Network Management System

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Network Management System using SNMP

Network Management System using SNMP


The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is an application layer protocol used to manage network resources. This standardization gives network administrators the ability to monitor network performance.


The computer networks of today are growing at a tremendous rate. Technology continually allows consumers and businesses to build bigger and better networks at more affordable prices (Chang, 2001, pp.130-134). With the increase in the size and number of computer networks, the need for efficient management of resources has emerged as a pressing issue for network administrators. Administrators are constantly maintaining their networks in order to maximize efficiency. The Simple Network Management Protocol was developed to assist in network resource management.


SNMP is a network management specification that has become the standard for the exchange of network information. Prior to SNMP and other network management software, administrators would have to be physically attached to network devices in order to access configuration and troubleshooting data. SNMP was designed to facilitate this process while reducing the complexity of network management (Fisher, 1995, pp. 307-323). The specifications for this protocol can be found in Request For Comments 1157 (RFC 1157). Established in the late 1980s, SNMP was developed to tackle the management of emerging TCP/IP networks. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) had the task of producing a standard to which LAN-based internetworking devices such as hubs, bridges, and routers could be monitored. SNMP has grown to be the most accepted application layer protocol used for this chore. It allows different network products to be managed by the same management application by setting a standard to which vendors of network products can interoperate with one another. SNMP does this by using a subset of the Abstract Syntax Notation One (ASN.1) encoding scheme.


There are three versions of SNMP: SNMP version 1 (SNMPv1), SNMP version 2 (SNMPv2) and SNMP version 3 (SNMPv3). SNMPv1 (RFC 1157) was easy to implement but had numerous security problems. SNMPv2 (RFC 1902) offered enhanced security and functionality, but was still lacking features in security authentication and encryption (Gruera, 2002, pp.349-355). SNMPv3, which was designed to be backward compatible with the first two versions, addresses these concerns by including access control, authentication, and privacy of management information. SNMP v3 was just recently released and can be found in the RFC drafts 2271-2275 and 3410-3415.


A system of network components works together to form the functionality of SNMP.


The SNMP has three basic components: the Structure of Management Information (SMI), the Management Information Base (MIB), and the SNMP agents (see Figure 1).

The Structure of Management Information (SMI)

The SMI defines the data types that are allowed in the MIB. It sets aside a unique naming structure for each managed object. How the managed objects are contained in the MIB is set forth in RFC 1155. Typically MIB objects have six attributes. An object will have a name, an object identifier, a syntax field, an access field, a status ...
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