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Essential SNMP, 2nd Edition by Kevin Schmidt, Douglas Mauro

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Chapter 2. SNMPv1 and SNMPv2

In this chapter, we start to look at SNMP in detail, specifically covering features found in SNMPv1 and SNMPv2 (we’ll allude to SNMPv3 occasionally but we describe its features in detail in Chapter 3). By the time you finish this chapter, you should understand how SNMP sends and receives information, what SNMP communities are, and how to read MIB files. We’ll also look in more detail at the three MIBs that were introduced in Chapter 1, namely MIB-II, Host Resources, and RMON.

SNMP and UDP

SNMP uses the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) as the transport protocol for passing data between managers and agents. UDP, defined in RFC 768, was chosen over the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) because it is connectionless; that is, no end-to-end connection is made between the agent and the NMS when datagrams (packets) are sent back and forth. This aspect of UDP makes it unreliable since there is no acknowledgment of lost datagrams at the protocol level. It’s up to the SNMP application to determine if datagrams are lost and retransmit them if it so desires. This is typically accomplished with a simple timeout. The NMS sends a UDP request to an agent and waits for a response. The length of time the NMS waits depends on how it’s configured. If the timeout is reached and the NMS has not heard back from the agent, it assumes the packet was lost and retransmits the request. The number of times the NMS retransmits packets is also configurable.

At least as far as regular information ...

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