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SNMP is Simply Not My Problem

Posted by Preston on 2009-11-19

When I first started in system administration, I asked a colleague who was talking about SNMP what the ETLA* stood for.

His response: Simply Not My Problem.

SNMP – The Simple Network Management Protocol, is something that a lot of people get hung up over in relation to NetWorker. There’s usually two complaints:

  1. Why do I have to pay for SNMP integration?
  2. Where’s the MIBs?

The first question is more easily answered after answering the second; there are no MIBs (well, no official MIBs) for NetWorker. NetWorker doesn’t support being controlled by SNMP; instead, its SNMP “module” simply supports sending SNMP traps – broadcasts onto the network.

So now we return to the first question – why do I have to pay for SNMP integration?

The short answer is you don’t. I wouldn’t. If I were back to being a regular system administrator and someone walked in with a quote for NetWorker and included the SNMP module in it, I’d grab the quote and draw a big red line through it as being a complete waste of money.

Why pay for being able to send SNMP traps when there are free tools available for practically every operating system that allow you to do just that?

As to whether you should get hung up about NetWorker not natively supporting SNMP traps without any additional licensing – honestly, it’s not worth getting worked up about. NetWorker has a very extensible notification system where you can assign any action (read: executable with any command line actions) to practically any event within the system. With that much flexibility you can whack a free SNMP utility on the system and go to town.


* ETLA – Extended Three Letter Acronym

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