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The TCP/IP Guide

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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

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SNMP Protocol Overview, History and General Concepts
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SNMP Protocol General Operation, Communication Methods and Message Classes
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SNMP Protocol Operations

The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is the protocol responsible for allowing network management stations on a TCP/IP internetwork to perform management tasks with managed devices. The core of the protocol consists of a set of protocol operations that allow management information to be exchanged between SNMP agents and managers. Having previously examined the generalities of SNMP and what MIB objects are, we can now get down to the “nitty gritty” of how management information is actually communicated using SNMP. Yes, finally you get to actually see how SNMP “works”.

In this section I provide a detailed description of the operations performed by the SNMP Protocol. I begin with a general description of how SNMP operates and the two basic methods devices use to communicate; I also describe SNMP's message classes. I then provide topics that describe in detail each of the basic operations performed in SNMP and the messages used for those purposes: basic request/response, table traversal, object modification, and notification. I conclude with a discussion of SNMP security issues and a summary of the security methods in each of the SNMP versions.

Note that the number and types of protocol operations in SNMP changed between SNMPv1 and SNMPv2. The operations defined in SNMPv2 have been carried forward into the newest version, SNMPv3. Most of the discussion focuses on SNMPv3 as the newest implementation, while mentioning what differences there are between it and the original and still widely-used SNMPv1.

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