Difference between Trap and Alarm

Alarms are messages send by a managed element to the network manager to indicate an abnormal condition such as a fault or an exception. Any other autonomous messages reported by managed element, for instance threshold alert or change in an attribute value are known as Events (events can also be reported by the network manger itself for instance an event about excessive cpu usage).

When the underlying management protocol is SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), Trap is used to refer to an alarm or an event. In other words, Trap is just a terminology used for alarms/events reported by SNMP devices to the network manager.

Similarly in TL1, alarms and events are denoted by Autonomous Messages. Thus, there is no significant difference between an alarm and a trap or an autonomous message, it is only about the management protocol being used.

Hope you find the information presented here useful. Please let us know your view points in the comments section below.

  1. Hi Biswal,

    Manager and agents implementing SMNP communicates through SNMP PDUs. Please have a look at the post below:


    Let us know if you are looking for any other further information on this.

  2. Hi,
    Nice info. If u can point me or post here the actual PDU format of snmpv3 traps , any generic trap , it will be useful for me. All i could gather was snmpv3 trap pdu’s are similar to v2 . But how would a manager be able to differentiate between v2 and v3 trap ? It would be great if u can just post any sample(syntax) of v3 trap .
    Looking forward to it .

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