SNMP also called a Simple Network Management Protocol, is used to collect information to configure various network devices such as printers, routers, and servers on an IP network. SNMP was developed in 1988 to provide monitoring for network devices in TCP/IP networks and is now quite popular and often used for network management. This is useful because instead of managing the thousands of nodes that can be in an extensive network, SNMP allows an administrator to monitor the nodes from a management host. SNMP manages your network by providing read/write abilities, collecting bandwidth information and error reports, alerting of low disk space, and also monitors your CPU and memory usage.
Currently, there are 3 versions of SNMP; SNMP v1, SNMP v2, and SNMP v3. SNMP v1 came first and has a straightforward installation, however, cannot use 64-bit counters like SNMP v2. One of the significant problems with v1 is the authentication of the message source. SNMP v2 offers many enhancements such as additional protocol operations while SNMP v3 adds remote configuration and security features. SNMP v3 also introduces the USM (User-based Security Model) for security messages as well as a VACM (View-based Access Control Model.) By using SNMP, one can adequately manage and monitor their systems, which is crucial in maintaining a high-performing and reliable network. It is for this reason that SNMP is an essential tool to have.
“Comparison of SNMP Versions 1, 2 and 3”. Eddie Bibbs, Brandon Matt, Xin Tang. Infosecwriters.com. Infosec Writers. Web. 17 April 2006. 27 Feb 2017.
“SNMP Basics: What is SNMP & How Do I Use It?”. Aaron Leskiw. Networkmanagementsoftware.com. Network Management Software. Web. 27 Feb 2017.