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Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is a UDP-based network protocol. It is used mostly in network management systems to monitor network-attached devices for conditions that warrant administrative attention. SNMP is a component of the Internet Protocol Suite as defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). It consists of a set of standards for network management, including an application layer protocol, a database schema, and a set of data objects.
SNMP exposes management data in the form of variables on the managed systems, which describe the system configuration. These variables can then be queried (and sometimes set) by managing applications.
In typical SNMP use, one or more administrative computers called managers have the task of monitoring or managing a group of hosts or devices on a computer network. Each managed system executes, at all times, a software component called an agent which reports information via SNMP to the manager.
Essentially, SNMP agents expose management data on the managed systems as variables. The protocol also permits active management tasks, such as modifying and applying a new configuration through remote modification of these variables. The variables accessible via SNMP are organized in hierarchies. These hierarchies, and other metadata (such as type and description of the variable), are described by Management Information Bases (MIBs).
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