What is SNMP ? Explained with Examples

By | 9th November 2015

What is Simple Network Management Protocol-SNMP?

SNMP is an application layer protocol that provides a message format for communication between what are termed managers and agents.

Uses of SNMP

Network administrators use SNMP to monitor and map network availability, performance, and error rates.

SNMP Components include:

SNMP manager: This is a distinct unit with the responsibility to communicate with the SNMP agent configured and connected to the network. This can be in form of a computer or server used to run one or more network management systems.

, includes:

Queries agents

Gets responses from agents

Acknowledges asynchronous events from agents

Sets variables in agents

SNMP Agent: This a program installed or configured within the network device/agent enabling it  to collect the management information which is stored in its database locally and makes it available to the SNMP manager, when it is queried for.

Functions of a SNMP agent:

 Stores and retrieves network management information as defined in the MIB.

 Informs and relates an event to the manager.

Collects management information about its local environment

 Acts as a proxy for some non–SNMP manageable network node

Management Information Base – MIB

This a virtual database of network management information commonly shared between the Agent and the Manager.

 The SNMP manager uses SNMP Agents information contained in their database to request the agent for specific information and further translates the information as needed for the Network Management System (NMS).


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SNMP Versions.


This is the first version of the protocol, which is defined in RFCs 1155 and 1157


This is the revised and enhancements of SNMPv1 in the areas of protocol packet types, transport mappings, MIB structure elements but using the existing SNMPv1 administration structure (“community based security mechanism” )


Security is the main definition and concern of SNMPv3 version.

SNMPv3 also enables remote configuration of the SNMP units.

The main features of SNMPv3 includes:

Message integrity: This helps ensure that a packet has not been tampered with in transit

Authentication: This helps ensure that the packet came from a known and trusted source

Encryption: This helps to ensure that information cannot be read if the data is captured in transit

How SNMP Works

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