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1.6. A Brief Introduction to Remote Monitoring (RMON)

Remote Monitoring Version 1 (RMONv1, or RMON) is defined in RFC 2819; an enhanced version of the standard, called RMON Version 2 (RMONv2), is defined in RFC 2021. RMONv1 provides the NMS with packet-level statistics about an entire LAN or WAN. RMONv2 builds on RMONv1 by providing network- and application-level statistics. These statistics can be gathered in several ways. One way is to place an RMON probe on every network segment you want to monitor. Some Cisco routers have limited RMON capabilities built in, so you can use their functionality to perform minor RMON duties. Likewise, some 3Com switches implement the full RMON specification and can be used as full-blown RMON probes.

The RMON MIB was designed to allow an actual RMON probe to run in an offline mode that allows the probe to gather statistics about the network it's watching without requiring an NMS to query it constantly. At some later time, the NMS can query the probe for the statistics it has been gathering. Another feature that most probes implement is the ability to set thresholds for various error conditions and, when a threshold is crossed, alert the NMS with an SNMP trap. You can find a little more technical detail about RMON in the next chapter.

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