What Is SNMP?
Updated: March 28, 2003
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2
What Is SNMP?
Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is a popular protocol for network management. It is used for collecting information from, and configuring, network devices, such as servers, printers, hubs, switches, and routers on an Internet Protocol (IP) network. Microsoft Windows Server 2003 provides SNMP agent software that works with third-party SNMP management software to monitor the status of managed devices and applications.
Automating Network Management
Large networks with hundreds or thousands of nodes are difficult to manage without a large staff to monitor every computer. SNMP, which is widely used in local area networks (LANs), lets you monitor network nodes from a management host. You can monitor network devices such as servers, workstations, printers, routers, bridges, and hubs, as well as services such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) or Windows Internet Name Service (WINS).
Use SNMP management software to monitor any network device on which you install SNMP agent software. The SNMP agent, which is an optional component of Windows Server 2003, interacts with third-party SNMP management software to enable the sharing of network status information between monitored devices and applications and the SNMP management system that monitors them. The following figure shows this process.
Computer Running SNMP Manager Requests Status Information from Devices Running SNMP Agent
Using SNMP, you can monitor network performance, audit network usage, detect network faults or inappropriate access, and in some cases configure remote devices. SNMP is designed to be deployed on the largest possible number of network devices, to have minimal impact on the managed nodes, to have minimal transport requirements, and to continue working when most other network applications fail.
Developed in 1988 to provide network-device-monitoring capability for TCP/IP-based networks, SNMP was approved as an Internet standard in 1990 by the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) and has been in wide use since that time. More recently, Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX)-based networks have added support for SNMP. Currently, most network equipment vendors provide SNMP support in their products.
Windows Server 2003 supports SNMP versions 1 and 2c, which are based on the industry standards described in the following table.
Industry Standards for SNMP Versions 1 and 2c