SNMP Research International, Inc.

Secure Your Network

About SNMP Research

16.1 Release of Developer Toolkit Products

SNMP Research International, October 2003

Contents

Overview

SNMP Research’s 16.1 product release includes enhancements for improved performance and reduced code size for both the EMANATE® SNMP agent and BRASSTM management application developer toolkit products. This release also features support for strong cryptography algorithms for SNMPv3 privacy, and internal architecture changes required to support protocol enhancements planned for future releases.

Documentation

These products include developer and end-user documentation in pdf format which have been improved by the addition of bookmarks. This greatly improves the search capabilities and makes them a better reference tool for the use of our products.

Documentation is included in pdf format on the product CD. All SNMP Research products are shipped with a Quick Start guide instead of hard copy for the documentation. Printed documentation may be purchased separately.

Internet Standards

Since the release of version 15.4, several Internet standard documents have been published or updated by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). SNMP Research has upgraded its products to align with the current versions of the Internet standard documents. The relevant Request for Comments (RFC) documents are:

Supported Platforms

SNMP Research’s products have been updated to support newer versions of supported platforms. Supported platforms include:

For a complete list of supported platforms, please contact us at info@snmp.com.

Development Tools and Utilities

SNMPv3 Configuration Wizard

The SNMPv3 Configuration Wizard is now included with EMANATE and BRASS developer products. This "wizard" style of configuration application allows the developer to perform remote configuration of SNMPv3 users, access rights, and keys through the use of SNMPv3 set requests. All SNMP Research agent products support remote SNMPv3 configuration via SNMP set requests. The Configuration Wizard is a helpful diagnostic tool for use during the development and testing of the developer’s products. Use of the bundled Configuration Wizard is limited to the developer’s internal development and testing, and the software may not be distributed to their customers. A resale version of the SNMPv3 Configuration Wizard may be licensed separately for distribution with an OEM customer’s products.

New MIB Compiler

A new MIB compiler named "mibgc" is included with the developer products. The mibgc compiler is an alternative for the mosy MIB compiler that is included with SNMP Research’s developer products. The mosy compiler remains the primary MIB compiler, while mibgc implements a new internal architecture that will support innovative features in future releases.

The key features of the first release of mibgc (compared to mosy) include:

New MIB Pre-processor

The "mibgp" MIB pre-processor is included with the developer products in addition to the premosy processor. These two utilities are used to "clean up" MIB documents prior to submission to the MIB compiler.

The key features of the first release of mibgp (compared to premosy) include:

MGRTOOL Enhancements

The utility "mgrtool" (used with BRASS or command line utilities) has two new command line options and new exit codes.

Agent Configuration Utility

A utility named "snmpdcfg" may be invoked from the command line and provides a prompt-driven method to create an agent configuration file. The user selects options and answers questions and the utility generates and saves the configuration file.

Human-readable formatting of MIB values and object identifiers

Library routines and utilities include new support for human-readable formatting of MIB values and object identifiers. For example, an SNMP date/time string is now displayed as well-formatted, human-readable text.

New Run-Time Product Functionality

Extended Security Options (ESO)

Many security-conscious customers, particularly in the government and defense sectors, have security needs greater than the authentication and encryption schemes defined in the IETF standards documents for SNMP. In particular, they need stronger cryptography schemes which are more difficult to be compromised. To meet this requirement, SNMP Research products now support Triple DES and AES encryption for SNMPv3 privacy. The AES Privacy Protocol is available for use with 128, 192, and 256 bit keys.

Because the United States Government places export restrictions on these cryptography technologies, SNMP Research’s develop products allow OEM customers to deploy agents and managers which support either basic cryptography or extended security options.

Please reference our ESO technical brief (http://www.snmp.com/products/techinfo/esotechbrief.pdf) for more information.

New Agent Options

Enhanced Engine ID Flexibility

An option is available to generate the SNMPv3 engine ID independently from the entity’s IP address. This makes it more straightforward to deploy SNMPv3 agents in DCHP environments.

Size and Performance Enhancements

Code Consolidation

SNMP Research has eliminated code duplication in the "v_" system independent code layer used by EMANATE. This architectural change reduces the typical compiled code size of the agent system.

Threading Improvements

The EMANATE Master Agent has been improved to make more efficient use of the thread facilities provided by popular Unix® and Linux environments. This can result in substantial improvement in throughput performance depending on the application.

Thread-safe BRASS Client Support

A version of the BRASS Server and Management Application Development Kit (MADK) is available which supports thread-safe, reentrant client applications.

Advanced Protocol Operations

The network management community has been requesting improvements to make SNMP communications more efficient and also to more naturally model and manipulate the management information for networking devices. SNMP Research has been working with industry leaders and standards organizations to define protocol enhancements to support these requirements. SNMP Research has an initiative known as "Advanced Protocol Operations" (APO) which has the goal of evolving our products to support enhancements to the protocol, and to align with future industry standards in this area.

Products which include APO features are expected to provide the following benefits:

The 16.1 release is the first product release to implement development work from the APO initiative. SNMP Research has made internal architectural changes to support APO features, however these enhancements are not yet exposed to developers. Protocol changes have been designed to be compatible with previous releases. For example, subagents built with previous toolkits will work with the 16.1 EMANATE Master Agent. Conversely, subagents built with the 16.1 toolkit will work with previous generation (15.X) EMANATE Master Agents (as long as the subagent does not attempt to implement APO features). Management application clients built with previous generation toolkits will work with the 16.1 BRASS Server.

We intend for future developer product releases to provide support for access to APO features, which have the potential to greatly improve the throughput and efficiency of SNMP-based manager-agent communications.

Defect Fixes

The 16.1 release includes dozens of defect fixes and minor enhancements. These are documented in the release notes that come with each product.