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September 28, 2005

Essential SNMP, Second Edition: A Practical Introduction to the Internet-Standard Protocol to Help Administrators Manage their Networks

Sebastopol, CA--In today's complex networks of routers, switches, and servers, it can be daunting to manage all the devices and make sure they're performing optimally. "For years I worked as a system and network administrator and often faced the question, 'How are things running?'" remarks Douglas Mauro, a project engineer with Sun Microsystems and coauthor of Essential SNMP, Second Edition (O'Reilly, US $49.95). "That's what led me to SNMP, the Simple Network Management Protocol. Many books discuss SNMP at a fairly abstract level, but none really answers an administrator's most basic question: how can it make managing my network easier?"

To answer that question and many others, Mauro teamed up with Kevin Schmidt, an experienced network management architect, to write this practical guide for system and network administrators in the field. Now available in a revised and expanded second edition, the book opens with a brief overview of SNMP and how it works, but the bulk of the text shows readers how to put this Internet-standard protocol into practice using a number of widely available tools. Written specifically for those who have little or no experience with SNMP, the book offers plenty of real examples on how to use it effectively.

"SNMP usually is associated with routers, but it can be used to manage Unix systems, Windows systems, printers, modem racks, power supplies, and more," Mauro explains. "Any device running software that allows the retrieval of SNMP information can be managed. That includes not only physical devices but also software, such as web servers and databases."

With Essential SNMP, administrators also learn how to monitor an entire network, as opposed to individual routers, hosts, and other devices, through Remote Network Monitoring (RMON). The book covers technical elements such as OIDs, MIBs, and community strings, and explains how to configure network management stations and SNMP agents--software that lives on the devices being monitored. Administrators learn to use SNMP to retrieve and modify variables on network devices, and to configure management software to react to "traps" (alerts) sent by the monitored devices.

"They'll not only find out how to use SNMP, but how it can fit in their environment," Schmidt says. "Administrators will come away with ideas for writing scripts to help them manage their networks, how to create managed objects, and how to extend the operation of SNMP agents."

"With the growth of the Internet, it has become important that administrators get a handle on the devices for which they are responsible," Schmidt explains. "The subject is essential because it includes concepts that are never going away. The tools and concepts in this book will allow administrators to rise to the challenge of managing systems, from an entire network down to a workstation."

Early praise for the second edition of Essential SNMP :

"Essential SNMP gives you the system administrator's perspective on SNMP: what it is, and, more importantly, practical examples of how to integrate SNMP into the administrator's toolset. If you need to know about user activity, errant core files, misbehaving printers, SNMP will do all the heavy lifting for you. 'Essential SNMP' gives you the power to harness SNMP without breaking into a sweat."
--Dr. Marshall T. Rose, former Network Management Area Director of the IETF

  • Further reviews of "Essential SNMP, Second Edition"
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    Essential SNMP, Second Edition
    Douglas R. Mauro and Kevin J. Schmidt
    ISBN: 0-596-00840-6, 442 pages, $49.95 US, $69.95 CA
    order@oreilly.com
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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