Help understanding SNMP!

Hi,

I'm considering making use of SNMP to start monitoring the status and health of my network at work.

I understand the basic idea of SNMP, i.e. that's it's a protocol designed to broadcast events and status of network devices, but that's where my knowledge ends.

In a typical network that utilises SNMP, what components are there? Does any device configured to use SNMP have to point to a SNMP server? If so what are the requirements (software-wise) for this server?
I've heard 'Community' mentioned as a required setting... what's that?
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grjitdeptAsked:
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bsharathCommented:
SNMP = SIMPLE NETWORK MANAGEMENT PROTOCOL - this is a set of standards that most computer equipment follow that allows you to setup monitors on the devices to tell you things such as: powered on, powered off, faulty hardware, low disk space, low memory, low paper for printers, etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snmp

SNMP is the simple network managemnt protocol used to monitor and manage devices
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_Network_Management_Protocol

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grjitdeptAuthor Commented:
OK but what about typical structure? Is a cecntral server required that all devices haave to point to? Is so, what software required on this central server/device? Typical settings/terminology?
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bsharathCommented:
Hi,

For each brand you have different softwares.
Say for DELL you have IT manager a console SNMP configured
DELL laptops,servers,desktops all have different softwares.

For HP you have iSEE
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grjitdeptAuthor Commented:
OK... but I thought SNMP was a standard protocol... what then does' Community' mean?

It may help if I give a more specific example. I use DELL OpenManage server administrator on all our servers, and want to monitor them all from a single server using DELL IT Administrator. I apparently need to configure SNMP for this but I'm not sure how. When configuring the IT Administrator software to scan for available devices, there is an SNMP option, that includes parameters such as community etc - hence my question...
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bsharathCommented:
Hi,

how many servers,laptops and desktops are we talking about to configure SNMP.

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grjitdeptAuthor Commented:
6 servers running DELL OpenManage Administrator, and one of those 6 also with DELL IT Administrator, with which I wish to monitor the others SNMP alerts. Need to know how to configure all of them.
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bsharathCommented:
Need to go to services.
SNMP
      Traps
                 Community name > Public
                                                                        Trap destination > Add > give the ip address of the server where IT assistant is installed.After which run a discovery in IT assistant there you can see the server with the healt status.

Hope this helps...
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grjitdeptAuthor Commented:
Hi,

Yes this sounds promising! I'm unclear what you mean by 'Services > SNMP'... There is an SNMP service and an SNMP trap service running on each server, but where/how would I configure them? Through Windows, through OpenManage?
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bsharathCommented:
Start > Run > Services.msc there you have SNMP service.
inside which you need to configure as i mention above.
After you configure on all the servers the server that has the IT assistant installed will detect them.Even though you have SNMP configured all the servers should have OMSA installed Open manager....
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grjitdeptAuthor Commented:
OK I've noticed that in OpenManage server administrator on each machine there are a few options for configuring SNMP - is this what you mean? Under Preferences > SNMP Configuration, there is the option to change the root password (whatever that is!?) and in the main system settings there is also the option to flag SNMP traps, but this doesn't seem to be what you were refering to...?
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grjitdeptAuthor Commented:
Oops yeah my bad - didn't realise there were configuration options within the service... let me experiment with this and see how I get on... will be back shortly...
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bsharathCommented:
Ok...If you have no luck configuring them close this Q and raise a new one for a script to configure SNMP automatically.Someone shall help doing it or i shall help doing the same in the morning.
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dkarpekinCommented:
You should start from "engineering tools set", and "orion managment" from http://www.solarwinds.com/products/ by downloading trials.
Then set up XP boxes for example with "SNMP services" under "control panel"-"adminstrative tools"-"services".
In "SNMP services" "properties" tab add "community name", where is "public" is common to "get" nformation, after that by using mentioned soft , add "nods" to monitor using the same "public" and PC IP's.
If u using firewalls, make sure ports 161/162 open, and "SNMP.exe" services is allowed throught. It can be any other hardware supporting "SNMP"- they usially have "public" as default, and u can add them all to monitor in Solarwinds soft.
It will get u started.
After that you can move into "SNMP" editing soft, to customize alarms, and messages- http://www.snmplink.org/  and start modifying "MIB" files (used to send info about devices using SNMP protocol).
This should more than enouf , to beging with.
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Aaron StreetInfrastructure ManagerCommented:
SNMP as people have said is simple network managment proticol...

The community name is like a password. you can set up as many as you want. but by default you ahve one set as public that gives you reaad only access.

And one set as private for read and write access. (many newer servers and SNMP devices dont ahve a private addrss now as dfault for security)

IT would by sending a string to the device of numbers and getting an answer back.

so it might ask for 1.3.6.1.2.1.1.1 is the string for system decription. Abnd as it is standered all SNMP devices will know that that string means the same thing. you can also see on my screen capture that some are RO (read only) and some are RW (writable).

by having a string it means the only a very small amount of data needs to be sent accross the network and responces are also very small.

Some manafactures have there own MIB's these are extra strings taht are specific to there hardware. however untill you get in to SNMP you wont need to worry to much about them..

so you can imagen SNMP as a long list of numbers next to which are a list of long discriptions.
ratehr than sending the long discriptions accross the network and complex instructions. you simple send the number, and a get command or a write command with the correct data.

if you are jsut monitering you only need the RO account in security issues under SNMP. and only allow the server you want to monitor the servers from as recive packets from..

snmp.jpg
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