Please Whitelist This Site?

I know everyone hates ads. But please understand that I am providing premium content for free that takes hundreds of hours of time to research and write. I don't want to go to a pay-only model like some sites, but when more and more people block ads, I end up working for free. And I have a family to support, just like you. :)

If you like The TCP/IP Guide, please consider the download version. It's priced very economically and you can read all of it in a convenient format without ads.

If you want to use this site for free, I'd be grateful if you could add the site to the whitelist for Adblock. To do so, just open the Adblock menu and select "Disable on tcpipguide.com". Or go to the Tools menu and select "Adblock Plus Preferences...". Then click "Add Filter..." at the bottom, and add this string: "@@||tcpipguide.com^$document". Then just click OK.

Thanks for your understanding!

Sincerely, Charles Kozierok
Author and Publisher, The TCP/IP Guide


NOTE: Using software to mass-download the site degrades the server and is prohibited.
If you want to read The TCP/IP Guide offline, please consider licensing it. Thank you.

The Book is Here... and Now On Sale!

Searchable, convenient, complete TCP/IP information.
The TCP/IP Guide

Custom Search







Table Of Contents  The TCP/IP Guide
 9  TCP/IP Application Layer Protocols, Services and Applications (OSI Layers 5, 6 and 7)
      9  TCP/IP Network Configuration and Management Protocols (BOOTP, DHCP, SNMP and RMON)
           9  TCP/IP Network Management Framework and Protocols (SNMP and RMON)
                9  TCP/IP Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) Protocol
                     9  SNMP Protocol Messaging and Message Formats

Previous Topic/Section
SNMP Protocol Message Generation, Addressing, Transport and Retransmission
Previous Page
Pages in Current Topic/Section
1
23
Next Page
SNMP Version 1 (SNMPv1) Message Format
Next Topic/Section

SNMP Message Field Definitions, General Message Format and Message Sections
(Page 1 of 3)

To structure its messages for transport, SNMP uses a special field format, like most protocols. What's interesting about SNMP, however, is that its standards do not describe the SNMP message format using a simple list of fields the way most TCP/IP standards do. Instead, SNMP messages are defined using the same data description language (Abstract Syntax Notation 1 or ASN.1) that is used to describe MIB objects.

The reason for this is that SNMP messages implement the various SNMP protocol operations with the ultimate goal of allowing MIB objects to be conveyed between SNMP entities. These MIB objects become fields within the messages to be sent. The MIB objects carried in SNMP messages are defined using ASN.1 as described in the Structure of Management Information (SMI) standard. So it makes sense to define SNMP messages and all their fields using the same syntax.

Since all SNMP fields are defined like MIB objects, they are like objects in that they have certain characteristics. Specifically, each field has a name, and its contents are described using one of the standard SMI data types. So, unlike normal message formats where each field has just a name and a length, an SNMP message format field has a name and a syntax, such as Integer, Octet String or IpAddress. The syntax of the field defines its length and how it is formatted and used.

Just as regular message formats use integers to represent specific values (for example, the numeric Opcode field in the DNS message header, which indicates the DNS message type), this can be done in SNMP using an enumerated integer type. An example would be the Error Status field, where a range of integer values represents different error conditions.

The decision to define SNMP messages using ASN.1 allows the message format description to be consistent with how the objects in the format are described, which is nice. Unfortunately, it means that the field formats are very hard to determine from the standards, because they are not described in one place. Instead, the overall message format is defined as a set of components; those components contain subcomponents that may be defined elsewhere, and so on. In fact, the full message format isn't even defined in one standard; parts are spread across several standards. So you can't look in one place and see the whole message format.

Well, I should say that you can't if you use the standards, but you can if you look here. To make things easier for you, I have converted these “distributed” syntax descriptions into the same tabular field formats I use throughout the rest of this Guide. I will begin here by describing the general format used for SNMP messages, and in the next three topics explore the more specific formats used in each version of SNMP.


Previous Topic/Section
SNMP Protocol Message Generation, Addressing, Transport and Retransmission
Previous Page
Pages in Current Topic/Section
1
23
Next Page
SNMP Version 1 (SNMPv1) Message Format
Next Topic/Section

If you find The TCP/IP Guide useful, please consider making a small Paypal donation to help the site, using one of the buttons below. You can also donate a custom amount using the far right button (not less than $1 please, or PayPal gets most/all of your money!) In lieu of a larger donation, you may wish to consider purchasing a download license of The TCP/IP Guide. Thanks for your support!
Donate $2
Donate $5
Donate $10
Donate $20
Donate $30
Donate: $



Home - Table Of Contents - Contact Us

The TCP/IP Guide (http://www.TCPIPGuide.com)
Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005

Copyright 2001-2005 Charles M. Kozierok. All Rights Reserved.
Not responsible for any loss resulting from the use of this site.