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SNMP is one of the most widely accepted protocols to manage and monitor network elements. It’s an application-layer protocol by the IAB (Internet Architecture Board) in RFC1157 for exchanging administration info from network devices. In this article, we will take a good look at SNMP’s basic components & their functionalities.

Simple Network management Protocol consists of SNMP manager, Managed devices, SNMP agent, Management Information Base (MIB).

SNMP manager:

A manager is a separate unit that’s accountable to communicate with the SNMP agent on network devices. This is usually a software installed on a PC or a server to operate one or more network management systems.

Key functions of SNMP manager include:

• Queries agents

• Gets responses from agents

• Locates variables in agents

• Accept no synchronous events from agents

Managed devices:

A managed device is the part of the network that needs some type of monitoring and management, for example, switches, routers, workstations, servers, UPSs, printer, etc.

SNMP agents:

The agent is an application that is packaged inside the network element. The agent gathers the management information database from the device locally and makes it accessible to the SNMP manager, when it’s asked for. These agents could be specific or standard to a manufacturer.

Key functions of SNMP agent:

• Collects management info related to its local setting

• Stores and retrieve management info as defined in the Management Information Base (MIB)

• Acts as an alternative for some non–SNMP manageable network node

• Indicates event occurrences to the manager

Management Information Base (MIB):

Simulator Suite

Each SNMP agent retains an information database explaining the managed device configuration. The SNMP manager employs this database to ask the agent for precise info and further interprets the info as required for the NMS (Network Management System). This commonly allocated database between the Manager and Agent is named Management Information Base or MIB.

Usually, these MIBs contain regular set of numerical and manage values characterized for hardware nodes on a network. Also, SNMP allows the expansion of these regular values with values specific to a particular agent via the utilization of private MIBs.

In brief, MIB files are the set of parameters that an SNMP Manager can request the agent. Agent assembles these data locally and stores them as described in the Management Information Base. Therefore, the SNMP manager must be attentive of these standard & private queries for every kind of agents.

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