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This guidebook has been created to give you the information you need to successfully implement SNMP-based alarm monitoring in your network.

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How to Select an SNMP Trap Management System

Get more from your SNMP trap management system by selecting one with these key features...

  • Complete Alarm collection and device management: Don't settle for a limited SNMP trap management system. Get multi protocol support for every monitoring device in your network in addition to SNMP. Plus, discrete alarms, analog alarms, ping alarms, and redundant path reporting.
  • Alarm presentation and alert. Send detailed alarms and corrections to NOC and field techs via pager alerts and web interfaces.
  • Alarm sorting and analysis. Make sense of alarm cascades with automatic alarm sorting, filtering, processing, and trend analysis.
Checklist clipboard -- look for these key SNMP trap manager features

Checklist: SNMP Trap Management Essentials

Here's a handy checklist of key features you should look for in SNMP trap management. Print this checklist out and use it to rate the SNMP trap managers you're evaluating. If an SNMP trap manager can't meet these basic requirements, cross it off your list.

Critical alarm collection and device management functions

  • Maintain a list of standing alarms.
    SNMP trap management must maintain a list of standing alarms and not just log newly reported or acknowledged traps. Imagine what would happen to your network if a system operator acknowledged an alarm, and then failed to correct the alarm condition. Who would know the alarm was still standing? No one!
  • Indicate cleared alarms.
    Off the shelf SNMP trap managers don't tie in SNMP trap messages to an alarm condition or a clear condition.
  • Best quality telemetry monitoring
    You'll have complete visibility of your entire network, not just the SNMP enabled devices, with tools such as alerts escalation, legacy protocol mediation, nuisance alarm silencing, automatic control relay operation, and automatic alerts by pager and e-mail.
  • Detailed, precise alarm descriptions.
    SNMP alarm monitoring systems should record the time, location, severity, and a precise description of alarm events
  • Maintain System Security and Strict Accountability.
    Advanced SNMP trap managers log each user by a unique id and automatically record user actions in a log log.
  • Multi protocol support for your existing devices. Make sure your network monitoring system supports alarm collection from devices in addition to SNMP, including your older legacy gear. You can get rid of all your specialized consoles and monitor your network from one screen.
Bob Berry - CEO, DPS Telecom, Alarm Management Systems Specialist
"All the network monitoring systems I make are backed by my no-risk, money-back guarantee. If you buy my gear and you're not satisfied for any reason during the first 30 days, simply return it for a full refund. If my product doesn't solve your problem, I don't want you to have it."

- Bob Berry, CEO, DPS Telecom

Essential alarm sorting and analysis functions

  • Nuisance alarm filtering. Even the best NOC staff stops taking alarms seriously if they're bombarded with status alerts, oscillating conditions, and unimportant alarms. Look for an SNMP trap manager system that filters these out.
  • Custom combo alarms. A low battery isn't a serious problem, and neither is a failed generator - but they're pretty serious when the happen at the same time. Look for an SNMP trap manager that can watch many different alarm inputs and spot vital alarm combinations.
  • Root cause analysis. Finding the underlying cause between alarm cascades can take hours of patient detective work. Look for an SNMP trap manager that can automatically tie in repeated combinations of alarms.
  • History and trend analysis. Find problem areas and get rid of recurring problems with an SNMP trap manager system. It keeps a complete alarm log that's exportable for trend analysis.
  • Alarm sorting. A large, complex network can create a cascade of alarms. Some are unimportant, but others are vital. Look for an SNMP trap manager system that can automatically sort this flood of information for you.
T/Mon LNX SNMP Master
The T/Mon from DPS Telecom is an SNMP Trap Management system. It's a multifunction network alarm manager designed as a single-platform solution for all alarm monitoring applications. T/Mon collects alarm data from lots of different gear throughout many manufacturers.

Key alarm presentation and alert functions

  • Detailed alarm alerts. Summary "major/minor" alarms don't give you enough information to make dispatch decisions. Look for an SNMP trap management system that includes detailed diagnostic information in each alarm.
  • Pager and e-mail alerts. Pager and e-mail alerts let your field techs respond to alarms while they're still in the field. This speeds repairs and reduces windshield time. Look for an SNMP trap manager system with SMS support, which can send detailed alarm alerts to alpha pagers, cell phones, and PDAs.
  • Web interface. Everybody knows how to use a Web browser. A Web interface makes sure all your field techs can access your alarm system, from any computer from any location.
  • Alarm correction instructions. Detailed instructions included in alarm alerts ensure that system staff, without extra training, will know precisely what to do and who to call if an alarm happens.