The Simple Network Management Protocol is used by network management applications for discovery, fault management, and performance management. SNMP is an application-layer protocol that exchanges management information between a network management application, such as the IP Manager, and one or more managed network objects, called agents.

SNMP, itself, does not provide network management. What SNMP does provide is a framework, or infrastructure, on which network management applications can be built.

In this document, unless otherwise noted, SNMP works in conjunction with both IPv4 and IPv6 protocols.