Windows Server

Enable SNMP in Windows Server 2003

If you want information on your Windows Server 2003 devices, SNMP is still the way to go. Here's how to enable SNMP in order to inventory your system statistics and send the results to the location of your choice.

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) continues to dominate when it comes to capturing information about a device and reporting that information back to a central authority. The popular and versatile open source Multi Router Traffic Grapher (MRTG) tool, for example, relies solely on SNMP to capture information from various network devices -- including Windows Server 2003 servers -- and then displays graphs detailing system parameters.

In order for a tool like MRTG to work and to gather statistics from your Windows Server 2003 system, you need to enable SNMP on each of your servers. Use Add/Remove Programs to accomplish this task.

  1. Go to Start | Control Panel | Add Or Remove Programs.
  2. Choose Add/Remove Windows Components.
  3. In the Windows Components window, scroll down and select Management And Monitoring Tools. Don't put a check mark in the selector box; simply select the entry.
  4. Click Details.
  5. Scroll down and select the check box next to Simple Network Management Protocol.
  6. Click OK to return to the Windows Component window.
  7. Click Next and, if prompted, insert the Windows CD.

Figure A

Enable SNMP via Add/Remove Programs

When you're done with these steps, configure SNMP with the appropriate community strings by opening the Services Control Panel applet and locating the SNMP Service. Open the service's Properties page by double-clicking the service.

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When "net stop snmp" doesn't work (service hangs while shutting down), then right clicking the image in TaskMgr and selecting "End Process" usually stops the service, after which it may be restarted from command line "net start snmp" or compmgmt.msc | services.


Dont forget when creating your snmp communities to keep them secured! It's SO easy to walk a network and see all the secrets if snmp isn't locked down. 1.NEVER give public write access. 2.ALWAYS set where snmp traps can come from to the IP/DNS of the monitoring machines. 3.ALWAYS keep the snmp community name secret (admins come and go but snmp is forever) :) Try not to use public at all. Lots of devices default to it, but if it can be removed as a community and replaced by another you should replace it. Couple of excellent free SNMP tools: OpManager The Dude

Bee Jay
Bee Jay

Hard enough to keep the details of your network secret without broadcasting them to the world. Also - Love OpManager it's an excellent monitoring tool and very easy to configure!


Newb, I am very new to the SNMP, do you know of a complete guide to setting up SNMP and monitoring?


Windows has enough problems without articles like this contributing to them. There's a huge gaping hole in this article when it comes to securing SNMP. The Dude's comments should be incorporated into the original article and he should be credited.

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