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Method for an SNMP MIB OID dynamic look-up service

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012353D
Publication Date: 2003-Apr-30
Document File: 3 page(s) / 74K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for a Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) management information base (MIB) object identifier description (OID) dynamic look-up service. Benefits include improved performance.

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Method for an SNMP MIB OID dynamic look-up service

Disclosed is a method for a Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) management information base (MIB) object identifier description (OID) dynamic look-up service. Benefits include improved performance.

Background

              SNMP is a set of standards used to transfer predefined user data from one computer to another using a network. SNMP is the standard for network management and is widely used by many applications.

      The computer that sends out SNMP requests for predefined user data is referred to as the SNMP manager. The computer that receives these SNMP requests and sends out responses for these predefined user data is referred to as the SNMP agent.

      The user data that is communicated between SNMP managers and agents is defined in files called MIB files. Each data object is mapped to a number called an OID. When it is assigned, the mapping between the name and value can never be changed.

      The SNMP manager accesses the MIB objects through their OID. Because it is in numeric format, the OID is not easy for people to use. As a result, SNMP software packages typically provide some utility or library function to convert the object's name to/from an OID representation.

      To give an example, we can use the “de facto” SNMP package that ships with almost all versions of the Linux operating system, NET-SNMP. It contains a command line utility called snmptranslate that performs exactly this function and more. We can use snmptranslate to look up the OID value for sysUpTime defined in the SNMPv2-MIB, which is “.1.3.6.1.2.1.1.3”. Theoretically, in order to query for the sysUpTime, we have to send out a SNMP request on OID “.1.3.6.1.2.1.1.3”, but with the software, an SNMPGET request can be issued directly on the string “sysUpTime”. NET-SNMP automatically lookups the value and converts it into the OID format before constructing the packets and sending out the request through the network. Of course, this is assuming that we have the SNMPv2-MIB installed locally in the system and NET-SNMP knows where to find this MIB file.

      The architecture of SNMP dictates that the capability of the SNMP manager is limited to the MIB database. The manager only knows how to interpret the incoming responses from the SNMP agents by parsing and reading the MIB database.

      Conventionally, all the MIB files are kept in a locally centralized place for every system. For example, on a Linux system running NET-SNMP, the central repository could be the "/usr/share/snmp/mibs" directory in which all the standard SNMP MIB files are stored. For a system that requires proprietary MIB files, the manager manually installs them. This approach works successfully if the SNMP manager and SNMP agents are in a one-to-many relationship with one management entity and many manag...