Configuring Networks and Devices with Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)
RFC 3512

Document Type RFC - Informational (April 2003; No errata)
Last updated 2015-10-14
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IESG IESG state RFC 3512 (Informational)
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IESG note Published as RFC3512
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Network Working Group                                        M. MacFaden
Request for Comments: 3512                     Riverstone Networks, Inc.
Category: Informational                                       D. Partain
                                                                Ericsson
                                                              J. Saperia
                                                    JDS Consulting, Inc.
                                                            W. Tackabury
                                              Gold Wire Technology, Inc.
                                                              April 2003

                 Configuring Networks and Devices with
               Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)

Status of this Memo

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

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2003).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   This document is written for readers interested in the Internet
   Standard Management Framework and its protocol, the Simple Network
   Management Protocol (SNMP).  In particular, it offers guidance in the
   effective use of SNMP for configuration management.  This information
   is relevant to vendors that build network elements, management
   application developers, and those that acquire and deploy this
   technology in their networks.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
      1.1. The Internet Standard Management Framework. . . . . . . .   3
      1.2. Configuration and the Internet Standard Management
           Frame-work. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   2. Using SNMP as a Configuration Mechanism. . . . . . . . . . . .   5
      2.1. Transactions and SNMP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
      2.2. Practical Requirements for Transactional Control. . . . .   6
      2.3. Practices in Configuration--Verification. . . . . . . . .   7
   3. Designing a MIB Module . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
      3.1. MIB Module Design - General Issues. . . . . . . . . . . .  10
      3.2. Naming MIB modules and Managed Objects. . . . . . . . . .  11
      3.3. Transaction Control And State Tracking. . . . . . . . . .  12

MacFaden, et al.             Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 3512       Configuring Networks and Devices with SNMP     April 2003

           3.3.1. Conceptual Table Row Modification Practices. . . .  12
           3.3.2. Fate sharing with multiple tables. . . . . . . . .  13
           3.3.3. Transaction Control MIB Objects. . . . . . . . . .  14
           3.3.4. Creating And Activating New Table Rows . . . . . .  15
           3.3.5. Summary Objects and State Tracking . . . . . . . .  15
           3.3.6. Optimizing Configuration Data Transfer . . . . . .  18
      3.4. More Index Design Issues. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
           3.4.1. Simple Integer Indexing. . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
           3.4.2. Indexing with Network Addresses. . . . . . . . . .  23
      3.5. Conflicting Controls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  24
      3.6. Textual Convention Usage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  25
      3.7. Persistent Configuration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  26
      3.8. Configuration Sets and Activation . . . . . . . . . . . .  28
           3.8.1. Operational Activation Considerations. . . . . . .  28
           3.8.2. RowStatus and Deactivation . . . . . . . . . . . .  30
      3.9. SET Operation Latency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  31
           3.9.1. Subsystem Latency, Persistence Latency,
                  and Activation Latency . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  33
      3.10. Notifications and Error Reporting. . . . . . . . . . . .  33
           3.10.1. Identifying Source of Configuration Changes . . .  34
           3.10.2. Limiting Unnecessary Transmission of
                   Notifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  34
           3.10.3. Control of Notification Subsystem . . . . . . . .  36
      3.11 Application Error Reporting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  36
      3.12 Designing MIB Modules for Multiple Managers . . . . . . .  37
      3.13 Other MIB Module Design Issues. . . . . . . . . . . . . .  39
           3.13.1. Octet String Aggregations . . . . . . . . . . . .  39
           3.13.2 Supporting multiple instances of a MIB Module. . .  40
           3.13.3 Use of Special Optional Clauses. . . . . . . . . .  41
   4. Implementing SNMP Configuration Agents . . . . . . . . . . . .  41
      4.1. Operational Consistency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  41
      4.2. Handling Multiple Managers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  43
      4.3. Specifying Row Modifiability. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  44
      4.4. Implementing Write-only Access Objects. . . . . . . . . .  44
   5. Designing Configuration Management Software. . . . . . . . . .  44
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