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Simple Network Management Protocol

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Definition Edit

The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is

[a] standard TCP/IP protocol for network management. Network administrators use SNMP to monitor and map network availability, performance, and error rates.[1]

Overview Edit

To work with SNMP, network devices utilize a distributed data store called the Management Information Base (MIB). All SNMP-compliant devices contain a MIB which supplies the pertinent attributes of a device. Some attributes are fixed or "hard-coded" in the MIB, while others are dynamic values calculated by agent software running on the device.[2]

SNMP is used to manage all types of network devices on the Internet. SNMP uses two ports: 161 and 162. Although SNMP is an extremely useful service for maintaining a network, it is very weak in security.

"The first versions of SNMP were developed in the early 80s. SNMP works by sending messages, called protocol data units (PDUs), to different parts of a network. SNMP-compliant devices, called agents, store data about themselves in Management Information Bases (MIBs) and return this data to the SNMP requesters."[3]

References Edit

  1. NIST Special Publication 800-82, at B-8.
  2. Id.
  3. Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse, "Acronyms" (full-text).

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