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Simple Network Management Protocol, or SNMP as it is more popularly known, is defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and is an internet protocol method. It is part of the application layer of the TCP/IP system. It consists of protocols for network management.

It forms a key component of network management systems and is used in monitoring device functionality, alerting administrators to conditions that warrant their attention. This protocol works by varying a set of pre defined variables which are indicators of the health of the network and the attached devices. These variables can then be evaluated by other applications which can signal a red flag depending on the values.

Automatic Network Management In a very large network, it can be difficult to monitor each and every workstation and node for errors or discrepancies. SNMP is used for this purpose and can monitor servers, printers, workstations, bridges, routers, and hubs. It can be used to monitor essential services as well, such as Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP).

SNMP works over a network to share information between various SNMP monitoring agents. It shares information pertaining to monitored devices and the network status. Thus, using SNMP monitoring services, you can effectively keep a check on network performance, detect network faults, audit network usage or inappropriate access and even configure remote drivers and devices. Services SNMP can monitor the following services on a Windows host: ? Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) ? Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) ? Internet Information Services (IIS) ? Local Area Network Manager (LAN Manager) ? Routing and Remote Access ? Internet Authentication Service (IAS) ? System Monitor counters related to TCP/IP such as ICMP, Network Interface, IP, UDP, TCP, DHCP and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) In the above services, SNMP can retrieve status information and can also configure or 'set' objects to which it has read/write permission.

Kimberly Johnson writes on topics such as SNMP , Network Layer and Transport Layer for The Tech FAQ.

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