SNMP Research International, Inc.

Secure Your Network

Additional Information

Return to the BRASS Summary Page.

Read the BRASS FAQ.

Related Products

BRASS Product Sheet

BRASS™ is designed to provide facilities for easily creating SNMP management applications. It provides an API in the C- or Java™-language which allows one or many management applications to access a single, shared SNMP stack and security database.


The SNMP Bilingual Request and Security Subsystem, called BRASS, optimizes the management station platform by providing full SNMP functionality, management application extensibility, SNMPv1, SNMPv2c, and SNMPv3 support, and simplified security configuration. BRASS allows for efficient memory usage when there are multiple management applications.

Functionality: With BRASS, management applications need not perform any of the work associated with building and parsing SNMP packets. BRASS builds and sends SNMP get, getnext, getbulk, and set requests, and parses incoming SNMP responses, traps, and inform requests.

Extensibility: The BRASS toolkit adds extensibility to the manager station. SNMP-based management applications can be added without requiring the developer to understand the details of SNMP. In addition, because of BRASS' efficient applications programming interface (API) many programs can run simultaneously without causing application conflicts.

SNMP Version Support: By supporting SNMPv1, SNMPv2c, and SNMPv3 simultaneously, BRASS allows networks to migrate to secure SNMPv3 slowly as nodes are added, replaced, or upgraded.

Simplified Security Configuration: The configuration of security parameters is simplified on a management station containing multiple management applications. Access to the security parameter datastore is controlled by the BRASS Management Multiplexer. This allows all management applications running on the management station to share the same security parameter datastore.

Typically, in SNMPv3 there needs to be a separate snmpEngineID for each management application. BRASS solves this problem, because the SNMP engine is contained in the BRASS Management Multiplexer. This means there is a single snmpEngineID, which is shared by all applications.

Efficient Memory Usage: By allowing multiple applications to use a single SNMP stack, BRASS reduces the run-time memory usage required by management applications which do not share a stack.

Add SNMP Capabilities: BRASS can be used to add SNMP manager capabilities to Microsoft Windows applications. BRASS also can add SNMP capabilities to UNIX applications, independent of any windowing system. To accomplish this, BRASS provides an API for event and time-out handling. X Window System applications can use BRASS to integrate SNMP operations, allowing easy construction of the X Window System-based management applications.


Figure with layering of BRASS under popular management station APIs.


BRASS is built around a Management Multiplexer which, when installed on a management station, provides SNMP services to multiple applications. These services include performing SNMP requests, receiving SNMP traps, sending ICMP ECHO requests, performing TRACEROUTE operations, and getting information about MIB object syntax.

The SNMP stack is contained within the Management Multiplexer. With this architecture, management applications no longer need to handle SNMP tasks themselves. As a result, the code size of these applications is smaller, they consume fewer operating system resources, and overall system performance is improved.

The BRASS Multiplexer also uses a single datastore to deal with security configuration and application secrets. This streamlines productivity as the security parameters for several applications are reduced to a single set.

BRASS greatly reduces the complexity associated with coordinating several management applications within the same management station. In order to use SNMPv3, each management application on a device must have access to a security datastore, including secrets that are shared with an agent. Each management application must coordinate use of the datastore and secrets with other management applications. The BRASS multiplexer provides this coordination by maintaining the SNMPv3 datastore, and by performing datastore and SNMP operations at the request of management applications. This prevents management applications from conflicting in their use of the security datastore.

BRASS / EMANATE Relationship

The following illustration shows the relationship of an extensible manager technology, such as BRASS, to an extensible agent technology, such as EMANATE®. In both cases, the SNMP stack is contained in a single process. Agent or management functionality is extended through the addition of management applications (BRASS™) or subagents (EMANATE) using well-defined API's. This means that just as additional MIBs are added to an agent, additional applications to manage via these MIBs can be easily added to a manager.

Figure showing relationship of BRASS to EMANATE


The components of BRASS may be licensed as a group in source code, or in binary form depending on the needs of the developer. The BRASS package includes the following components:

The binary MADK is available for C-language development or Java-language development and includes the following elements:

This combination allows developers to quickly develop management applications without the need for full source code.

Thread-Safe BRASS is also available.

Available Platforms

BRASS is available on the following platforms:

If a particular system is not listed, please contact Sales. We are happy to work with customers to port our products to new systems.

Please note: When a product is licensed, the product will support one platform of your choosing. If you need a product to run on two or more platforms, then a separate license must be acquired for each platform.

Sales Inquiries

For more information, please call +1 865 579-3311, or send email to You can also fill out a Sales Query and one of our sales people will respond to your request quickly.

Licensing terms are available from