Have you ever remotely configured or monitored a device connected to the Internet? If you have, you may have used the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).
SNMP is the most popular protocol used to manage networked devices. It was designed in the late 1980s to facilitate the exchange of management information between networked devices operating at the application layer of the ISO/OSI model. SNMP is formally defined in RFC 1157:
Implicit in the SNMP architectural model is a collection of network management stations and network elements. Network management stations execute management applications which monitor and control network elements. Network elements are devices such as hosts, gateways, terminal servers, and the like, which have management agents responsible for performing the network management functions requested by the network management stations. The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is used to communicate management information between the network management stations and the agents in the network elements.