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1.7. Getting More Information

Getting a handle on SNMP may seem like a daunting task. The RFCs provide the official definition of the protocol, but they were written for software developers, not network administrators, so it can be difficult to extract the information you need from them. Fortunately, many online resources are available. The most notable web site is the Network Management Server at the University at Buffalo (http://netman.cit.buffalo.edu). It contains useful links to other sites that provide similar information, as well as a network-management product list (http://netman.cit.buffalo.edu/Products.html) that includes both software and hardware vendors; it even has product reviews. This site is a great starting point in the search for network-management information and can be an extremely useful tool for determining what kinds of hardware and software are currently out there. Two more great web sites are the SimpleWeb (http://www.snmp.cs.utwente.nl) and SNMP Link (http://www.SNMPLink.org). The Simple Times, an online publication devoted to SNMP and network management, is also useful. You can find the current edition, and all the previous ones, at http://www.simple-times.org.

Another great resource is Usenet news. The newsgroup most people frequent is comp.dcom.net-management. Another good newsgroup is comp.protocols.snmp. Groups such as these promote a community of information sharing, allowing seasoned professionals to interact with individuals who are not as knowledgeable about SNMP or network management.

If you would like to know if a particular vendor has SNMP-compatible equipment, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) has compiled a list of the proprietary MIB files various vendors supply. The list can be found at ftp://ftp.iana.org/mib/. There is also an SNMP FAQ, available in two parts at http://www.faqs.org/faqs/snmp-faq/part1/ and http://www.faqs.org/faqs/snmp-faq/part2/.

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