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Tell Us Your Unknown Devices v2.0

Those that have been part of the Thwack Community a while may be familiar with the long running Tell us your "Unknown" devices! thread which had been active since 2007. That thread had become too unwieldy, and most of the user submissions had been implemented many years ago. I recently reviewed each and every posting in that thread, verified what had been implemented in-product, and which ones had not so they could be included in a forthcoming release. With that done, it was time to lock that thread for good and start anew. This time, providing a bit more guidance along the way to ensure everyone is successful in providing the necessary information required to properly identify these devices.

What is an 'Unknown' Device anyway?

Orion does its best to automatically identify and classify nodes as they're added to Orion. There are however, new device types and models released all the time. It's entirely possible you might be managing a device right now that Orion is unable to properly identify. You can find these easily by going to [Settings - Manage Nodes], changing the 'Group by:' option to 'Machine Type' and clicking on the 'Unknown' category. It's also helpful to add the 'Polling Method' column to the layout, as this thread pertains exclusively to SNMP managed nodes.


Any SNMP managed nodes listed under the 'Unknown' Machine Type category are prime candidates for submission to this thread. All that's required is that you provide the devices SNMP System Object Identifier (SysObjectID), as well as the Make & Model of the device associated with that SysObjectID. This post is an excellent example of the perfect submission.

What Exactly is a SysObjectID?

I have yet to find a clearer definition for what the SysObjectID (System Object Identifier) is then the following excerpt which can typically be found written in virtually every vendor's MIB file verbatim.

Object Name: sysObjectID
Object ID:
Object Access: read-only
Object Status: mandatory
Object Description: The vendor's authoritative identification of the
  network management subsystem contained in the
  entity. This value is allocated within the SMI
  enterprises subtree ( and provides an
  easy and unambiguous means for determining `what
  kind of box' is being managed. For example, if
  vendor `Flintstones, Inc.' was assigned the
  subtree, it could assign the
  identifier to its `Fred

Essentially, it's a string of numbers in dotted notation that is (hopefully) unique to at least the manufacturer, and in most cases, to the specific make and model of the device being monitored. It's how we identify for example, that the device vendor is 'Cisco' and the model is a 'Nexus C7018'. All System Object ID's begin with '' followed by a number which uniquely identifies the manufacturer. The numbers which then follow typically identify the specific model of the device.

Where Can I Locate the SysObjectID?

If the device is already managed as a Node in Orion then you can locate the SysObjectID in the 'Node Details' resource as shown below, when viewing the node in the Orion web interface.

Node DetailsNET-SNMP

Alternatively, you can use NET-SNMP to query the following SNMP OID to return the unique SysObjectID.

Below is an example of the 'snmpget' command line arguments which will return you the SysObjectID for the device.

 snmpget -v2c -On -c public

The example above is executed against a device with the IP address of '' using SNMPv2c, with the community string 'public'. Below is a screenshot of the resulting output from that command. The string of numbers and periods highlighted in yellow below is this device's unique SysObjectID.


My Device Incorrectly Appears Listed as 'NET-SNMP'

Linux hosts, virtual appliances, and even some network equipment built on Linux, FreeBSD, etc. are often identified as 'NET-SNMP'. This is because the SNMP Daemon running on those hosts is, you guessed it, NET-SNMP. Unfortunately, these vendors for some reason, have chosen not to implement their own unique SysObjectID, and instead kept the default SysObjectID '' which is designated for NET-SNMP. If you have a device such as this, fret not. There are a few options available to you if you'd like these devices to be properly identified by their appropriate vendor's make & model within Orion.

Install The Orion Linux Agent

The easiest solution would be to install the Orion Linux Agent on the device which is reporting itself to be 'NET-SNMP'. The Linux Agent does not rely upon SNMP to identify the machine type or vendor. Instead, the Agent will report the Vendor as 'Linux' and the 'Machine Type' as the Linux distribution running on the device as depicted in the screenshots below.

Red HatCitrix XenServer

Modify NET-SNMP Configuration

Another approach is to customize NET-SNMP and Orion to properly reflect the Vendor and Machine Type. Simply following the steps outlined by adatole​'s post entitled No More Net-SNMP Nodes. This method uses a script which is executed when a particular OID is is queried. Next, you would create a custom Device Poller to query that newly created OID and populate the Machine Type value in Orion for that device.

If you find it more fun to follow along, you can watch adatole walk you through the entire process in the following video.

Video Link : 1084

Can't I Just Upload My Vendor's MIB File Here And You figure it Out?

While it would be nice if that's how it worked, unfortunately many (or most) vendors don't include this information within their MIB files. MIB files include a listing of all possible OIDs which could be polled across a wide variety of different devices (typically an entire product family), but it doesn't include the values which are returned by the devices (Enums notwithstanding). For that reason we need users, such as yourself, to post the SysObjectID's in this thread, along with the device vendor and model information so it can be included in our database.

If you'd still like your device's MIB file included in the Orion MIB database, for use with Network Performance Monitor's Universal Device Poller, or the Orion Platform's SNMP Trap Receiver, simply follow the steps outlined in KB article at the link below.  The latest version of the MIB database, containing your submissions, can always be downloaded from within the Customer Portal.

Request additional MIBs to the SNMP MIB browser database - SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC. Help and Support

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