N-central Help

What is WMI?

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is a network-based, Windows-specific protocol. The SolarWinds N-central Windows agent and Windows probe use WMI to query Windows devices for information. WMI also allow scripts and applications to be remotely run on a Windows device.

WMI is available on Windows 2000, 2003, 2008, XP, Vista, and Windows 7. It is unavailable on Windows XP Home and Windows Vista Home.

Is WMI secure?

WMI is a very secure protocol. In order to access WMI data, the application requesting the information (for example, the SolarWinds N-central Windows agent or Windows probe) must be either installed locally, or must provide Domain Administrator credentials if the request is being made remotely.

How is WMI Structured?

Data in WMI is grouped into WMI classes. For example, there is a WMI class for logical drives (Win32_LogicalDisk), and there is a class for running processes (Win32_Process). WMI classes are then grouped into WMI namespaces. Most of the WMI classes exist under the root\cimv2 WMI namespace, but there are other namespaces (for example, root\MicrosoftExchangev2) that contain WMI classes related to a specific Microsoft application.

WMI Folder Structure

WMI folder structure

To locate find data, you can navigate through the hierarchy. For example, if you wanted to find out the amount of free disk space of a logical disk, you would navigate through the following:

root\cimv2 namespace>Win32_LogicalDisk WMI>FreeSpace

To look at it another way, WMI data is just like making a SQL query:

Select FreeSpace from Win32_LogicalDisk where DeviceID=’C:\’;

Where FreeSpace is the property being returned, Win32_LogicalDisk is the database table (called a WMI class), and DeviceID is the unique identifier of the disk.

What is a WMI namespace?

A WMI namespace is just a container for WMI classes. By keeping different WMI classes in different WMI namespaces, Windows allows you to specify different access permissions for different WMI classes.

What WMI namespaces does SolarWinds N-central use?

SolarWinds N-central uses the root\SecurityCenter namespace to gather antivirus information through the A/V Security Center service, and it uses the root\cimv2 namespace for all other WMI-based services.

You can see a list of all of the available WMI namespaces on your computer by using the wmimgmt.msc command—see To view WMI namespaces on a Windows device for specific steps.