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 types

Dynatrace supports two types of ActiveGates, Environment ActiveGates and Cluster ActiveGates. 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 Managed deployments is the Cluster ActiveGate. For Dynatrace Managed deployments, see additional ActiveGate use cases for Dynatrace Managed.

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 resources, you must install an ActiveGate and configure AWS monitoring.

  • 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 private 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).

  • Execute private browser monitors
    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.

  • Monitor 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.

  • Monitor Kubernetes/OpenShift
    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+).

  • 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.