Install and configure SNMP on Windows Server Core

The Server Core (Windows Server 2022) is a minimal installation that includes most but not all server roles. It still supports SNMP for monitoring purposes. You can easily install and configure SNMP using PowerShell and MMC and/or Server Manager.

When you try to install Windows Server, you will be provided with two options, Windows Server Standard and Data Center (Desktop Experience) and Windows Server Standard and Datacenter Server-Core. The desktop experience is GUI-based and something that most of us are already used to. The Server Core is a minimal installation that includes most but not all server roles. It has a smaller disk footprint and reduces attach surface due to a smaller code-base. When you deploy it, you will be provided with the command line-based UI from which you configure it and access PowerShell for additional configuration.

Windows Server Core CLI

The procedure of installing and configuring the SNMP service is a bit different due to the command-line interface, but the good thing, the SNMP is still supported in Windows Server 2022. For demonstration purposes, I´ll use Windows Server 2022 Server Core, but the procedure is equally applicable to previous Windows Server versions.

If you are using Windows Server that is Full GUI-based, please check the article Can you still monitor your Windows Server 2022 with SNMP.

Step 1: Install SNMP Service

PowerShell is your friend, here. Due to the fact, there is no GUI, you need to execute a few commands to install SNMP service in Windows Server Core.

If you are unsure if SNMP is already installed on your Windows Server Core, you can run the following command to verify it. The “Available” means that service is available, and “Installed” that is installed.

Get-WindowsFeature SNMP*
Check if SNMP is available and already installed

Run the following command to install SNMP Service and press Enter.

Install-WindowsFeature SNMP-Service
Install SNMP Service

You can verify the status of the SNMP service by typing the following command. As you can see SNMP Service is successfully installed.

Get-WindowsFeature SNMP*
Verify if SNMP is installed

If you also want to install SNMP WMI Provider, type the following command and press Enter.

Install-WindowsFeature SNMP-Service -IncludeAllSubFeature
Install SNMP WMI Provider

You have successfully installed SNMP Service. Now it is time for the configuration part.

Step 2: Configure SNMP Service

There are no PowerShell cmdlets for SNMP administration, hence you need to do create and edit a few registry keys. The registry key for configuring SNMP is located at

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SNMP\Parameters

However, we can make it easier. Instead of playing with PowerShell and registry keys, you can remotely access SNMP service from Server Manager or MMC (Microsoft Management Console). Connect to one of the Windows Servers that is GUI-based, MMC, and follow the procedure below. If you want to do it using Server Manager, you need to navigate to Server Manager > Tools > Services > Actions > Connect to another computer and continue from step 4. 

  1. Search for mmc and run it.
  2. Click on File > Add/Remove Snap-in…
  3. Select Service and then click on Add >
Add Services tool to MMC
  1. Select Another computer and type DNS or IP address of Windows Server Core adn then click Finish. You can also click on Browse and select the machine from your domain.
  1. Click OK to confirm adding remote service to MMC console.
  2. Expand Services and navigate to SNMP Service and then Right click > Properties.
  3. Click on the Security tab to configure community string and ACL.
  4. Click on Add… under Community to create a community string. In my case, the community string is called prtgnetworkmonitor
  5. Select Accept SNMP packets from these hosts and click Add… to add the IP of your NMS (Network Monitoring Solution). In my case, the IP is 192.168.88.21 which is my PRTG Core Server. This means Windows machine will only accept SNMP communication coming and going to my NMS.
Remotely configure SNMP Service
  1. Click Apply and OK and you are done.

Now you can monitor your Windows Server Core using SNMP, or SNMP Traps (requires additional configuration). In my case below, I am monitoring several metrics (uptime, CPU load, RAM, HDD usage, network traffic, and DNS service) by using PRTG and SNMP.

Monitoring Windows Server 2022 (Server Core) using SNMP

I hope you enjoyed this article as I did. If you think this might interesting to your friends and network, please share it using the social media button below. Thank you.

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