of a dedicated ActiveGate instance is mandatory. Monitoring Cloud Foundry can be very resource intensive. Therefore, installation of a dedicated ActiveGate instance is mandatory, as ActiveGates can allow support of huge Cloud Foundry clusters. ActiveGate is the Dynatrace component that connects to the Cloud Foundry API and gathers data through it.

  • Monitor Azure
    To integrate Azure monitoring data, a dedicated ActiveGate is required to poll metadata and metrics from Azure APIs. This integration enables monitoring of Azure Services (especially for cloud services where we can't install OneAgent) and also monitoring through the Dynatrace UI.

Note: For Dynatrace Managed, there are additional ActiveGate use cases to be considered.