is a fine example of what can aptly be termed
death by jargon
in computer science.
While its core idea can be described as "a network browsable tree-like view of a machine configuration", its final incarnation has been wrapped in layers of acronyms whose expansion is also extremely misterious:
you "walk" a "MIB
" (and what's the hell is a MIB? A Management information base, that's what! Gee, thanks.) The MIB is written in ASN
, You have a "community string" (AKA
password). Nodes exchange "traps" and are divided in "managers" and "agents". The names that you see are actually dotted sequences of numbers and the SNMP initiates snicker at you if you use the names and not the numbers...
You get the idea, and we're still talking V1 - it takes a few days to unravel. Almost nobody gets the core concept in less than several day's worth of reading - and even less people get the details right.
Surprisingly, and as discussed elsewhere, SNMP V1 lacks some fundamentals, security being the most glaring omission. You have to escalate to V2 and V3 if you want something of the sort while discovering that:
- V2 and 3 have additional layers of silly geekspeak to master;
- Almost nobody implements them.
Not surprisingly, SNMP is not one of the hottest protocol
yet it does not have many structured alternatives for network management. (oh, did I mention that the S in SNMP stands for SIMPLE
? Simple Network Management Protocol,