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I have asked the following questions on StackOverflow, but haven't received a single answer yet, presumably because no one there seems to be knowledgable enough about SNMP and my questions. So, I am asking on ServerFault now, hoping someone could help me since this is also related to networking.

I am new to SNMP and have troubles understanding the SNMP requirements of a Java application I am required to implement. I am using openDMK to provide the SNMP support. Please excuse any brutal ignorance in my questions. I have read the RFC specs, but most of the text appear to be gibberish to me.

One requirement is that "SNMP support must be comformable with Alarm MIB (RFC 3877)".

  • What does this mean?
  • What is Alarm MIB used for?
  • Is this related to SNMP Trap/Notification? Reading the RFC specs, I have the feeling that this is about the SNMP Notification/Trap that my application needs to send out to the managers in case something bad occurs (e.g. a threshold was exceeded). If so, I still don't understand what exactly I need to do with this requirement.
    • I will need to define my own application's SNMP Trap definitions (i.e. not using the generic ones). How will my MIB be different now that I need to support Alarm MIB?
    • Is it that, besides sending out a Notification, I need to store that Notification in the Alarm table? If so, what is the purpose of doing so?
  • Below is a method from the openDMK library to send out a SNMPv2 Trap:

    public void snmpV2Trap(SnmpOid trapOid, SnmpVarBindList varBindList)

    My understanding of how to use this method is trapOid will refer to the OID of the Notification in my application's MIB and varBindList is any additional parameters to send. So, how/where does Alarm MIB fit into this?

Another requirement is "SNMP support must be comformable with Alarm Reporting Control MIB (RFC 3878)".

  • What does this mean?
  • What is Alarm Reporting Control MIB used for?
  • Any relation to SNMP Trap/Notification?


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The RFC Alarm MIB is used to describe the alarms/notifications that you will be implementing in your own MIB for your own agent.

The RFC Alarm MIB is related to your MIB in that the RFC Alarm MIB will create and list of your alarms and describe information about the alarms/notifications that are common with all alarms.

Your MIB will be different in that your MIB will actually describe the values of that alarm, such as the temperature of a CPU thermometer. The RFC Alarm MIB would just have an element in it's instantiated list of alarms that describe that alarm; not the actual value of the alarm, which in this instance is temperature. The RFC Alarm MIB is a way to tell the SNMP manager what alarms will be coming in and what they might mean. The MIB you write will tell the manager what the actual alarm values mean.

The RFC Alarm Reporting Control MIB defines objects for controlling the reporting of your alarm conditions.

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