The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is by far, the dominant protocol in network management. A key reason for its widespread acceptance, besides being the chief Internet standard for network management is its relative simplicity. Implementing SNMP management in a networked device is far more straightforward than most other standard or non-standard approaches to network management.
Despite that, SNMP application development has not been as simple as one would like. It has required significant effort to develop management applications to manage the variety of networked devices to be managed.
This situation is now changing for the better, as more SNMP tools are available. There are also different versions of SNMP available, such as SNMP V1, SNMP V2c, and SNMP V3. With improved tools, SNMP is poised to deliver end-to-end management for all areas of the growing internet industry.
What is SNMP?
Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) 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 management has become the dominant standardized network management scheme in use today. The SNMP set of standards provide a framework for the definition of management information along with a protocol for the exchange of that information. The SNMP model assumes the existence of managers and agents.
A manager is a software module responsible for managing a part or the entire configuration on behalf of the network management applications and users. An agent is a software module in a managed device responsible for maintaining local management information and delivering that information to a manager via SNMP. A management information exchange can be initiated by the manager (via polling) or by the agent (via a trap).