Convention for defining traps for use with the SNMP
RFC 1215

Document Type RFC - Informational (March 1991; No errata)
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                   M. Rose, Editor
Request for Comments: 1215            Performance Systems International
                                                             March 1991

                    A Convention for Defining Traps
                         for use with the SNMP

Status of this Memo

   This memo suggests a straight-forward approach towards defining traps
   used with the SNMP.  Readers should note that the use of traps in the
   Internet-standard network management framework is controversial.  As
   such, this memo is being put forward for information purposes.
   Network management practitioners who employ traps are encouraged to
   make use of this document.  Practitioners who do not employ traps can
   safely ignore this document.

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify any standard.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Table of Contents

   1. Historical Perspective ................................    1
   2. Defining Traps ........................................    2
   2.1 Mapping of the TRAP-TYPE macro .......................    3
   2.1.1 Mapping of the ENTERPRISE clause ...................    3
   2.1.2 Mapping of the VARIABLES clause ....................    4
   2.1.3 Mapping of the DESCRIPTION clause ..................    4
   2.1.4 Mapping of the REFERENCE clause ....................    4
   2.1.5 Mapping of the TRAP-TYPE value .....................    4
   2.2 Usage Examples .......................................    5
   2.2.1 Enterprise-specific Trap ...........................    5
   2.2.2 Generic-Traps for use with the SNMP ................    5
   3. Acknowledgements ......................................    7
   4. References ............................................    9
   5. Security Considerations................................    9
   6. Author's Address.......................................    9

1.  Historical Perspective

   As reported in RFC 1052, IAB Recommendations for the Development of
   Internet Network Management Standards [1], a two-prong strategy for
   network management of TCP/IP-based internets was undertaken.  In the
   short-term, the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), defined in
   RFC 1067, was to be used to manage nodes in the Internet community.
   In the long-term, the use of the OSI network management framework was
   be examined.  Two documents were produced to define the management

SNMP Working Group                                              [Page 1]
RFC 1215             Convention for Defining Traps            March 1991

   information: RFC 1065, which defined the Structure of Management
   Information (SMI), and RFC 1066, which defined the Management
   Information Base (MIB).  Both of these documents were designed so as
   to be compatible with both the SNMP and the OSI network management
   framework.

   This strategy was quite successful in the short-term: Internet-based
   network management technology was fielded, by both the research and
   commercial communities, within a few months.  As a result of this,
   portions of the Internet community became network manageable in a
   timely fashion.

   As reported in RFC 1109, Report of the Second Ad Hoc Network
   Management Review Group [2], the requirements of the SNMP and the OSI
   network management frameworks were more different than anticipated.
   As such, the requirement for compatibility between the SMI/MIB and
   both frameworks was suspended.  This action permitted the operational
   network management framework, based on the SNMP, to respond to new
   operational needs in the Internet community by producing MIB-II.

   In May of 1990, the core documents were elevated to "Standard
   Protocols" with "Recommended" status.  As such, the Internet-standard
   network management framework consists of: Structure and
   Identification of Management Information for TCP/IP-based internets,
   RFC 1155 [3], which describes how managed objects contained in the
   MIB are defined; Management Information Base for Network Management
   of TCP/IP-based internets, which describes the managed objects
   contained in the MIB, RFC 1156 [4]; and, the Simple Network
   Management Protocol, RFC 1157 [5], which defines the protocol used to
   manage these objects.

2.  Defining Traps

   Due to its initial requirement to be protocol-independent, the
   Internet-standard SMI does not provide a means for defining traps.
   Instead, the SNMP defines a few standardized traps and provides a
   means for management enterprises to transmit enterprise-specific
   traps.

   However, with the introduction of experimental MIBs, some of which
   have a need to define experiment-specific traps, a convenient means
   of defining traps is desirable.  The TRAP-TYPE macro is suggested for
   this purpose:

          IMPORTS
              ObjectName
                  FROM RFC1155-SMI;

SNMP Working Group                                              [Page 2]
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