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5 Steps You Can Take Today to Start Your SNMP Monitoring Project

Assess Your Existing Network

Start with a thorough assessment of your existing network equipment and data transport, checking for what you already have that's compatible with SNMP. The more you can keep, the more you'll save on capital expenditures.

Survey Your Existing Data Transport

The biggest challenge in your SNMP implementation is ensuring you have enough bandwidth for SNMP traffic. Examine your present telemetry map. Identify existing transport and identify what adjustments need to be made.

  • Check for SNMP-ready transport: LAN, overhead channel, channel bank, order wire or PPP over a dial-up or direct link
  • Make sure transport has adequate bandwidth for UDP traffic
  • Check if low-bandwidth transport can be rerouted to high-bandwidth

Survey Your Existing Equipment

Determine how much of your currently existing network elements support SNMP, so you can plan systematically what upgrades will be necessary for SNMP-based monitoring.

  • Equipment that natively supports SNMP
  • Equipment that can be firmware upgraded to support SNMP
  • Equipment that can be swapped out for a later SNMP model
  • Equipment that cannot be economically replaced with a direct SNMP equivalent (Don't replace this equipment - look for a protocol mediation solution instead)

Collect MIB Files for Your Equipment

Make sure that you have the correct Management Information Base (MIB) files for all of your equipment. The MIB file enables the SNMP manager to interpret Trap messages from devices. MIB files are equipment specific, so it's important to make sure that you have the correct MIB for your equipment type, model, and version number.

Plan Your SNMP Implementation Budget

Watch out for the capital expenditure and installation manpower costs of a forklift swapout. Use protocol mediation solutions to make your existing network SNMP ready. This will avoid the costs of a systemwide replacement, keeping your budget within reasonable limits.

SNMP Troubleshooting Guide

Not getting Traps from your SNMP RTU? Here's some quick troubleshooting steps to isolate the problem:

  • Check RTU configuration
    • Is the Trap address set to the correct IP address for the SNMP manager?
    • Is the RTU configured to send Traps to Port 162? (Port 162 is the standard port for receiving SNMP Traps - if your SNMP manager uses a different port, make sure all devices are configured for the same port)
  • Are all alarm points on the RTU configured to send Traps?
    • Does the Trap community string on the RTU match the Trap community string on the SNMP manager?
  • Use packet sniffer at RTU end to make sure Trap PDUs are sent.
    If no packet sniffer is available, proceed to the next step. If your RTU is a DPS Telecom unit, use the Analyze mode of your included configuration software.
  • If RTU configuration is correct, check network communication between the SNMP manager and the RTU
    • Ping the RTU from the SNMP manager
      If the ping is unsuccessful, check the firewall configuration. Reconfigure firewall to allow UDP traffic at Port 162 (or port used by your SNMP manager)
    • Use packet sniffer at SNMP manager end to make sure Trap PDUs are arriving at the manager.
  • If Trap packets are arriving, check SNMP manager configuration
    • Double-check Trap community string settings
    • Make sure that the right MIB file for the RTU has been compiled on the SNMP manager.
  • If no Trap packets are arriving at the SNMP manager, there is an error in the network settings. Consult your network administrator.