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5. Extensions to the MIB Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
5. Extensions to the MIB

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5. Extensions to the MIB

5. Extensions to the MIB

Every Internet-standard MIB document obsoletes all previous such documents. The portion of a name, termed the tail, following the OBJECT IDENTIFIER

      { mgmt version-number }

used to name objects shall remain unchanged between versions. New versions may:

  1. declare old object types obsolete (if necessary), but not delete their names;

  2. augment the definition of an object type corresponding to a list by appending non-aggregate object types to the object types in the list; or,

  3. define entirely new object types.

New versions may not:

  1. change the semantics of any previously defined object without changing the name of that object.

These rules are important because they admit easier support for multiple versions of the Internet-standard MIB. In particular, the semantics associated with the tail of a name remain constant throughout different versions of the MIB. Because multiple versions of the MIB may thus coincide in "tail-space," implementations supporting multiple versions of the MIB can be vastly simplified.

However, as a consequence, a management agent might return an instance corresponding to a superset of the expected object type. Following the principle of robustness, in this exceptional case, a manager should ignore any additional information beyond the definition of the expected object type. However, the robustness principle requires that one exercise care with respect to control actions: if an instance does not have the same syntax as its expected object type, then those control actions must fail. In both the monitoring and control cases, the name of an object returned by an operation must be identical to the name requested by an operation.


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5. Extensions to the MIB

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