Proactively monitor network devices and performance with SNMP functionality

Modern networks have grown rapidly over the years in both size and complexity. As users browse the web, perform downloads, and more, traffic is constantly flowing across your network. Collecting network device activity can help MSPs proactively understand when certain thresholds are exceeded and predict when issues may arise.

With N-able N-central®, network administrators can monitor network devices and nodes, from servers and printers to routers and switches. However, unlike other remote monitoring solutions that focus on one platform, N-central enables you to keep track of workstations and servers across platforms and operating systems, including multiple versions of Linux, Windows, and macOS X.

N-central gives you the tools to troubleshoot and run maintenance in the background for any performance issues the tool detects—meaning you won’t interfere with your customers’ productivity while you work to keep their networks operating at optimal efficiency.

Troubleshoot across the delivery chain to help ensure consistent and reliable services

An operational network needs to be able to deliver reliable and consistent services to customers. To properly ensure uptime and access to services, MSPs need a way to quickly get to the root cause of any issues as they appear (or even before they disrupt operations).

The NetPath feature in N-able N-central allows you to quickly troubleshoot hot spots across the entire delivery chain. By collecting node and hop information with advanced probing, NetPath makes it easy for technicians to identify exactly where, when, and why a node may be impacted. Network admins can also track hops and view latency historically or in real time, which enables an incremental timeline of path history that allows for faster troubleshooting.

Gain full visibility to see end-to-end network performance

SNMP monitoring is of critical importance for today’s businesses because of increasing volumes of data and a growing reliance on network performance for all types of business operations. However, due to large, complex networks, companies face network blind spots and fail to understand the root of performance issues.

The visibility SolarWinds N-central provides into full network paths is critical for understanding your customers’ networks. Using the NetPath feature, your technicians can keep customers satisfied and productive by knowing about outages before overall performance metrics and network connectivity are even impacted.

Set thresholds for packet loss and latency, and you’ll receive notifications the moment those limits are crossed. Auto-detection and topology-mapping capabilities can also help to pinpoint connectivity issues.

NC Automation dashboard

Automate SNMP monitoring and management for more efficient operations

Despite the importance of SNMP monitoring for complex, modern networks, the tasks associated with the protocol can quickly become overwhelming when technicians multiply efforts across various MSP customers. Not only is it a time-consuming process, but it also can take time away from technicians focusing on value-adding, customer-facing tasks.

N-able N-central provides a solution by offering robust automation features built specifically for the needs of network admins. The software automatically detects new devices and can deploy appropriate configuration templates without the need for manual input. Streamline your responsibilities and exceed your customers’ expectations.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is SNMP?

What is SNMP?

SNMP stands for Simple Network Management Protocol, which is a protocol based in the application layer that standardizes how management information about networked devices is collected, organized, and transmitted. In addition to enabling communications between networked devices operating different hardware and software, the protocol allows SNMP monitoring tools to identify devices on the network and their status, make and track changes made on the network, and monitor overall network performance in real time.

It is one of the most commonly used protocols for managing networked devices, and is included in the Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite. Most professional network elements include an SNMP agent for seamless integration with network management systems.

How does SNMP work?

How does SNMP work?

Networks make it possible for end users to transfer and download files, search the internet, access shared resources, and many other similar actions associated with modern computing. Collectively, these actions make up network traffic.

SNMP examines the activity of networked devices for critical metrics—such as connection speed, number of hits a server receives, or the bytes, errors, and packets a router sends or receives—which can provide insights into network performance issues. It also helps to identify network faults, allows administrators to quickly discover new and unauthorized devices, and simplifies the process of deploying configuration changes across the network.

SNMP software operates by sending protocol data units (PDUs) to networked devices that have their agent enabled. These PDUs take the form of SNMP GET requests, which are messages that allow administrators to collect data from agents according to whatever parameters they input. When received, the data may then be displayed for examination or stored for later analysis and reporting.

What are the components of SNMP?

What are the components of SNMP?

SNMP requires four primary elements to function properly. These are:

  • SNMP agent: It is installed on the monitored device, where it gathers valuable network performance metrics and transmits that data back to the network management system when queried. Agents are also capable of notifying the monitoring software if they detect errors. While included in most devices, the agents often must be activated and configured before use.
  • Network nodes: Nodes are the devices and services where the agents have been installed.
  • SNMP manager: The network management system is the software console from which admins are able to manage and access the data received from agents. The monitoring software will often request data from agents according to a regular schedule, thereby eliminating the need to remember manual requests. The quality and design of the management software will often impact the scope of the tool’s monitoring capacity and features.
  • Management information base (MIB): These are .mib text file databases that include itemized descriptions for objects that can be queried on each network node.

What is the difference between SNMP and RMON?

What is the difference between SNMP and RMON?

SNMP is a widely embraced protocol that allows for the monitoring and management of networked device performance and configuration. Remote monitoring (RMON) is a method of data collection and analysis designed to assist when troubleshooting traffic flow problems and other performance issues.

Remote desktop monitoring software typically uses flow-based monitoring to collect information about network traffic patterns and behavior, while SNMP offers a device-based approach to network management. The two are complementary and MSP monitoring software often uses them together to provide more comprehensive networking performance monitoring and minimize resolution times.

SNMP monitoring software makes it possible to manage complex networks

  • Monitor networked devices, regardless of platform or hardware type
  • Troubleshoot more efficiently to keep customer networks operational
  • Get critical visibility into customers’ networked systems to eliminate network blind spots