Simple Network Management Protocol
SNMP monitors and manage activities of network devices or components on the network. Activities include alert generation and node management associated with routers, bridges, repeaters, switches, hubs and workstations. However, SNMP can be configured effectively only on an IP based network. Likewise, primary task of a typical network team is to ensure reliable network services, network expansion considerations and addressing network issues. SNMP reporting and alert generation features may benefit network engineers and network managers to efficiently address network issues. For instance, network operating on SNMP will be associated with three components i. e. managed devices, agents and network management system (NMS). A managed device can be any node configured with SNMP within the network. Primary task of these managed devices is to perform information management in order to publish the information on the NMS (Protocols guide: TCP/IP protocols: Application layer protocols: SNMP: Simple network management protocol. 2007). Example of managed devices includes routers, hubs, switches etc. Moreover, an agent is considered as an application that is installed in a managed device. In addition, agent also translates information that will be compatible with SNMP. Furthermore, NMS publish information related to performance, power and any conflict that may occur between these managed devices on the network. Currently there are three versions of SNMP, these versions share some commands and features that are described in the below table (Protocols guide: TCP/IP protocols: Application layer protocols: SNMP: Simple network management protocol. 2007):
This command is executed to retrieve a information from an agent
This command is executed by the NMS to retrieve a value associated with the next instance of an object.
This command is also utilized by the NMS to manage values of instances of an object
Agents utilize this feature to update NMS for any alert or update
This command is used by the NMS to handle large amount of data
This command is used to synchronize information between two or more NMS
Likewise, SNMPv3 is more secure than the other two versions because it contains User based security model, view based access control model and agent use SET commands.
Management information base (MIB) is a component of SNMP that assist network engineers and managers to monitor the network functionality via interfaces. For instance, if an organization is developing a new application that will be administered remotely, developer will integrate a MIB within the application. The MIB will illustrate information and variables for generating alerts (SNMP overview, n. d). Moreover, RFC1213-MIB is also referred as MIB 2, it is compatible with all SNMP agents that may operate on TCP/IP supported devices. The MIB-2 management group is essential, as SNMP supported devices must support MIB-2, in order to work adequately (A closer look at MIB-II (essential SNMP, n. d)). The MIB file hosts a sketch that is associated with the object hierarchy on the network device along with ID of the object i. e. OID, permissions and syntax for every single variable. As each variable is identified by an exclusive identifier, it is referred as OID. OID can be related to URL that is unique and is used for opening websites on the browser. Likewise, two websites cannot have share the same URL or web address, they must be unique. Similarly, OID maintains uniqueness around the world by following a format that contains dots between values.
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(2007). Protocols guide: TCP/IP protocols: Application layer protocols: SNMP: Simple network management protocol. In (pp. 30-31) Javvin Technologies, Inc.
SNMP overview Retrieved 8/10/2011, 2011, from http://www. webnms. com/cagent/help/technology_used/c_snmp_overview. html
A closer look at MIB-II (essential SNMP) Retrieved 8/11/2011, 2011, from http://docstore. mik. ua/orelly/networking_2ndEd/snmp/ch02_05. htm