A management system contains: several (potentially many) nodes, each with a processing entity, termed an agent, which has access to management instrumentation; at least one management station; and, a management protocol, used to convey management information between the agents and management stations. Operations of the protocol are carried out under an administrative framework which defines authentication, authorization, access control, and privacy policies.
Management stations execute management applications which monitor and control managed elements. Managed elements are devices such as hosts, routers, terminal servers, etc., which are monitored and controlled via access to their management information.
Management information is viewed as a collection of managed objects, residing in a virtual information store, termed the Management Information Base (MIB). Collections of related objects are defined in MIB modules. These modules are written using a subset of OSI's Abstract Syntax Notation One (ASN.1) , termed the Structure of Management Information (SMI) .
It may be useful to define the acceptable lower-bounds of implementation, along with the actual level of implementation achieved. It is the purpose of this document to define the notation used for these purposes.