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What is a MIB, OID, and how they are used

Updated: September 17, 2018

What are MIBs and OIDs?

Management Information Base (MIB) is a structure that describes all objects a device can report on, such as CPU, fan, or temperature. MIB contains the name, datatype, and the object identifier (OID). MIB is a hierarchical structure, displayed as a navigation tree. Every entry in the MIB tree is a value for a specific component on a specific device.


Each entry in the tree is followed by a number in parenthesis. Each entry in the tree can be specified using the sequence of numbers, such as ( The unique numerical value is the OID.

For more information, see Management Information Base (MIB) for the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).

The following video (2:02 min) provides an explanation of MIBs and OIDs.

What is SolarWinds Orion MIB?

SolarWinds maintains a MIB database that serves as a repository for the OIDs used to monitor a wide variety of network devices. The MIB database is compiled once a week. You are notified when the new MIB database is available.

What are MIBs used for?

  • To support the Orion SNMP Trap Server. The SNMP trap server "listens" on a specified port, and when a trap is sent on the port, it processes the message. The trap server looks up the trap in the MIB database to determine how to handle it. Furthermore, creating an SNMP Trap Rule to take some action based on the specific trap can also involve a lookup in the MIB database. See Configuring Trap Viewer Filters and Alerts.
  • To create Universal Device Pollers. Based on individual OIDs in the MIB tree, you can customize what data you want to poll for your devices.
  • To create customized device pollers. You need to know OIDs that provide the data you need to poll from your devices.

See Create custom monitors to decide whether to crate a Universal Device Poller or a custom device poller.

What are MIBs NOT used for?

MIBs are not used to identify devices. When a new device is added to NPM, Orion does an SNMP query, pulls back an OID called the sysobjectID. Orion compares this value with the sysobjectID database to identify the vendor, machine type, and so on.

The sysobjectID database is completely different from the MIB database. Therefore, when you add a device that Orion does not recognize, updating the MIB database won’t help. You would have to update the sysobjectID database and that only happens with releases and service packs. It is not part of the weekly MIB database update.

Having two databases is a result of product evolution. The sysobjectID database came first, long before Orion had a trap server or a Universal Device Poller. SNMP traps were added in 8.0, the Universal Device Poller was added in 9.0, and both of these features needed a robust MIB database. The older sysobjectID store was not appropriate, and thus Orion inherited the existing MIB database from SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset.

What if I do not know what OIDs I need to poll?

If you do not know the exact OID, but have a general gist, such as "I want to measure something like temperature on a Cisco router", you can search for the OID in the MIB tree.

You can browse the MIB tree in the UnDP application or in the OID picker within the Create Poller Package wizard. Browse the MIB tree or enter a keyword (or even the OID number) into the search box.

You can also consult your vendor documentation to find out the OIDS to monitor on your devices.

What if OIDs are not in my MIB?

When you are creating a UnDP poller and cannot find an OID in the MIB tree, update the MIB database.

OIDs you want to poll using a device studio poller do not have to be in the SolarWinds MIB database. If an OID is assigned to a device, NPM tries to poll it, regardless of whether it is in the MIB database or not.

If the OID is not in the MIB database, launch the Create Poller Package wizard, select the Manually Define Object Identifier box, and enter the OID details yourself. See Create Pollers in Device Studio and Define object identifiers manually.

How does adding MIBs to Orion affect my Orion Platform installation?

  • Adding MIBs to Orion does not change the way Orion polls devices.
  • Adding MIBs to Orion does not change a device that has an Unknown machine type.
  • Adding MIBs to Orion allows Orion to display trap messages from the device.
  • Adding MIBs to Orion allows you to search for OIDs in the Universal Device Poller.
  • If you know the OID, you can create a UnDP poller for the device without the OID being in the MIB database. See Monitoring MIBs with Universal Device Pollers.


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