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Partner TechTip: The Many Ways Robot Supports SNMP

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Is your SNMP enterprise management solution busting your budget? Do you even have a trap-monitoring product in place? Learn how Robot products can double as an inexpensive solution for SNMP management.


SNMP (or simple network management protocol) is the network management and monitoring standard in the IT industry. Many devicessuch as switches, routers, printers, and servershave this protocol built in. SNMP is also used as one of the notification and escalation methodologies available in Robot products. Take as example a disk failure message or application message waiting and intercepted by Robot, or issues regarding a Robot-submitted job that ended abnormally. Typically, these events (SNMP traps) are directed to a central SNMP manager, which may be a central, corporate-wide, problem-ticketing system or management console. They can also be directed to Robot if you do not have a trap-monitoring product already in place (see Robot/TRAPPER below).


In general, there are two pieces to configuring SNMP:

  1. Designate a host system to receive the trap information and define this on each device sending SNMP traps.
  2. Give information to the SNMP manager as to how to interpret the datai.e., a management information base (MIB) file.

Let's take a look at the options for using SNMP in your Robot implementation.


Many of our customers use Robot/ALERT to escalate issues, including message monitoring (Robot/CONSOLE), automated jobs (Robot/SCHEDULE), or even disk space analysis (Robot/SPACE). Almost all of our products use Robot/ALERT as the escalation mechanism to alert you that there may be an issue or an exception that has not been automated.


To configure Robot/ALERT to use SNMP, you configure and use an SNMP vendor setup. This does require that IBM i SNMP be turned on (CHGSNMPA) and set up with the appropriate IP address for your SNMP manager. The MIB file is located at RBTSYSLIB/RSLMIB.RBAPGMIB and should be FTPed or copied to your SNMP manager software so that the trap data can be properly interpreted.


The Robot/ALERT SNMP type device can then be specified on any of our products that allow that type of notification.



Figure 1: These IP protocols are available in Robot/ALERT.


Many of you have used Robot/CONSOLE message sets to automate messages and escalate issues. OPAL (OPerator Assistance Language) in Robot/CONSOLE Message Sets contains an SNMP operation called SNDSNMPMSG. This operation takes the message information and sends it off to the same SNMP manager defined in the SNMP attributes of your IBM i (CHGSNMPA) directly. This allows you to be more selective when choosing which issues to escalate with SNMP and which to email using the Robot/ALERT interface.


The MIB file is located at RBTSYSLIB/RSLMIB.RBCSMMIB and should be FTPed or copied to your SNMP manager software.



Figure 2: The Robot/CONSOLE message set looks like this.


Robot/NETWORK is yet another option for you to take advantage of the SNMP protocol, plus it allows the use of two-way traps. Issues can be escalated from our Robot products and consolidated in the Robot/NETWORK Status Center. Issues escalated from each of the Robot products, including QSYSOPR messages intercepted by Robot/CONSOLE, can be escalated via three methods: Robot/ALERT, SNMP, or through a user program (see Figure 3). This SNMP path does not require the use of the IBM i SNMP server.





Figure 3: SNMP provides escalation in Robot/NETWORK.


Robot/TRAPPER is an add-on for Robot/CONSOLE that allows you to ping network devices (see Figure 4) and accept incoming traps from your network. Essentially, the combination of Robot/CONSOLE and Robot/TRAPPER becomes your SNMP trap manager solution! In this case, you would configure the SNMP manager IP address as that of your IBM i. Then, import the MIB file into Robot/TRAPPER so that it can properly digest the incoming SNMP traps. Robot/TRAPPER then converts the traps into messages, which are placed into the Robot/TRAPPER Message Center in Robot/CONSOLE, where they can be automated and escalated just like any other IBM i message that you already know how to automate. You could even escalate and consolidate them to the Robot/NETWORK Status Center!



Figure 4: Here's an example of the Robot/TRAPPER Monitored Devices status screen.


Given the many options that Robot has for working with SNMP, it's easy to incorporate IBM i operations into your corporate network management model. If your business is more IBM i-centric, try using Robot as the SNMP manager in your data center. Start today by requesting a free, 30-day trial of Robot/CONSOLE and Robot/TRAPPER.


Chuck Losinski

Chuck Losinski is Director of Automation Technology for the Robot product line. He has more than 25 years of experience with IBM i systems. Chuck¹s background includes system implementation, programming, operations, and support. He is certified as an IBM System Administrator and has helped customers automate business applications from InFor, JDE Enterprise One, HBOC, RxClaim, Infinium, Jack Henry, and more.



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