(Simple Network Management Protocol) A widely used network monitoring and control protocol. Data are passed from SNMP agents, which are hardware and/or software processes reporting activity in each network device (hub, router, bridge, etc.) to the workstation console used to oversee the network. The agents return information contained in a MIB (Management Information Base), which is a data structure that defines what is obtainable from the device and what can be controlled (turned off, on, etc.). Originating in the Unix community, SNMP has become widely used on all major platforms.SNMP 2 provides enhancements including security and an RMON (Remote Monitoring) MIB, which provides continuous feedback without having to be queried by the SNMP console. See RMON. See also SMTP.
As Application Layer protocol of the TCP/IP protocol suite, SNMP supports the exchange of network management information between host computers, typically including one or more centralized network management consoles that manage larger numbers of network elements (NEs) in real time. Defined in RFC 1157 (1990), SNMP operates over the User Datagram Protocol (UDP), thereby avoiding the overhead associated with the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP).There are three versions: SNMPv1, v2, and v3. See also Application Layer, host, NE, network management, overhead, protocol, protocol suite, real time, TCP, TCP/IP, and UDP.