After months of squabbling among Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) members over the direction of the Simple Network Management Protocol, or SNMP, development of the widely deployed standard is getting back on track.
Two SNMP camps that have been warring over the protocol's next-generation feature sets for about 18 months are now merging their respective versions, dubbed SNMPv2u and SNMPv2* (pronounced "star"), which they developed separately.
Still, many user companies will likely continue to hold off on their implementations until the new version is in place, suggests Bert Wijnen, a programmer for IBM and a member of the SNMPv2u camp.
At present, many networking products support SNMPv2c - the agreed-upon version before the standards body divided.
SNMPv2u adds security to the SNMPv2c version, whereas SNMPv2* also adds an administrative framework and remote configuration component. The groups are finally combining the two strains into one version that will carry yet another name, said Jeff Case, author of SNMPv1 and SNMPv2c.
"SNMPv3, or SNMP-NG, or whatever they call it, will be a `best hits' album of v2* and v2u," says Case, a self-described "chief star bigot."
The two groups inherently disagree on an administrative framework and the importance of remote-configuration Management Information Bases (MIBs). The administrative framework that exists in SNMPv2* lets IS managers set networkwide policies, such as where SNMP traps should be sent on the network. The remote-configuration MIB would enable an IS manager to create, delete, and maintain user configurations.
SNMPv2 History at a Glance
September 1995 - SNMPv2 workgroup stalls over conflicts about which features to include in newer versions
October 1995 - Workgroup splits in two: SNMPv2u-SNMPv2* "war" begins
January 1996 - SNMPv2 and SNMPv2c request-for-comments released
July 1996 - Internet Engineering Task Force forms to present SNMPv2 Advisory Team; work begins to merge protocols into one new standard