What is SNMP?

Understanding SNMP, What is SNMP?:

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is a popular protocol for network management. It is used for collecting information from, and configuring, network devices, such as servers, printers, hubs, switches, and routers on an Internet Protocol (IP) network. Microsoft Windows Server 2003 provides SNMP agent
software that works with third-party SNMP management software to monitor the status of managed devices and applications.

SNMP is a standard TCP/IP protocol for network management. Network administrators use SNMP to monitor and map network availability, performance, and error rates.

It is an application–layer protocol defined by the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) in RFC1157 for exchanging management information between network devices. It is a part of Transmission Control Protocol⁄Internet Protocol (TCP⁄IP) protocol suite.
SNMP is one of the widely accepted protocols to manage and monitor network elements. Most of the professional–grade network elements come with bundled SNMP agent. These agents have to be enabled and configured to communicate with the network management system (NMS).

SNMP Features:

  • A protocol for exchanging information between management station and a number of agents.
  • Provides a frame work for formatting and storing management information
  • Defines a number of general purpose management information variables, objects
snmp architecture view

SNMP Flashback

Developed in the 1980s, the original version of SNMP, SNMPv1, lacked some important functionality and only worked with TCP/IP networks. An improved specification for SNMP, SNMPv2, was developed in 1992. SNMP suffers from various flaws of its own, so many networks remained on the SNMPv1 standard while others adopted SNMPv2.

More recently, the SNMPv3 specification was completed in an attempt to address the problems with SNMPv1 and SNMPv2 and allow administrators to move to one common SNMP standard.

SNMP Structure:

understanding SNMP defining SNMP
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