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I have a 3Com® Switch and I want to monitor it using SNMP, how can I start?

  1. Try to locate the MIB for your device, for example, 3COM Office Connect switch® available on search engine like Google or DuckDuckGo and shows you this: http://www.mirrorservice.org/sites/ftp.3com.com/pub/mibs/open-view/3com-products.mib
  2. This could be a good starting point, a device could have different MIB files. MIB files (Management Information Base) are text files (.txt or .mib), readable from a simple text editor.
  3. Download a MIB browser, there are a lot of free tools, for example: http://www.ireasoning.com/mibbrowser.shtml You can choose others, of course. Just take a look at different google searches.
  4. Load the MIB into your MIB browser. Each program does this differently.
  5. “Browse” your device with your MIB browser, you will need an IP address which is accessible from your host, and of course the SNMP community name (a kind of password) that allows you to “read” data remotely.
  6. Locate some “items” that are useful for you, and write it down in a numerical format, like Those “weird numbers” are called “OID”, and that is what Pandora FMS needs to collect data from your device.
  7. Create a SNMP network module (probably incremental_data or generic_data_inc type) and use your device’s IP address, the OID you’ve collected, and the SNMP community.
  8. If everything’s OK, the first piece of data you will collect is a 0, wait to collect a second piece data. The data collected will be classified into “items per second”. Most SNMP information is given as incremental data (a delta) and you need to retrieve at least 2 data entries to calculate the difference.
  9. You can also obtain status information (port status) from SNMP devices, as well as text information (like IOS version from a Cisco® Router) for example. There are types that aren’t supported at this time (time ticks) but will probably be supported in the future.

SNMP monitoring is hard at the beginning, but once you get it, all SNMP monitoring is almost the same, so don’t give up!

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