Introduction to Simple Network Management Protocol

The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) facilitates the exchange of
management information on a network through an application layer protocol and is a
part of the internet protocol suite.  There are currently three versions of the Simple
Network Management Protocol as defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force
(IETF) and the latest one (also known as STD0062) is the current standard version of
SNMP.

Simple Network Management Protocol is used in the network management systems
and enables network administrators to manage network performance and resources in
order to find and solve network problems and bottlenecks.  It also enables network
administrators to plan for the future growth of the network.  In a typical Simple
Network Management Protocol, systems are managed by other systems and a
software called an “agent” which is installed on each system, collects information,
reports network information on the systems and makes this information available via
the Simple Network Management Protocol or SNMP.  Managed systems can be any
of the following:  routers, access servers, switches, bridges, hubs, computer hosts, or
even printers.

The first version of Simple Network Management Protocol or SNMPv1 operates
under the Universal Datagram Protocol, Internet Protocol, AppleTalk, and Novell
Internet Package Exchange.  The SNMPv1 has long been considered as lacking in
security features even though it is still widely used in the IT industry.

The second version of the Simple Network Management Protocol or SNMPv2 offered
a number of improvements in terms security enhancements and also offered additional
protocol operations.  SNMPv2 was unfortunately incompatible with SNMPv1 and
many considered it to be too complex.  These were the basis of the next generation
Simple Network Management Protocol version 3 which improved on the limitations
of the SNMPv2.