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BRASS Product Details

BRASS FAQ

This page contains the answers to the frequently asked questions about SNMP Research's SNMP Manager software, named BRASS. If you have questions about this FAQ, please send comments or questions to info@snmp.com.

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What does BRASS stand for?
BRASS stands for "Bilingual Request and Security Subsystem". The name of this product shows how long SNMP Research has been around (that is, since the beginning of SNMP). BRASS was invented when there were only two versions of the SNMP Protocol. The BRASS product would more accurately be called "Trilingual" today.
What is the BRASS architecture?
BRASS provides a server process which has exclusive access to security configuration information, and a library and API which management applications can use to access services provided by the server. These services include performing SNMP requests, sending Manager-to-Manager Inform requests, listening for and filtering traps, and obtaining information about MIB variables. Management applications may be developed using the C language or the Java language.
How does BRASS simplify administration and security configuration of an SNMP management station?
BRASS provides extensible manager technology. BRASS allows multiple management applications residing on the same platform to share a single SNMP stack, SNMPv3 security datastore, and OID name resolution database, while avoiding conflicts between the applications. The BRASS architecture is more efficient and easier to maintain than an architecture that duplicates these features in each application.
What is the Management Application Development Toolkit?
The Management Application Development Toolkit includes libraries and header files for development of BRASS applications, and documentation. Toolkits can be licensed for the C language or the Java language.
How does BRASS relate to EMANATE? Are they compatible?
BRASS and EMANATE® are completely compatible, although you do not need one to use the other. If you are using both BRASS and EMANATE®, you can run the BRASS Server as an EMANATE® Subagent. This allows you to use SNMP set requests to remotely modify the BRASS Serverís security configuration datastore. This provides the capability to enable SNMP communications between a remote management station and remote agents.
What does it mean to make the BRASS Server an EMANATE® Subagent?
Making the BRASS Server be an EMANATE® Subagent means that you put agent instrumentation into the BRASS Server to allow SNMP requests to get at information stored in the BRASS Server.

The EMANATE® Master Agent and the BRASS Server each have their own security configuration datastore. Normally, you can use SNMP to examine and modify the agentís configuration (i.e. the Master Agentís configuration). By making the BRASS Server be a Subagent, you can also use SNMP to examine and modify the managerís configuration.
When running the BRASS Server as a Subagent, does the EMANATE® Master Agent have to run on the same node as the BRASS Server/Subagent?
Generally yes, the BRASS Server (as a subagent) and EMANATE® Master Agent should run on the same device. You can run the Master Agent and a Subagent on separate devices, but TCP is used for communication, and this is not secure. It would be a serious security hole for the BRASS Server to run remotely unless Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is used. Beginning in Release 17.1, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protected connections can be enabled between cooperating processes such as between BRASS Servers and BRASS Clients, or between EMANATE Master Agents and Remotely-Coupled Subagents that run on separate machines.
How does the BRASS Server communicate with the EMANATE® Master Agent?
There is a message passing protocol between the Master Agent and Subagent which is somewhat similar to the protocol between BRASS Server and clients.
Do we need additional configuration information?
You need to have a security configuration datastore for the agent as well as for the manager.