A Comparison of SNMP v1, v2 and v3
Source: InfoSec Writers - Posted by Eric Lubow   
Documentation During its development history, the communities of researchers, developers, implementers and users of the DARPA/DoD TCP/IP protocol suite have experimented with a wide range of protocols in a variety of different networking environments. The Internet has grown, especially in the last few years, as a result of the widespread availability of software and hardware supporting this system. The scaling of the size and scope of the Internet and increased use of its technology in commercial applications has underscored for researchers, developers and vendors the need for a common network management framework within which TCP/IP products can be made to work.

In recognition of this need, several efforts were started to develop network management concepts which might be applied to the Internet and to the internet technology in general. Three of these efforts had made sufficient progress by the end of 1987 that it became clear that some choices had to be made or the community would find itself with a set of incompatible network management tools. These efforts included the High-Level Entity Management System (HEMS), the Simple Gateway Monitoring Protocol (SGMP) and the Common Management Information Service/Protocol.

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Nice article, but...Written by Chris on 2006-06-06 02:24:07
It is a nice article that explains SNMP and the differences between versions quite good. In theory SNMP is really THE management protocol, but if we look in pratice, it sounds not so interesting. Why that ? Because if you look how network devices vendors like Cisco implement this protocol in their devices, you can actually only make a lot of monitoring; the configuration part is often not implemented, i.e there are very few objects defined in the MIBs where you can make a set. It would be so much easier for management, if we could do really everything with this protocol, but this would represent a lot less money for network devices vendors...

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