Re: How to load and configure cisco mibs and traps?

2000-03-02 17:15:42
Subject: Re: How to load and configure cisco mibs and traps?
From: James Shanks <James_Shanks AT TIVOLI DOT COM>
To: nv-l AT lists.tivoli DOT com
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2000 17:15:42 -0500

Perhaps you, or someone else (don't mean to put you on the spot) can clarify
this for me.  I have heard these sorts of remarks before, but I don't understand
what exactly is meant by them.  The mosy compiler, as I understand it, is
freeware off the web, correct?  Well, I don't have one and I have no idea what
levels are available.  No one I know has a copy of it.

NetView does not ship the mosy compiler nor any other compiler but its own, so
far as I can see.  The code we have may have been based on the mosy compiler
once upon a time, but that code has been modified many times since then and is
internal to our product.  It links to our libraries and I can see the tracks of
many former IBMers (and even older HP employees) in it.  We receive no updates
for this code from any other source, and if it is broken, then we fix it
ourselves without regard to code provided from any other source.  I have no way
of telling what level of the mosy compiler  we may have started with, if indeed
that was where we started.

 Most of the problems I see with vendor MIBs today are because they test them
with the SMICng compiler (which is also free off the web) and it is a multi-pass
compiler -- it builds a copy of the user's MIB and will even correct statements
in it, adding spaces and punctuation if required,  provided the errors are minor
, before it starts the compile.  There are a whole host of flags which can be
set to have it tell you about what changes it is making and it will give you
warnings about what may not fly with some other compilers,  which are
single-pass compilers, such as NetView's.  But I don't think many vendors are
being careful about this.

The state of the MIB compilers in NetView at this time (5.1.2) as I see it is
We have two, a V1-ony compiler (xnmloadmib) and a V1/V2 compiler (xnmloadmib2).

The V1-only compilier is called in dialogs within the ruleset editor, and within
snmpCollect's configuration dialogs, and its binary library
(/usr/OV/conf/snmpmib.bin) is loaded by trapd, snmpCollect,  and netmon.  Once
MIBs have been loaded with the V1-only compiler they can be browsed with its
matching browser, xnmbrowser.  A quick check of open defects shows that that
there are no open defects with the V1-only compiler, although one was closed
recently as a permanent restriction regarding the fact that white space is
required between major MIB constructs (for example  "XYZ ::= OCTET STRING" will
compile fine whereas "XYZ::=OCTET STRING" will not because the compiler depends
upon spaces to parse).   All SNMP V1 MIBs should compile fine with this
compiler, provided they have adequate white space.

The V1/V2 compiler (xnmloader2) will parse V1 MIBS and V2 MIBs, but it is not
linked to any other area of the product at this time except for its matching
browser (xnmbrowser2), so it is of very limited use.  As a result, many issues
or defects with it remain unresolved at this time, though just about every
maintenance release of NetView since 5.0 has made improvements to this compiler.
What issues remain?  Well, development on it stopped at the draft standard for
SNMP V2, so items added to the standard after that are not well-supported.
Currently, the AGENT-CAPABILITIES  construct and BITS construct remain
unsupported, and there are some issues with how it handles labels and matching
levels, but there are defects open on these already and they are being pursued.

Development is well-aware of the current shortcomings with the V1/V2 compiler
and work is underway to replace it.
Until then my advice to get the V1 versions of the MIBs you need from the
vendor.  If they are using the SMICng compiler, these are simple to make as this
is just an option you set  and the compiler will produce a V1 MIB from V2 input.
If you absolutely cannot get a V1 version of the MIB, and must use a V2 version,
then you may have to edit the MIB and remove sections which are not currently
supported.   Tivoli NetView Support will be glad to assist you if you need help.
But it is still the case that some vendors produce bad MIBs and so sometimes,
when a MIB won't load, it is not our fault.  In these situations, too, NetView
Support will help you modify the MIB so that it will load.

I hope this helps everyone's understanding here, but if not, feel free to ask
further questions.  I know the current situation is less than ideal, and all I
can suggest until it is properly addressed is that you be patient.


James Shanks
Tivoli (NetView for UNIX and NT) L3 Support

Ken Garst <Ken.Garst AT KP DOT ORG> on 03/02/2000 02:51:22 PM

Please respond to Discussion of IBM NetView and POLYCENTER Manager on NetView

cc:    (bcc: James Shanks/Tivoli Systems)
Subject:  Re: How to load and configure cisco mibs and traps?

The key question is to ask the Tivoli/Cisco people which versions of the mosy
compiler are being used.  NetView is notorious for always having the oldest
version of the mosy compiler which gives the error messages you are seeing.

If you are creative, you can edit the Cisco mib .my file and correct the
offender if you know what you are doing or simply comment out the entry if you
don't.  In either case, NetView can then load the mib.