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Product details

  • Paperback: 462 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (1 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596008406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596008406
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.8 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 548,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

Without Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), network administrators might have to actually get out of their chairs and go see what's up with all of the network-connected equipment under their authority. Perish the thought. Essential SNMP explains how the management protocol works and how it's implemented by several operating systems and pieces of equipment. More importantly, this book shows its reader--who should to be a network administrator who's familiar with the problems of running a distributed network--how SNMP can earn its place as a network administration tool. In other words, this book examines SNMP as a strategic resource as well as a technical phenomenon.

Because it's orientated towards SNMP as a tool, much of the coverage in this book has to do with software that uses SNMP to provide network monitoring and control services. After a strengths-and-weaknesses overview of a number of SNMP packages, the authors use mainly HP OpenView, Castle Rock SNMPc, and Net-SNMP (the last in combination with Perl scripting) to demonstrate how SNMP works and how to take advantage of it. It's the scripting that really distinguishes this book from other SNMP books, by the way. It's integral to the authors' presentation, and the latter half of this book is packed with shell and Perl listings. --David Wall

Topics covered: Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and its applicability as a network management tool. Details like Object Identifiers (OIDs), Management Information Bases (MIBs), traps, and community strings are defined and explained. The configuration of SNMP agents is detailed for several software packages and operating systems, and the integration of SNMP and scripts (in shell languages and in Perl) is covered nicely. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"It is difficult to find fault with the content of the book... This is a solid textbook in the O'Reilly mould. The only criticism I have is an unfair one, I had difficulty staying awake whilst reviewing it, I find SNMP just about the driest subject in IT but this book will enable you to get though all the tedious configuration as fast as possible allowing you to move onto more interesting things that much sooner." - Greg Matthews, news@UK, June 2006

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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This book is perfect for getting to grips with what SNMP is and how it works :D best book on this i've read
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17 of 31 people found the following review helpful By rick@unglaublichit.com on 19 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
The book presumes you know what SNMP is, and then add little information to what it presumed you knew. The chances of me taking the book down from my bookshelf where it sits 2 days after delivery are I expect slim.
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7 of 31 people found the following review helpful By "wo0wo0" on 20 Feb. 2003
Format: Paperback
Without Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), network administrators might have to actually get out of their chairs and go see what's up with all of the network-connected equipment under their authority. Perish the thought. Essential SNMP explains how the management protocol works and how it's implemented by several operating systems and pieces of equipment. More importantly, this book shows its reader--who should be a network administrator who's familiar with the problems of running a distributed network--how SNMP can earn its place as a network administration tool. In other words, this book examines SNMP as a strategic resource as well as a technical phenomenon.
Because it's oriented toward SNMP as a tool, much of the coverage in this book has to do with software that uses SNMP to provide network monitoring and control services. After a strengths-and-weaknesses overview of a number of SNMP packages, the authors use mainly HP OpenView, Castle Rock SNMPc, and Net-SNMP (the last in combination with Perl scripting) to demonstrate how SNMP works and how to take advantage of it. It's the scripting that really distinguishes this book from other SNMP books, by the way. It's integral to the authors' presentation, and the latter half of this book is packed with shell and Perl listings. --David Wall
Topics covered: Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and its applicability as a network management tool. Details like object identifiers (OIDs), management information bases (MIBs), traps, and community strings are defined and explained. The configuration of SNMP agents is detailed for several software packages and operating systems, and the integration of SNMP and scripts (in shell languages and in Perl) is covered nicely.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 27 reviews
56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
Perfect for SNMP beginners and complicated networks 16 Aug. 2001
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have been doing network/router/system administration for about 3 years, and I have never really had the time/opportunity/need to do SNMP. Our network grew to be very large very quickly (sites in africa, england, germany, canada, america) and it became neccesary to use SNMP to ease the administration somewhat. I first bought "A practical guide to SNMPv3 and Network Management" and could barely get past page 8 before I was totally lost. So I came back looking for "21 days" or "SNMP for dummies" book of which there are none. I found this book which recommends a good grasp of TCP/IP and that is about it. I have found this book to be the best book out there for someone with 0 to little experience with SNMP. It brought me all the way from ground 0 knowledge of SNMP to managing a network of about 100 routers with SNMP, including detecting DoS attacks, processor overload, interface changes, config changes etc.
I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a practical SNMP managed network, beginner or advanced.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Good User Reference 6 Feb. 2002
By Shawn Boyce - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is intended for people wanting to understand how to use SNMP such as adminstrators or managers. I bought this book because of its coverage of various NMS systems (such as HP OpenView NNM) and SNMP Agents.
The book provides coverage of SNMP and its operation in two chapters. It covers NMS configuration, Agent configuration, extensible Agents, MRTG. Also useful is its coverage of open source software for SNMP: Net-SNMP, SNMP Perl module, and MRTG.
The book could use more coverage of other open source and freely available SNMP software.
All in all, a good book. As usual, you can trust O'Reilly.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1/4 good 3 May 2007
By eric - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is good up till you get 1/4 of the way through it. The first quarter of the book is good and it goes over general SNMP stuff then history different versions etc. The last 3/4 of this book cover configuring proprietary monitoring systems like open view and solar winds.

I dont care about open view.. or solar winds.. i wanted to learn about snmp... not some vendors software package. Im suprised that this got published with such a general title.. when really the book is an snmp intro, followed by how to setup a proprietary monitoring tool.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Good SNMP coverage, but I needed a little more help 1 Sept. 2006
By Richard Bejtlich - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Essential SNMP, 2nd Ed (ES2E) fills a gap in being a modern book about an important management protocol. SNMP is used extensively by network management stations (NMS) like Nagios, which is now the subject of two independent books. E2SE does a good job covering SNMP issues important to administrators and NMS users. However, the book's organization and subject matter could be improved in the 3rd edition.

Initially I thought it was helpful to include Tethereal output of SNMP messages, but I realized it was very wasteful to include all of the packet headers above SNMP itself (i.e., Ethernet, IP, and UDP). Many pages could be removed, and the readability improved, by removing unnecessary material. The authors should also bold or highlight important parts of those messages, and maybe add inline callouts of descriptions to point out important parts of the protocol.

I liked E2SE because it gave balanced coverage to SNMP v1, v2c, and v3, more or less. The chapter on v1 and v2c (Ch 2) explored those protocols using tools bundled with Net-SNMP. Unfortunately, the same is not true for the chapter on v3 (Ch 3). This was disappointing, because SNMP v3 is most likely to confuse readers.

With respect to tools, I don't think it makes sense to use Net-SNMP apps to demonstrate SNMP in Ch 2, but wait to explain Net-SNMP in Ch 6. Sure, there is an appendix on Net-SNMP, but I think it would have made more sense to guide the reader through a setup of a Net-SNMP agent, and then use snmpget, snmpwalk, snmpset, and snmptrap to communicate with snmpd and snmptrapd. This would explain basic SNMP operations in a safe, non-production environment. With that base, readers could then learn about commercial NMS, perhaps taking a close look at programs like OpenView (covered extensively in ES2E).

I wish the book had offered more help with error messages. I frequently found myself searching the Web for help with configuring various components on Net-SNMP. I blogged much of my wanderings because SNMP ends up not being as "simple" as one might expect.

Overall, I think ES2E is a good book for those who want to learn more about SNMP. I would like to see the third edition address these concerns, especially with respect to SNMP v3 operation.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Great book on SNMP starts from the beginning 20 Feb. 2007
By calvinnme - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I hadn't seen a new book on SNMP come out in some time, and the older ones I had read were so abstract and unhelpful that I was reluctant to try another one. This book, though not perfect, is much better than the older books I have looked at on the subject. For one thing, it just didn't dive into the subject with a bunch of confusing graphs and object trees assuming I already knew the big picture.

Chapter one is just a general introduction to SNMP and network management. Chapter 2 goes into details on both SNMPv1 and SNMPv2. It talks about how SNMP sends and receives information, how to read MIB files, and about SNMP communities. It looks in detail at three MIB's - MIB-II, Host Resources, and RMON. MIB-II is a very important management group because every device that supports SNMP must also support MIB-II, thus objects from MIB-II are used in examples through the whole book. Chapter 3 introduces SNMPv3, which addresses the security problems present in v1 and v2.

Next the book introduces the idea of a network management architecture. It stresses that you need a plan that helps you use Network Management Stations (NMS's) effectively in order to effectively manage your network. This section includes how to properly choose your hardware and what questions you need to ask yourself. Next the book discusses actually installing and running your software. Specifically HP's OpenView Network Node Manager and Castle Rock's SNMPc Enterprise Edition are discussed. Included are detailed instructions along with screenshots of the application. Next there are instructions on how to configure SNMP agents. You are walked through some standard configuration parameters plus some advanced parameters that sometimes crop up. Once again there are plenty of screen shots to help you know you are on the right path.

Now that you've been walked through the configuration of your system and the installation of software, the book shows you how to use the three basic SNMP operations of snmpget, snmpset, and snmpwalk. A group of Perl scripts are shown that set, get, and walk objects. Next HP OpenView and Net-SNMP are used to perform the same operations from the command line. A third alternative is demonstrated that uses OpenView's graphical MIB Browser. Next is a discussion of how to set up SNMP to poll your devices at certain intervals and to set thresholds that require action if crossed. Again Perl scripts enter the discussion for configuring this set-up. SNMPc and OpenView screen shots show you how to configure this using graphical interfaces, and what to expect. Next the book discusses traps, which are how an agent sends a monitoring station asynchronous notification about certain key conditions that may require action. The book demonstrates how to handle traps using OpenView and Perl scripts. Next the book shows how to read, configure, and even define your own traps.

The book now turns to the problem of agents that need to be extended in their abilities. The book discusses the answer to this problem - extensible SNMP agents - and three of them in particular - the OpenView, Net-SNMP, and SystemEdge agents. Next are some interesting scripts for automating common system administration tasks. Issues covered by these little scripts include determining who is logging into your machine, a port monitor, service monitoring, and switching port control, among others. There is then a discussion on MRTG (Multi Router Traffic Grapher), a trend analysis tool that generates image files and whose output is viewable from a web browser. Complete instructions on installing and using the tool are given. The next tool discussed is RRDtool, which in network management will most likely be used to store and process data collected via SNMP. However RRDtool can be used for many diverse purposes that have nothing to do with computer networks. The last chapter in the book is an odd one on using Java with SNMP. Specifically, the book presents the Java SNMP API known as SNMP4J. It doesn't really seem to add any functionality other than being an alternative for people who don't like to use Perl.

I liked this book very much. It had many good examples and it answered all of the questions I had previously had on SNMP starting from the beginning with what is SNMP and what can it do for you? I would highly recommend it to any network administrator who is planning on workng with SNMP.
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