Best Practices

SNMP Trap Receiver

Why SNMP trap receivers will never fully replace SNMP polling.

A SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) Trap Receiver captures, displays and logs SNMP Traps. Traps are notices of events that are sent immediately to the SNMP client's trap receiver from a network device instead of waiting for a poll - a request - to the device by the SNMP client. Traps are an efficient method of error warnings because if a network administrator is responsible for a large number of devices, it's faster to be notified by a trap of a network device problem than to wait for the SNMP client to poll each device on its own schedule.

A trap notifies the SNMP client and the network administrator of a network device issue right away. A Trap Receiver performs decoding of traps from the network and presents the information in a GUI window. So a Trap Receiver allows the quick viewing of alerts and notifications from any network device - such as servers, printers, hubs, switches, and routers on an Internet Protocol (IP) network - that support SNMP.

Even with trapping functions, it is best practice not to completely eliminate SNMP polling. In the case of a managed device having a serious outage, that device won't be able to send a trap at all, and will only be discovered upon polling. SNMP polling is always required for network discovery as well as periodic error detection, and in conjunction with trapping, both functions help maintain and troubleshoot network issues.

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