Demystifying The MIB - About Author Marshall DenHartog


About the Author

Marshall DenHartog

Marshall DenHartog has seven years' experience working with SNMP, including designing private MIB extensions, creating SNMP systems for multiple platforms, and developing SNMP-based monitoring for several nationwide networks.

His dedication and hard work are demonstrated in each of the projects he is involved with. He has a strong commitment to the goals and mission of DPS. "I want our customers to know that I am committed to building both a quality product and a quality company to stand behind it. Marshall is not only a dedicated engineer, but also a loving husband and father of four. DPS is proud to have Marshall as part of its team. Each of our custom engineered solutions is built on the dedication, versatility, and energy exhibited by employees like Marshall.

"I would personally like to let you know how beneficial the installation of the SNMP responder was to the mission of our department. We were looking for a way to integrate our local ILEC region in HP OpenView without a major network change. The SNMP responder was the answer. This migration will allow us not only to monitor all alarms in one spot but also build extensive collection reports of our whole network."

-Todd Matherne, EATEL

"It is hard to find companies with the intelligence and aptitude to meet the customer's exact needs, and I believe that is what DPS is all about."

-Lee Wells, Pathnet


Demystifying the MIB

What is the MIB?

The MIB, or Management Information Base, is an ASCII text file that describes SNMP network elements as a list of data objects. Think of it as a dictionary of the SNMP language - every object referred to in an SNMP message must be listed in the MIB.

What does the MIB do?

The fundamental purpose of the MIB is to translate numerical strings into human-readable text. When an SNMP device sends a Trap or other message, it identifies each data object in the message with a number string called an object identifier, or OID. (OIDs are defined more fully later in this paper.)

The MIB provides a text label called for each OID. Your SNMP manager uses the MIB as a codebook for translating the OID numbers into a human-readable display.

Why do I need the MIB?

Your SNMP manager needs the MIB in order to process messages from your devices. Without the MIB, the message is just a meaningless string of numbers.

How do I get the MIB into my SNMP manager?

Your SNMP manager imports the MIB through a software function called compiling. Compiling converts the MIB from its raw ASCII format into a binary format the SNMP manager can use.