SNMP is the main protocol used by network professionals to monitor their networking equipment.
One of its major strengths is its flexibility. The original designers of the protocol made sure that it could be expanded and adapted to monitor all kinds of networking gear and IT equipment. As a result, you can use SNMP to get data not only from standard network devices like switches and routers but also from firewalls, printers, servers, power equipment, cooling systems, and even many of the very latest IoT-based sensors.
Another strength is its broad adoption. Before the advent of SNMP, every vendor had its own protocol. As a result interoperability was almost non-existent. While it is still true that some vendors prefer to implement their own custom protocols, almost all of them also support SNMP.
These two strengths, flexibility and broad adoption, have helped make SNMP the universal language for network monitoring and management.
Since it was first designed and released, SNMP has grown to the point where it would be unthinkable for a major network equipment vendor to release a product that did not have at least basic support for it.
Established vendors like Cisco, HP, and Dell have not only embraced SNMP, they have contributed to it by participating in the standards body that guides the evolution of the protocol and by proposing their own extensions.Next Chapter: SNMP Terminology