The strange case of SNMP: A weird story about protocols
What is SNMP? A very useful and interesting protocol
A crime had taken place in Manhattan Grow, a well-established company, so to speak, of invoices. Someone shouted “OH MY GOD, WE MUST FIND THE GUILTY ONE! There wasn’t enough coffee and doughnuts in the machine to calm the entire office.
In the middle of summer, the sky was slowly walking towards dusk, slowly fading away. No one was going to leave Manhattan Grow until the mess was fixed. Heads were going to roll.
They handed the case over to one of the veterans, a senior systems chief who had experienced everything possible within the company. His name was Amonario and, as you can imagine, he was about to retire.
Amonario enjoyed going out and smoking his cigarettes on the stairs and configuring switches and routers by hand by using a cable. That’s how happy he was. Lately, however, something was giving him a headache. That was caused by a new junior systems technician. His name was “Fraguas”.
Fraguas was much more used to the technological whirlwind of the new times. He could break records at Angry Birds and thought he was going to become a millionaire at any moment thanks to the development of a new mobile application. His chair in the computer fish tank was the finest and most customized. He could sit for hours with his pc and configure it all without having to move a single millimeter from his chair.
The boss brought both of them to his office on the top floor.
-Okay gentlemen, there has been a cybercrime in our domains. An identity theft that involves a loss of about three million euros.
-Don’t worry, sir, I’ll take care of it – Amonary said.
–We will take care of it! – Fraguas said.
“The new one” initially followed the veteran. Did he really intend to check the computers one by one? All of them? In order to see if he could find something. He went from one computer to another looking at records and files! However, Fraguas, simply got into the business network to look at the moves of each one in it, he would notice if someone had touched the invoices and if so he would try to scan their IP to see if they had really committed the cybercrime. He would do it thanks to the SNMP protocol, which would make it easy for him to explore the traces left by the cybercriminal.
What is SNMP?
–SNMP? What is SNMP?
-What do you mean, “What is SNMP, Amonary? I thought you knew all the possible topics – this touched the sensitive nerve of Amonary, but Fraguas continued with a smile in his face.
-You see, SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is a protocol that allows network administrators to manage network devices and diagnose their problems. The SNMP protocol has two different ways of working: polling and traps. Polling relies on sending remote queries either actively or on demand, executing a synchronous query operation. Traps, however, are rather messages that launch SNMP devices to an already constituted address, based on changes or events, this time asynchronously.
-Like an application layer protocol that enables the exchange of administration data between network instruments.
-That’s right! Instruments or devices that support SNMP include routers, switches, servers, printers, modems and so on. It empowers administrators, like us, to monitor network performance, find and solve their problems and to plan its growth. It is made up of a set of rules for network management, comprising a protocol application layer, a schema database, and a set of data objects. The most widely used SNMP versions are SNMP version 1 (SNMPv1) and SNMP version 2 (SNMPv2). The latest release, SNMPv3, has representative advances in relation to its predecessors, especially in terms of security, but it has not been fully approved by the industry. I don’t understand very well why.
-In general, we can say that SNMP is used to configure remote devices -said Fraguas-. Configuration information can be triggered to each host interconnected with the network from the management system. It is also used to monitor overall network performance. You can track the processing speed and capabilities of the network, and get information about data transfers. And of course to detect network errors or inadequate access. What we’re going to come up with right now is pretty good for finding that scoundrel. In fact, we can also set up alarms that are triggered on network devices when certain events occur. When an alarm is triggered, the device sends an event signal to the administration system and that saves a lot of time.
Thanks to the SNMP protocol, our friends followed in the footsteps of cybercrime and finally found the crook. This meant a promotion and a pat on the back from the leaders, but more importantly, it united these two agents with a great friendship that would last for many years and many beers on the way out.
By the way, do you know who is taking advantage of this famous protocol, apart from our Manhattan Grow detectives? Pandora FMS, a flexible monitoring system, which is capable of monitoring devices, infrastructures, applications, services and business processes.
Do you know what computer systems monitoring is? Luckily, you are in the right place to find out more. In this blog there are dozens of articles that can help you get into this exciting world. You can find a link to our main page here: https://blog.pandorafms.org
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Dimas P.L., de la lejana y exótica Vega Baja, CasiMurcia, periodista, redactor, taumaturgo del contenido y campeón de espantar palomas en los parques. Actualmente resido en Madrid donde trabajo como paladín de la comunicación en Pandora FMS y periodista freelance cultural en cualquier medio que se ofrezca. También me vuelvo loco escribiendo y recitando por los círculos poéticos más profundos y oscuros de la ciudad.