The Internet Standard and Experimental MIBs do not cover the entire range of statistical, state, configuration and control information that may be available in a network element. This information is, nevertheless, extremely useful. Vendors of routers (and other network devices) generally have developed MIB extensions that cover this information. These MIB extensions are called Vendor Specific MIBs.
The Vendor Specific MIB for the router MUST provide access to all statistical, state, configuration, and control information that is not available through the Standard and Experimental MIBs that have been implemented. This information MUST be available for both monitoring and control operations.
The intent of this requirement is to provide the ability to do anything on the router through SNMP that can be done through a console, and vice versa. A certain minimal amount of configuration is necessary before SNMP can operate (e.g., the router must have an IP address). This initial configuration can not be done through SNMP. However, once the initial configuration is done, full capabilities ought to be available through network management.
The vendor SHOULD make available the specifications for all Vendor Specific MIB variables. These specifications MUST conform to the SMI [MGT:1] and the descriptions MUST be in the form specified in [MGT:4].
Making the Vendor Specific MIB available to the user is necessary. Without this information the users would not be able to configure their network management systems to be able to access the Vendor Specific parameters. These parameters would then be useless. ne 2 The format of the MIB specification is also specified. Parsers that read MIB specifications and generate the needed tables for the network management station are available. These parsers generally understand only the standard MIB specification format.