Consistent with the IAB directive to produce simple, workable systems in the short-term, the list of managed objects defined here, has been derived by taking only those elements which are considered essential.
This approach of taking only the essential objects is NOT restrictive, since the SMI defined in the companion memo provides three extensibility mechanisms: one, the addition of new standard objects through the definitions of new versions of the MIB; two, the addition of widely-available but non-standard objects through the experimental subtree; and three, the addition of private objects through the enterprises subtree. Such additional objects can not only be used for vendor-specific elements, but also for experimentation as required to further the knowledge of which other objects are essential.
The design of MIB-II is heavily influenced by the first extensibility mechanism. Several new variables have been added based on operational experience and need. Based on this, the criteria for including an object in MIB-II are remarkably similar to the MIB-I criteria:
MIB-II, like its predecessor, the Internet-standard MIB, contains only essential elements. There is no need to allow individual objects to be optional. Rather, the objects are arranged into the following groups:
These groups are the basic unit of conformance: This method is as follows: if the semantics of a group is applicable to an implementation, then it must implement all objects in that group. For example, an implementation must implement the EGP group if and only if it implements the EGP.
There are two reasons for defining these groups: to provide a means of assigning object identifiers; and, to provide a method for implementations of managed agents to know which objects they must implement.