Both types of ActiveGate are technically optional components. However, there are several good reasons for installing an ActiveGate. Read below to understand if you should install an Environment ActiveGate or a Cluster ActiveGate.
Installing an Environment ActiveGate is highly recommended for the following reasons:
Management of large-scale Dynatrace deployments If you plan to install more than 100 OneAgents, it’s a good idea to deploy at least one Environment ActiveGate, as the Environment ActiveGates allows you to better manage large Dynatrace deployments. With Dynatrace, you don’t need to worry about load balancing. If you install multiple Environment ActiveGates in the same environment, your OneAgents and Environment ActiveGates will configure themselves automatically to achieve optimal load balancing.
Monitoring of virtualized infrastructure
An Environment 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.
Storage of 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 Environment ActiveGate and configure it to serve as a host for memory dumps. The Dynatrace UI provides you with download URLs for the Environment ActiveGate REST API that serves the dumps.
Controlled load distribution for AWS monitoring.
AWS service monitoring is a resource-intensive task. Therefore, to monitor more than 700 AWS services, you must install an Environment ActiveGate.
Installing a Cluster ActiveGate is highly recommended for the following reasons:
Enable synthetic monitoring
Your Dynatrace Managed deployment must be able to receive synthetic monitoring data from the Dynatrace Synthetics infrastructure, which is distributed across the world. Typically, Dynatrace Cluster nodes shouldn't be exposed to the outside world. It's recommended that you install a Cluster ActiveGate in a location that can be publicly accessed from the Internet so that it can forward all synthetic test traffic to the Dynatrace Server.
Enable agentless Real User Monitoring
To use Real User Monitoring without OneAgent, you typically don't want to expose your Dynatrace Cluster nodes to the outside world. It's recommended that you install a Cluster ActiveGate in a location that can be publicly accessed from the Internet so that it can forward all monitoring traffic to the Dynatrace Server.
Enable mobile Real User Monitoring
To allow instrumented mobile apps to report Real User Monitoring data to your Dynatrace Managed installation, you can configure and open a publicly accessible Cluster ActiveGate. A Cluster ActiveGate provides a secure IP address where your mobile apps can safely send their monitoring data.
Access sealed networks
Dynatrace Clusters often run in protected environments that aren't directly accessible by OneAgents running outside. A Cluster ActiveGate can be used to serve as a single access point for such OneAgents. This approach greatly reduces the effort of managing and maintaining firewall and/or proxy configuration settings.
There is a case however for which installing a Cluster ActiveGate is a prerequisite.
- Control load distribution for AWS monitoring.
AWS service monitoring is a resource-intensive task. Therefore, to monitor more than 700 AWS services, you must install a Cluster ActiveGate.