TechTalk: Community names are case sensitive with SNMP.

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Q: I'm having a problem with Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). I've configured a community on my AS/400 called Plant using the Add Community for SNMP (ADDCOMSNMP) command. However, when I try to use my SNMP management software to query the AS/400, it doesn't respond to that community name. If I use the community name public, the AS/400 does respond, so I know I've got the SNMP interface started, and I'm using the management software correctly. What am I doing wrong?

A: The most common problem that I've seen people have with community names is that people forget they are case sensitive. The community names Plant, plant, and PLANT are three different communities. This often causes a problem on the AS/400 because, if you prompt the ADDCOMSNMP command, it may translate what you enter for the community name into upper case. If you want to enter a mixed-case community name, just put it in quotes in the ADDCOMSNMP command. Here's an example:

 ADDCOMSNMP COM('Plant') 

Another solution is to use the Configure TCP/IP SNMP (CFGTCPSNMP) command. This brings up a menu, and one of the options is "Work with communities for SNMP." This option makes it easier to enter mixed-case community names because the command puts the quotes around the name automatically. If your AS/400 isn't responding to an SNMP community name, check your case.

- Jim Hoopes

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