SNMP Communications Services
RFC 1270

Document Type RFC - Informational (October 1991; No errata)
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Network Working Group                              F. Kastenholz, Editor
Request for Comments: 1270               Clearpoint Research Corporation
                                                            October 1991

                      SNMP Communications Services

Status of This Memo

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

Table of Contents

   1. Abstract ..............................................    1
   2. Introduction ..........................................    1
   3. Standardization .......................................    3
   4. Interoperability ......................................    3
   5. To Transport or Not To Transport ......................    3
   6. Connection Oriented vs. Connectionless ................    6
   7. Which Protocol ........................................    8
   8. Security Considerations ...............................    9
   9. Appendix ..............................................    9
   10. References ...........................................   10
   11. Acknowledgements .....................................   11
   12. Author's Address .....................................   11

1.  Abstract

   This memo is being distributed to members of the Internet community as
   an Informational RFC.  The intent is to present a discussion on the
   issues relating to the communications services for SNMP.  While the
   issues discussed may not be directly relevant to the research problems
   of the Internet, they may be interesting to a number of researchers
   and implementors.

2.  Introduction

   This document discusses various issues to be considered when
   determining the underlying communications services to be used by an
   SNMP implementation.

   As reported in RFC 1052, IAB Recommendations for the Development of
   Internet Network Management Standards [8], 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.

SNMP Working Group                                              [Page 1]
RFC 1270              SNMP Communications Services          October 1991

   In the long-term, the use of the OSI network management framework was
   to be examined.  Two documents were produced to define the management
   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.

   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 [9],
   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 [10]; and, the Simple Network Management Protocol, RFC 1157
   [1], which defines the protocol used to manage these objects.

   In parallel with this activity, documents specifying how to transport
   SNMP messages over protocols other than UDP/IP have been developed and
   published: SNMP Over Ethernet [3], SNMP Over OSI [2], and SNMP Over
   IPX [6] and it would be suprising if more were not developed.  These
   memos have caused a degree of confusion in the community.  This
   document is intended to disperse that confusion by discussing the
   issues of relevance to an implementor when choosing how to encapsulate
   SNMP packets.

   None of these documents have been made full Internet Standards. SNMP
   Over ISO and SNMP Over Ethernet are both Experimental protocols. SNMP
   Over IPX [6] is an Internet Draft. Only the SNMP Specification [1] is
   an Internet Standard.

   No single transport scheme can be considered the absolute best
   solution for all circumstances.  This note will argue that, except for
   a very small set of special circumstances, operating SNMP over UDP/IP
   is the optimal scheme.

   This document does not present a standard or a protocol for the
   Internet Community.  For production use in the Internet the SNMP and
   its required communication services are specified in [1].

SNMP Working Group                                              [Page 2]
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