Tutorial :What is the Backwards Compatibility of SNMP?



Question:

I am working on a network monitoring application and need to know what versions of SNMP are backwards compatible with the other versions. I am writing the program in Java and using SNMP4J to query OIDs on particular devices. Within SNMP4J, you must specify the version of the SNMP device when setting up the target.

Currently, there is SNMP versions 1, 2c, and 3. If I have a device that is SNMP version 1, will SNMP version 2c or 3 be backwards compatible with that version?

If device is version 2, will 1 or 3 be backwards compatible?

... and so on

Anyway, all the help is greatly appreciated,

Steve


Solution:1

SNMPv1 uses community strings, which became context-IDs in SNMPv2c. Essentially it's the same thing but a slightly different way of looking at things.

SNMPv3 has security and all kinds of additions that make the protocol anything but simple.

If you try and make SNMPv2c requests on a SNMPv1 device you will run into problems if the SNMPv2c manager is using get-bulk requests (where it requests more than 1 subsequent object at a time, useful for pulling in columnar objects quickly). SNMPv1 has no support for bulk operations.

So, a SNMPv1 manager may be able to retrieve objects from SNMPv2c agents. But a SNMPv2c manager may have trouble getting objects from a SNMPv1 device.

Mixing SNMPv3 with anything else is asking for trouble.


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