TCP/IP Internet Standard Management Framework and SNMP Versions (SNMPv1, SNMPv2 Variants, SNMPv3)
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In the Networking Fundamentals chapter near the beginning if this Guide, I have a section that discusses networking standards and their importance. I also explain the differences between proprietary, de facto and open standards, and explain the many benefits of open standards. History is replete with examples of technologies that have succeeded because they used an open standard where a competing standard was proprietary.
TCP/IP and the Internet are often held up as a model for proper open standards development. Thousands of TCP/IP standards have been developed and published using the well-known Request For Comments (RFC) standardization process. The result has been the most successful set of internetworking protocols in computing history, accepted and used worldwide.
Nobody is perfect, however, and no process is perfect either. Some problems occurred in the introduction of SNMP version 2, leading to a virtual breakdown in the normally smooth protocol standardization method, and a proliferation of incompatible variants that we aren't used to seeing in TCP/IP. The story behind this is a continuation of the general SNMP overview and history from earlier in this section, and explains the many SNMP standard names and numbers, so you can make sense of them. At the same time, the discussion serves as a vivid reminder of how important proper standard development is, and what the consequences are when there isn't universal agreement on how a standard should evolve.
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