How does the Simple Network Management Protocol work

SNMP - Simple Network Management Protocol

SNMP is a protocol for managing and controlling networks. It is responsible for the transport of management information, status and statistical data between network stations and a management system.

When TCP / IP was introduced, SNMP was used for a short time and should be replaced by an OSI-compliant protocol. However, SNMP caught on within a very short time. However, the adaptation to the requirements of OSI was too extensive. That is why the new protocol has been suspended. Instead, without further ado, SNMP, SMI and MIB were declared the official standards. Therefore, SNMP, SMI and MIB must be implemented in all manageable network components.

Network management

With an increasing tendency, more and more applications from information and communication technology are being integrated into operational workflows. This creates ever larger and more complex networks to which more and more applications and users are connected. In order to be able to identify and eliminate problems and malfunctions in a network at an early stage, elements are required that can manage and monitor a network. This is where network management systems come in. These systems are commonly referred to as network management technology (NMT).

SNMP architecture


The architecture of SNMP separates the manager, the agents, the management information and the management protocol. The manager is an application on a dedicated computer. The agents are the individual network components. They carry out the management functions. The management information is information about the network, the configuration, the structure and the statistical data. The management protocol is SNMP itself. It exchanges the management information and data between the manager and the agents.
The process between manager and agent is always the same. The manager sends a request to the agent. This executes the command and sends back a response. This process is called polling. There are also trabs that cause an agent to report unforeseen events to the manager. However, many traps sent at the same time can overload the manager. Traps are therefore only recommended for critical events. In order to avoid unnecessary network load, the data exchange from SNMP takes place via UDP.

MIB - Management Information Base

The information and data transmitted with SNMP must be filed and saved somewhere. The MIB is used for this. The MIB can be compared to a database. It is mainly used to store data. The data is structured in the form of objects and stored in a kind of tree. Due to the needs of the network management, the standard MIB was adapted through extensions. This resulted in the MIB II.
Due to the increasing complexity, SNMP and MIB have been extended by the RMON-MIB (Remote Monitoring).

SNMPv2

SNMPv1 only supported IP, TCP and UDP. With SNMPv2, SNMP can also be used on other protocols, such as B. IPX, Appletalk and other OSI protocols can be used. In addition to the improved security functions and tools for managing distributed networks, it is also possible to have several managers communicate with one another.

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