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A method for analysis of SNMP agents to determine quality of agent implementation

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000199844D
Publication Date: 2010-Sep-17
Document File: 2 page(s) / 44K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A method to provide an estimate of quality of SNMP Agent implementation by checking the Agent for MIB values returned, sampling rate, etc. The analysis returns a confidence factor in the Agent implementation, which is a numerical value computed from the values returned in the criteria listed above. A higher confidence value indicates higher quality of Agent implementation, therefore providing fewer hurdles for integration with Network / Service Management systems. This automated system provides the following benefits: 1. Removes the need for manual analysis of MIB values as they are returned from the Agent 2. Significantly reduces any last-minute surprises when Network / Service Management systems are integrated with an SNMP Agent 3. Reduces errors in implementation for device vendors 4. Provides easy-to-use data for debugging purposes 5. Significantly reduces time to value for SNMP Agents

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A method for analysis of SNMP agents to determine quality of agent implementation

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is a UDP-based protocol used in network management systems to monitor network-attached devices. Each managed system has an Agent listening and responding to request via SNMP.

SNMP itself does not define which information (

which variables

system should offer. Rather, SNMP uses an extensible design,

information is defined by management information bases (MIBs). MIBs describe the structure of the management data of a device subsystem; they use a hierarchical namespace containing object identifiers (OID)

    Often, the Agent implementation by network device vendors has a number of deficiencies:
1. It may not conform to SNMP standards.
2. The Agent implementation is incomplete (not all MIBs, standard or vendor-specific are returned by the agent)

3. The Agent implementation is inaccurate (for example, some MIB counters may return decreasing values)

Any deficiencies are uncovered only when Network/Service Management

systems integrate with a SNMP Agent. It is almost impossible to predict the type of problems that might be faced during integration.

    It is extremely time consuming and expensive for network or service management vendors to test the Agents one MIB object at a time. In most situations, the scale of the problem cannot be estimated which often compromises the service delivery time in situations where a Network (or Service) management system relies on SNMP data from a particular Agent.

    This idea provides an estimate of quality of SNMP Agent implementation by checking the Agent for MIB values returned, sampling rate, etc.

The analysis returns a confidence factor in the Agent implementation,

is a numerical value computed from the values returned in the criteria listed above. A higher confidence value indicates higher quality of Agent implementation, therefore providing fewer hurdles for integration with Network / Service Management systems.

This automated system provides the following benefits:
1. Removes the need for manual analysis of MIB values as they are returned from the Agent

2. Significantly reduces any last-minute surprises when Network / Service Management systems are integrated with an SNMP Agent

3. Reduces errors in implementation for device vendors
4. Provides easy-to-use data for debugging purposes
5. Significantly reduces time to value...