Is SNMP used to show a machine what software it must be running?

I heard that SNMP is used for monitoring, so I am curious whether SNMP is used in this way.

  • 2
    SNMP is used to monitor network devices or nodes, and may be used to configure them.
    – Keith
    Aug 30, 2012 at 1:50

2 Answers 2


Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)


SNMP can provide vital information about a node on a network. Usually used to monitor devices. If you want to see SNMP information there are many free tools available. You will need to set a community name on your devices to be able to interogate them (or if you're lucky, they will be set with the default "public").

If you want your computer to serve SNMP information, most operating systems including Windows support this. Usually you will need to enable this as a feature of the operating system.

  • "provide vital information" seems vague, what types of "information"? What are the use cases of SNMP?
    – Jonathan
    Dec 28, 2018 at 20:22

Yes, depending on vendor implementation, SNMP can be used to specify the name of a new software image, a server where it can be retrieved, and then to set a flag to tell the device to begin the upgrade process. This is how cable modems are upgraded, for instance. You would have to check the specific device's SNMP documentation to see if that feature is possible for what you wish to use it for.

  • 1
    key word here is 'can'. that isn't its typical usage.
    – Sirex
    Apr 17, 2013 at 20:26
  • It is the typical and only way to upgrade DOCSIS cable modems. And certain SNMP-heavy UI routers(Bay Networks/Juniper), and even cisco routers have such capability. Apr 18, 2013 at 3:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.