When do I need to install an ActiveGate?

There are two types of ActiveGates:

  • Environment ActiveGate
  • Cluster ActiveGate

If you use Dynatrace SaaS, you only need to install an Environment ActiveGate. Dynatrace Managed deployments typically require both ActiveGate types, though the most important type for Dynatrace Managed deployments is the Cluster ActiveGate.
The following concepts are key to understanding the different ActiveGate types:

  • ActiveGate modules
  • Environment ActiveGate deployment types
  • ActiveGate purposes

ActiveGate modules

Different functional features provided by ActiveGate are referred to as modules. When you are installing ActiveGate for a specific purpose, a different set of modules is installed or enabled.

Environment ActiveGate deployment types

An Environment ActiveGate can be deployed in the conventional manner, on a physical or virtual host: this is referred to as a classic ActiveGate deployment. Alternatively, an Environment ActiveGate can be packaged in a container: this is referred to as a cloud-native ActiveGate deployment. ActiveGate deployments in a container support only one enabled module.

classic—Environment ActiveGate runs on a virtual or physical host and has multiple modules.

cloud-native—Environment ActiveGate runs in a container and has only one module enabled.

ActiveGate purposes

ActiveGate can be used for three different use-cases, which we refer to as purposes:

Each purpose comes with a different subset of modules. Modules should not be mixed between purposes: such re-configuration is not supported.

Purpose: Route OneAgent traffic to Dynatrace, monitor cloud environments, or monitor remote technologies with extensions

These types of ActiveGates can have one or more modules installed or activated, though cloud-native ActiveGates are limited to one module per container.

The functionality offered by these types of ActiveGates depends on the modules that are actually installed in a particular case, and can be as follows:

  • Message Routing classic cloud-native

(module: OneAgent routing)
ActiveGate knows about the runtime structure of your Dynatrace environment and routes messages from OneAgent instances to the correct server endpoints.

  • Buffering and compression classic cloud-native

(module: OneAgent routing)
ActiveGate collects messages from OneAgent instances and builds bulks, which are then sent in compressed form to Dynatrace Servers. This can reduce network overhead considerably, depending on the number of OneAgent instances communicating with the ActiveGate and on the amount of data transferred by them.

  • Authentication classic cloud-native

(module: OneAgent routing)
ActiveGate authenticates OneAgent requests (SSL handshake and environment ID authentication).

  • Accessing sealed networks classic cloud-native

(module: OneAgent routing)
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.

  • Memory dumps classic

(module: 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.

  • AWS monitoring classic

(module: AWS)
AWS service monitoring is a resource-intensive task. Therefore, to monitor more than 2,000 AWS resources, you must install an ActiveGate and configure AWS monitoring.

  • Cloud Foundry monitoring classic

(module: Cloud Foundry)
To connect your Cloud Foundry foundations to Dynatrace, you're required to install an ActiveGate instance to complement Cloud Foundry process- and host-level metrics collected by Dynatrace OneAgent with additional metadata and metrics pulled from the Cloud Foundry API. This integration allows you to use the Cloud Foundry overview page as well as the automatic detection of your Cloud Foundry organizations in addition to other Cloud Foundry process properties like space, space ID, application, application ID, and instance index.

  • Kubernetes/OpenShift monitoring classic cloud-native

(module: Kubernetes)
To connect your Kubernetes/OpenShift clusters to Dynatrace to take advantage of the dedicated Kubernetes/OpenShift overview page, you need to run an ActiveGate in your environment (version 1.163+).

  • Azure monitoring classic

(module: 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.

  • Monitoring using an ActiveGate extension classic

(modules: Extensions 1.0, Extensions 2.0)
With ActiveGate extensions, 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 extensions (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.

  • Monitoring virtualized infrastructure classic

(module: VMware)
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.

  • Log Monitoring classic

(module: Log Monitoring)
With Log Monitoring as a part of the Dynatrace platform, you gain direct access to the log content of all your mission-critical processes. You can create custom log metrics for smarter and faster troubleshooting. You will be able to understand log data in the context of your full stack, including real user impacts.

  • Oracle database insights classic

(module: Database insights)
Database insights adds an infrastructure perspective to your database monitoring. With additional data fetched from the database layer, you are able to resolve performance problems that are rooted deep in the database.

  • Real User Monitoring classic

(module: Beacon forwarder)
Dynatrace infrastructure can be used as the default beacon endpoint for the agentless monitoring of your applications. Auto-injected applications send the beacon back to the customer's web server, bypassing the need for a third-party domain. However, when required, such applications can also use the Dynatrace infrastructure as an endpoint for RUM monitoring signals.

  • Metric ingestion classic

(module: HTTP Metric API)
Metric ingestion provides you a with a simple way to push any custom metrics to Dynatrace. You can further refine your metrics into categories.

  • Dynatrace API classic

(module: REST API)
You can use ActiveGate to access the Dynatrace API. ActiveGate supports calls to all the endpoints of the v1 as well as v2 versions of the Dynatrace Configuration and Environment APIs.

Purpose: Run synthetic monitors from a private location

(module: Synthetic)
Note: If an ActiveGate runs the Synthetic module, it cannot have any other modules enabled.

Synthetic-enabled ActiveGates are more demanding in terms of hardware requirements. See System and hardware requirements for synthetic-enabled ActiveGates.

  • Execute private HTTP monitors classic

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).

  • Execute private browser monitors classic

For browser monitors, an ActiveGate or a group of ActiveGates can act as a private Synthetic location. With browser monitors executed on the ActiveGate or ActiveGates, you can check the availability of internal resources that are inaccessible from outside your network.

To run browser monitors from a private location, you must first satisfy the engine dependencies, before you install the ActiveGate. See Create a private Synthetic location for detailed instructions.

Purpose: Route z/OS traffic to Dynatrace

(module: zRemote) classic
Note: If an ActiveGate runs the zRemote module, it cannot have any other modules enabled.

To monitor a mainframe environment you need an ActiveGate with built-in zRemote code module. The zRemote code module aggregates measurements from all OneAgent z/OS code modules and sends it to Dynatrace through an ActiveGate, installed on a different host.