The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) has become the established standard for managing and controlling network components. Thanks to the flexible structures of the SNMP protocol, the most diverse device types can be captured. The Docusnap SNMP feature allows you to inventory active network components, such as switches, routers, printers, or IP phones via the SNMP standard interface and to store this information in a structured manner in the Docusnap Database (CMDB) for further analysis.
To inventory SNMP-capable devices, Docusnap uses the SNMP standard protocol developed by the IETF. This enables Docusnap to perform an inventory scan without the need to install or use any agents. Docusnap supports the following SNMP protocols: SNMP v1, SNMP v2c, and SNMP v3.
The search for active network components is based on one or more IP ranges which can be defined using a wizard. During the inventory process, each single IP address of the specified range will be checked for SNMP-capable devices and the required information (standard MIBs) will be stored in the Docusnap database. The inventory scan can be performed from the wizard or scheduled for later execution by the Docusnap Server.
The properties and information about an active network component are contained in the so-called Management Information Base (MIB). These hierarchically structured descriptions are used by Docusnap to determine the desired data of the corresponding system. The following shows some examples of data which is inventoried by Docusnap for an SNMP system:
Docusnap is able to document the physical topology, i.e. the network cabling structure, and visualize it. An inventory scan of all SNMP-capable systems in a network analyzes all switches located and detected by Docusnap. This includes, besides the physical switches, also virtual switches or distributed virtual switches (VMware, Hyper-V). The information obtained this way is used to display both the connections between the individual switches and the devices connected to the respective ports (e.g. Windows systems, printers, VMware hosts, or Hyper-V hosts). Exporting the network topology information to Microsoft Visio for further processing is done with a few clicks.
SNMP systems are not only included in the graphical display of the network topology, but also considered for network plans (layer 3). Meaningful data sheets, reports, and overviews complete the documentation created by the SNMP feature.
To obtain the information about SNMP systems, the MIBs defined in RFCs (RFC 1212, RFC 1213) are used. There are countless proprietary MIBs that the manufacturers supply with their individual products. As an additional feature, Docusnap provides a flexible way to import these MIBs (private MIBs) and to include them in the inventory process. The resulting data and information can subsequently be reused for analysis and documentation purposes.