Network Monitoring for Windows with WSL 2

Alyssa Lamberti
Alyssa Lamberti Last updated on May 21, 2020

Network Monitoring for Windows with WSL 2

At Build 2019, Microsoft announced WSL 2, an exciting new update to Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), and now these updates are coming up fast! With a new WSL 2 platform and new functionality for developers, the Obkio team is excited to leverage these new features to bring you all a new release to Obkio’s range of Network Performance Monitoring tools, using WSL 2 as its backend.

Keep reading to learn more about what’s coming for network performance monitoring with WSL 2, when to expect the update, and why it’s coming to you now!

What is Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)?

Windows Subsystem for Linux, more commonly known as WSL, was announced by Microsoft 4 years ago, at Build 2016. At the time, WSL was called "Bash on Ubuntu on Windows."

WSL was created to allow Windows users to run native, unmodified Linux command-line tools and apps directly in Windows, alongside all of their favorite Windows apps and tools - something which had been greatly sought after for years.

The usage of WSL has grown enormously over the last four years, going from just a few thousand users during the first preview build, to more than 3.5 million monthly active devices in 2020.

Due to the demand, Microsoft continued to develop the platform to make it faster and more feature-rich for it’s millions of users.

Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 Updates

Here comes WSL 2 to meet the demand! As I mentioned earlier, the WSL team unveiled the first preview of WSL 2 at Build 2019. Microsoft created WSL 2 primarily to increase file system performance, and add full system call compatibility.

The Windows Subsystem for Linux 2020 update utilizes new capabilities in Windows’ Hypervisor Platform to run distros and tools in containers, atop a real Linux Kernel image that is built and delivered by Microsoft, hosted in a lightweight VM, and boots from cold in less than 2 seconds.

Essentially, this means that WSL 2 will deliver full system call compatibility with a real Linux kernel and will change how Linux binaries interact with Windows and your computer's hardware.

WSL 2 will perform 3-6 times faster than earlier versions of WSL, while still providing the same user experience as WSL 1 (the current widely available version).

WSL 2 will be available on all Windows 10 editions (including Home edition), starting with Windows 10 version 2004. It is set to be released later on in May 2020.

This new update has received overwhelming response from the Microsoft community, but it’s also amazing news for the Obkio team, who were waiting on this new update to unveil some new network performance monitoring updates!

Obkio Network Performance Monitoring for Windows

Just in time for the release on WSL 2, Obkio is expanding its range of Network Performance Monitoring tools to include a Network Performance Monitoring Agent that is compatible with Windows!

Obkio’s Network Monitoring Agent for Windows will be built and delivered by Linux, and will use WSL 2 as its backend. That means that Obkio will be able to deliver a network performance monitoring solution for Windows, using the same perfected solution that is built and delivered by Linux.

The Agent will include all of the features currently available for all of Obkio’s other Network Performance Monitoring Agents, and will be available as a Software Agent.

Why is the Windows Agent Coming Now?

A Network Performance Monitoring Agent for Windows has long been requested by Obkio’s users, so it’s been in the works for the team for a while. As soon as WSL 2 was first announced, the Obkio team got to work.

With Real Linux Kernel coming to Windows, Obkio can now run it’s Linux Software Agent on Windows. Obkio’s Windows Agent was reliant on this feature because the Agent uses some internal Kernel Network Timestamp to measure latency.

With everything it needs to become a reality, we can now inform you that the Windows Agent will be available for your monitoring needs very soon!

How to Get the Windows Monitoring Agent

Do you want to monitor network performance on Windows? Well stay tuned, because it’s coming!

The Obkio Agent for Windows will be released as a Beta when WSL 2 is released later this month, in May 2020.

Everyone who installs WSL for the first time after the release will automatically receive WSL 2 as the new default distribution type. This means you’ll automatically be equipped for Obkio’s Windows Agent once installing WSL.

Stay tuned to find out when you can download our Beta version of our Windows Agent! Make sure to follow us on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) or subscribe to our newsletter for more information!

Do you want to test our Windows Agent before the public beta release?

Contact us to get on our privileged testers list and get an exclusive early trial!