Simple Network Management Protocol

The SNMP is an application-layer protocol that facilitates the exchange of management information between network devices. It is part of the TCP/IP protocol suite. SNMP enables network administrators to manage network performance, find and solve network problems, and plan for network growth.

Two versions of SNMP exist: SNMP Version 1 (SNMPvl) and SNMP Version 2 (SNMPv2). Both versions have a number of features in common, but SNMPv2 offers enhancements, such as additional protocol operations. Standardization of yet another version of SNMP—SNMP Version 3 (SNMPv3)—is pending. This section provides descriptions of the SNMPvl and SNMPv2 protocol operations. Figure 7-1 illustrates a basic network managed by SNMP.

Figure 7-1 SNMP Facilitates the Exchange of Network Information Between Devices

Figure 7-1 SNMP Facilitates the Exchange of Network Information Between Devices

An SNMP managed network consists of three key components: managed devices, agents, and NMSs.

A managed device is a network node that contains an SNMP agent and resides on a managed network. Managed devices collect and store management information and make this information available to NMSs using SNMP. Managed devices, sometimes called network elements, can be routers and access servers, switches and bridges, hubs, computer hosts, or printers.

An agent is an NMS software module that resides in a managed device. An agent has local knowledge of management information and translates that information into a form compatible with SNMP.

An NMS executes applications that monitor and control managed devices. NMSs provide the bulk of the processing and memory resources required for network management. One or more NMSs must exist on any managed network.

Figure 7-2 illustrates the relationship between these three components.

Figure 7-2 An SNMP Managed Network Consists of Managed Devices, Agents, and NMSs

Figure 7-2 An SNMP Managed Network Consists of Managed Devices, Agents, and NMSs

Managed Devices
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