North American Network Operators Group|
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a different view of SNMP
(on the soapbox) Alex, I agree with many of the things you said in hating SNMP. I have complained at times about the complexity and lack of efficiency of SNMP, as well at it's difficulty in representing certain types of arrays. The "easy" alternative you present is parsing CLI output. This can be just as evil as SNMP, at least in dealing with Cisco gear. The big advantage of SNMP comes not from the protocol but from the formality that it brings. With SNMP, I can actually tell you what variables in what forms are available on a given system, based on the standard and proprietary MIBs published. Please tell me which commands are available in a given IOS release. Please tell me the parsing format of the output form these commands. Please guarantee that they won't change in ways that appear as random to the person dealing with them from release to release. The big win would be if there was some thing akin to CLI and worked across telnet sessions and the like, but had the formality, documentation and parsing regularity that comes with MIBs. I don't think this would be any less readable to users, so it could just replace current CLI output. This could also improve configuration management greatly. The bad news is that very few people in the network management world, either within Cisco or elsewhere, believe this in any way. The only way for this to become real is for a significant number of major customers to demand this and make this a requirement of doing business with Cisco. When mo demands that Cisco do SNMPV3, they listen. When people start putting business on the line for this kind of thing, they will listen too.