SNMP Tutorial Part 1: An Introduction to SNMP
Since its creation in 1988 as a short-term solution to manage elements in the growing Internet and other attached networks, SNMP has achieved widespread acceptance. SNMP was derived from its predecessor SGMP (Simple Gateway Management Protocol) and was intended to be replaced by a solution based on the CMIS/CMIP (Common Management Information Service/Protocol) architecture. This long-term solution, however, never received the widespread acceptance of SNMP.
SNMP is based on the manager/agent model consisting of an SNMP manager, an SNMP agent, a database of management information, managed SNMP devices and the network protocol. The SNMP manager provides the interface between the human network manager and the management system. The SNMP agent provides the interface between the manager and the physical device(s) being managed (see the illustration above).
|SNMP is based on the manager/agent model of a network management architecture.|
The SNMP manager and agent use an SNMP Management Information Base (MIB) and a relatively small set of commands to exchange information. The SNMP MIB is organized in a tree structure with individual variables, such as point status or description, being represented as leaves on the branches. A long numeric tag or object identifier (OID) is used to distinguish each variable uniquely in the MIB and in SNMP messages.
SNMP uses five basic messages (GET, GET-NEXT, GET-RESPONSE, SET, and TRAP) to communicate between the SNMP manager and the SNMP agent. The GET and GET-NEXT messages allow the manager to request information for a specific variable.
The agent, upon receiving a GET or GET-NEXT message, will issue a GET-RESPONSE message to the SNMP manager with either the information requested or an error indication as to why the request cannot be processed. A SET message allows the SNMP manager to request a change be made to the value of a specific variable in the case of an alarm remote that will operate a relay. The SNMP agent will then respond with a GET-RESPONSE message indicating the change has been made or an error indication as to why the change cannot be made. The SNMP TRAP message allows the agent to spontaneously inform the SNMP manager of an "important" event.
As you can see, most of the messages (GET, GET-NEXT, and SET) are only issued by the SNMP manager. Because the TRAP message is the only message capable of being initiated by an SNMP agent, it is the message used by DPS Remote Telemetry Units (RTUs) to report alarms. This notifies the SNMP manager as soon as an alarm condition occurs, instead of waiting for the SNMP manager to ask.
The small number of commands used is only one of the reasons SNMP is "simple." The other simplifying factor is the SNMP protocol's reliance on an unsupervised or connectionless communication link. This simplicity has led directly to the widespread use of SNMP, specifically in the Internet Network Management Framework. Within this framework, it is considered "robust" because of the independence of the SNMP managers from the agents, e.g. if an SNMP agent fails, the SNMP manager will continue to function, or vice versa. The unsupervised communication link does however create some interesting issues for network alarm monitoring we will discuss more thoroughly in a later issue of our SNMP Tutorial.
Publisher: DPS Telecom - Language: English - Free PDF Download
What Do You Want To Do With SNMP?
- Mediate SNMP and Other Protocols
- Display SNMP Alarm Data at Your NOC and in Your Web Browser
- Monitor Discrete, Analog, and Ping Alarms via SNMP
- Automatically Dispatch Repair Personnel
- Control Remote Equipment via SNMP
- Use Dial-Up Connections to Link SNMP Remotes to LAN
- Find the SNMP Alarm Monitoring Capacity That's Right for Your Size Site
- Use T1 Connection to Link SNMP Remotes to LAN