Talk:Simple Network Management Protocol

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A list of SNMP Features would be useful[edit]

To help the newbie understand the 'why' of SNMP, it might be useful to start this article with a list of SNMP's features, such as

  • provides a way to ask a device on a network to describe itself.
  • information is organized by keyword and a corresponding value, for example you can ask a device for its 'sysLocation' and receive a response like 'Room 202A'.
  • There is a single family tree (hierarchy) of keywords for all of SNMP, which makes it easy to attach new branches to this tree as new needs arise.

-- The preceding unsigned comment was added by someone whom the unsigned comment bot failed to catch.

I'd say more explanation than that is due, but your comment certainly explains more about it than the entire article. Usually the first paragraph of an article gives you a good general overview of the topic, but the first paragraph amounts to little more than what the first sentence alone says: Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is an "Internet-standard protocol for managing devices on IP networks." The quotation marks around the definition there are a nice touch: it's as if it's some sort of acknowledgement that even the author couldn't pin down an actual explanation of what the protocol does and didn't want to present such a vague definition as their own work.
So I continued to read the article, but never found an answer about what exactly the protocol does. It just keeps referring to what SNMP does as "management" without ever explaining what is meant by "management." So I'm left wondering, what does "managing devices" mean? I sometimes manage my network devices by unplugging cables, moving them to a different room, and plugging in new cables. Does SNMP do this for me? Sometimes I manage my network devices by assigning them IP addresses, does SNMP do that? Sometimes I manage devices by upgrading their firmware. Does SNMP do that? Sometimes I manage my router by adding new port forwarding rules. Does SNMP do that? "Manage devices" is a uselessly vague definition of what the protocol does, whatever that might be.
My only guess is that the protocol doesn't actually do anything, but rather, it's somewhat like TCP and UDP wherein you might use it to transfer information between devices, but exactly what data any device chooses to send, receive, or act upon, is entirely undefined, and depends on the software running on those devices. The only difference being that maybe it defines a standard format for that data, like "variable name goes here" and "an ID code for the data type goes here" and "the data goes here," but otherwise the protocol doesn't attempt to define what data should be sent or what actions should be taken in response to it. ...but, I really have no idea. The entire rest of the internet seems to be equally clueless about what this protocol actually does and what it might be used for and so I've been unable to figure anything out.
-- The one and only Pj (talk) 19:44, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Introduction to SNMP, with an overview of RFCs[edit]

RFC 3410 provides a valuable introduction to the SNMP framework, and an overview of the many RFCs relating to it.

Indefinite article[edit]

See Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#User: 109.77.xx.xx and the indefinite article and Talk:XMPP#Please discuss changes to the indefinite article. Andrewa (talk) 15:08, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Addendum to Security Implications[edit]

There have been some additional security issues with SNMP that have come up lately, and should probably be listed. The vulnerability mentioned is related to autodiscovery, so it might be appropriate to make mention of it there as well. Link to the original paper: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:00, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

SNMPv2 is not a Draft[edit]

IMHO: SNMPv2c's RFC 1901 is not a "Draft Standard". It is at the experimental track and now is declared historic. The Draft Standard RFC 1908 has simply involved into RFC 3584.

OK, we can check the status of v2 docs here: at the RFC Editor. A handful of RFCs were designated Historic in 2002, but we should bear in mind that this was a specific action and isn't particularly common practise. Historic sends a fairly strong message (that the document is "not an Internet Standard of any kind", see [1]) and tends to happen when such a statement is intended. We can see that 1441, 1451 and 1901 are Historic. 1442 - 1444, 1448 - 1450, 1452 are Proposed Standards but have been obsoleted. 1902-1908 are Draft Standards which have been obsoleted. This sounds a bit incongruous but it is the intent of the IETF and we should reflect it: eg they have the maturity of DS but a newer, better standard exists (v3, which is a full STD).
Also we have an outstanding citation needed for about four years on "SNMPv1.5". looking at [2] (1992) and [3] (1994), the earliest drafts in each case, both are clearly called "SNMPv2". So I think it reasonable to lose this reference unless we can find an authoritative source for "v1.5" (say notes from a WG meeting or a draft by one of the authors). Behind The Wall Of Sleep (talk) 15:34, 24 February 2014 (UTC)