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SNMP (Simple Network

Management Protocol)

SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is a network management protocol that works in application layer of OSI model. It provides the message format between the manager device and the controlled device. Basically SNMP provides monitoring and management of the devices in a network.

SNMP consist of three parts:

– SNMP Manager
– SNMP Agent
– MIB(Management Information Base)

“SNMP Manager” is the device that the network monitoring and controlling is done.This device can be a dedicated device or this control can be done by an application on any device.

“SNMP Agent” is the software part of the managed device. It maintains the data for the device and then if necessary it reports this data to SNMP Manager.

“MIB” is a storage area for network management information. It contains the managed devices’ information.

SNMP agent contains MIB variables. If necessary SNMP Manager can get these value from an agent or store any values into the agent. This can be done by Set and Get operations.


SNMP Notifications








SNMP Notifications is a key feature that send from SNMP Agents although there is no request from the SNMP Manager. There are two types notification. Traps and inform requests. Traps informs the SNMP Manager about the network conditions. Inform requests are also traps but they includes request for receipt confirmation. Inform requests are more reliable than traps. However, traps are often preferred because inform request consumes more memory. There is a trade-off between reliability and resources.







As you see, with traps the receipt of the notification is not know by SNMP Agent. But with inform request if the notification do not reach to the SNMP Manager, after a period of time SNMP Agent sents the inform request again. It reaches in all events but the bandwidth usage increases.

  • Use inform, requests if you want from SNMP Manager to get all the notifications.
  • Use traps, if every notifications are not important and there is a resource shortage.

SNMP Versions


There are three versions of SNMP:

  • SNMPv1 (security is based on community strings)
  • SNMPv2c (Update version of SNMPv2 and uses community-based security model of SNMPv1)
  • SNMPv3 (Standard-based interoperable protocol,With authenticating and encrypting techniques secure access to devices, Provide message integrity, authentication and encryption)

SNMPv1 and SNMPv2c are both use community based security. The community of managers able to access the agent MIB with defined “access control lists” and “password”. But SNMPv2c has better error handling mechanism.

SNMPv3 provide security with security models associated with security levels. There are three types of security models: SNMPv1,SNMPv2c and SNMPv3.

There is a table below that can show the security models and the security levels:


SNMP agent can communicate with more than one SNMP Managers. So you can configure one management system for SNMPv1, one for SNMPv2c and the other for SNMPv3.

Until now we have talked about SNMP generally. Next article, we will continue with SNMP configuration on various vendor devices, Cisco, Juniper and Alcatel.

I hope this post will be helpful for computer network funs…keep on;)

You can continue with the other SNMP articles…

SNMP – Part 1
SNMP – Part 2 (Configuration On Cisco IOS)
SNMP – Part 3 (Configuration On Juniper Junos)

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About the Author
Gokhan Kosem is a telecommunation and network engineer. His ambition to IP networks and end-to-end system installation made him to prepare this web-site. By sharing his experiences about various networking protocols beside different system installation experiences and Cisco, Juniper, Alcatel-Lucent devices configurations, he is aimed to be helpful for his collegues in all over the world. He is currently lives in Istanbul, Turkey.

One comment for “SNMP – Part 1”

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July 12th, 2014 at 20:57

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