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SNMP Monitoring in Data Centers and Similar Facilities

By Andrew Erickson

July 29, 2023


SNMP stands for Simple Network Management Protocol. It's a protocol used by network administrators to monitor various aspects of their networks. This includes access points, bandwidth usage, and the performance of monitored devices.

SNMP is among the most powerful network monitoring tools that you can use to collect data on network traffic. You can monitor availability and performance metrics, receive alerts via SNMP traps, and more.

How Does SNMP Monitoring Work?

SNMP monitoring employs a set of protocol data units (PDUs) to communicate with the managed devices and their OIDs (object identifiers). As a network administrator, you can use an SNMP management software to control the monitored device and access its information.

An "SNMP manager" is exactly what you many know as an "alarm master" in a more generic remote monitoring context. It's simply the central device where all data received via SNMP is aggregated and presented to you.

SNMP also allows you to automatically discover devices on your network. After auto-discovery, you can start monitoring devices immediately. You can obtain performance metrics, receive alerts, and track the overall performance of your network.

This is particularly useful considering how many modern devices support SNMP. It's not as though you're only using one RTU per site anymore. You're likely to have at least a handful of SNMP-capable devices per site. You'll want to monitor and control these from your central SNMP manager.

Types of SNMP Monitoring Software (SNMP Managers)

There are many different types of SNMP monitoring software available, depending on the needs of your data center. The most common version is SNMP v1, which allows for basic monitoring capabilities. SNMPv1 supports collecting device information and tracking performance metrics.

More advanced versions of SNMP provide more monitoring capabilities. This particularly includes delivery confirmation. SNMPv3 also includes the secure encryption that is increasingly required by corporate and/or government rules.

Network administrators can also use network monitoring software to monitor their networks. This type of software allows for the automatic discovery of devices on a network.

SNMP management software can also be used to configure alarms and set up notifications via email or SMS. This ensures that you, the network administrator, are always aware of any changes in your network.

How Does SNMP Monitoring Apply in Data Centers?

Data centers are complex environments with many interconnected systems. SNMP monitoring is a powerful tool which can be used to monitor these systems. This ensures that they are running smoothly and efficiently.

By using SNMP monitoring software, network administrators like you can easily track performance metrics of their data center equipment, as well as receive alerts when any problems arise. This allows you to maintain the optimal performance of your data centers, ensuring that your operations remain reliable.

As opposed to traditional physical-layer alarms reported via SNMP, you'll find that SNMP monitoring is versatile. You can also use it to monitor the bandwidth usage of different systems in the data center. This allows you to identify any bottlenecks or other issues which may be causing a decrease in performance. By tracking this information, you can easily make adjustments as needed to ensure optimal performance.

How Can RTUs and Sensors Help You Monitor Equipment That Doesn't Support SNMP?

Although SNMP is a powerful tool for monitoring data centers, there are still some pieces of equipment which don't support the protocol. In order to monitor these devices, network administrators can use RTUs (Remote Terminal Units) and sensors. RTUs act as your local aggregator of alarms reported via traditional contact closures and sensor readings.

RTUs allow for remote access to the monitored device. They can also be used to track performance metrics and take corrective action if necessary. By using this type of monitoring, network administrators can ensure that all their data center equipment is running smoothly and efficiently.

Featured SNMP RTUs: NetGuardians

NetGuardians are one example of an SNMP RTU that provides comprehensive monitoring capabilities for data centers. They have built-in SNMP support, as well as support for other protocols such as MODBUS and DNP3. This allows them to monitor various aspects of the network, such as bandwidth usage and performance metrics, in real time. Older technologies like contact closures, analog outputs, and battery voltages can also be attached to a NetGuardian RTU.

NetGuardians also feature advanced reporting capabilities, allowing you to quickly identify any issues that may be causing a decrease in performance. You can also send alerts and notifications to your team via email or SMS. This means you'll always be aware of any changes in your data center.

You Can Incorporate SNMP Into Your Monitoring System

Overall, SNMP monitoring is a powerful tool which can be used to monitor data centers and ensure optimal performance. By using SNMP monitoring software, RTUs and sensors, you can easily track performance metrics and receive alerts when any issues arise.

This allows you to maintain the optimal performance of your remote telco huts, data centers, or any other facility. In this way, you're ensuring that your operations remain reliable and secure. By incorporating SNMP into your monitoring system, you'll be able to confidently manage your network and its performance.

Contact DPS for Help With SNMP Monitoring

If you're looking for help with SNMP monitoring tools, contact DPS Telecom today. We have a wide range of products designed to provide comprehensive monitoring capabilities for data centers and other mission-critical operations. Virtually all of them use SNMP, including many that mediate other protocols to SNMP - or mediate SNMPv1/v2c to SNMPv3.

Our team can work with you to ensure that you make the right decisions for your organization. We promise to help you whether or not you need the RTUs and SNMP managers we manufacture.

Call DPS at 1-800-693-0351. You can also email a sales engineer at sales@dpstele.com

Andrew Erickson

Andrew Erickson

Andrew Erickson is an Application Engineer at DPS Telecom, a manufacturer of semi-custom remote alarm monitoring systems based in Fresno, California. Andrew brings more than 17 years of experience building site monitoring solutions, developing intuitive user interfaces and documentation, and opt...