SNMP is currently considered the best choice by professionals for IP (Internet Protocol) network management
SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) management software is used to manage and monitor network devices such as servers, printers, hubs, switches, and routers that are SNMP-aware. SNMP is currently considered the best choice by professionals for IP (Internet Protocol) network management, and as a result, SNMP is widely supported in many hardware devices and network management software packages. SNMP is designed to:
- Be deployed on a large number of network devices
- Have minimal impact and transport requirements on the managed nodes
- Continue working when most other network applications fail
A SNMP agent interacts with SNMP management software to enable the sharing of network status information between monitored devices and applications and the SNMP management system that monitors them. The network information and network configurations SNMP collects through SNMP agents can amount to sizable volumes of information, and it is best practice to have SNMP management software to handle such administration and troubleshooting tasks.
An important component of SNMP is the Management Information Base (MIB) data. MIB data is contained in a text file in all SNMP-enabled devices, and is converted by SNMP into a format usable by the management software. A structure to the data is important to be able to monitor all manageable features from different vendors. SNMP will "poll" devices and request MIB data, but SNMP can also receive what are called "traps." A SNMP “trap” alerts the network administrator to an immediate problem at the time of the occurrence, and the ability to work with traps is an important feature of any SNMP manager application.