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Open Source Network Administration by James Kretchmar

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Chapter 2. SNMP

Overview of SNMP

SNMP stands for Simple Network Management Protocol, and it is exactly what it sounds like: a relatively simple protocol used to manage devices on a network. The managed device is commonly a workstation, a switch, or a router but can be anything capable of speaking IP. For example, many printers and uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) can be managed with SNMP. What exactly does it mean to be able to “manage” a device? It means an operator, or an SNMP management agent acting on behalf of an operator, can query the device for information and may also be able to instruct the device to make a change in configuration. In managing a router, an operator might use SNMP to query the router for the number of packets transmitted ...

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