You can get all kinds of information/alerts from snmp traps. Things like port up/downs, bgp/ospf/routing protocol neighbor changes, etc. On the server/application side of things it depends on the OS and app but some like HP Insight Manager will trap when hardware failures occur.
In our environment I have trap rules that write traps I consider important to a text file. I then have a batch file that is run weekly to rotate the various text files I create. I have Openview Operations monitor these text files for entries and generate OVO alarms based off of the traps in these files. I also setup a webpage for our NOC to see all of the text files on the server in case they need to track certain alarms.
But in general snmp traps can be very useful depending on the device/application sending them.
I'm fairly new to SNMP. None of our servers are configured to send SNMP traps. I was wondering if it would be a good idea to configure this on our servers and what type of events that occur will cause an SNMP trap to be sent? I was also curious how everyone else monitors and configures their alerts for SNMP traps?You could end up with some redundant information that is already available through Syslog or Events. On the other hand in my experience the trap process is not too expensive regarding the server's memory or CPU. The number of the received traps can be quite high and could fill your database (especially trap varbinds field). Unwanted traps can be filtered in Trap Viewer to prevent them to be written in the database. I don't know about your devices, but Cisco IOS devices also allow very granular configuration of traps to be sent and a bunch of other parameters.
I have used the filters/alerts feature in the syslog viewer and the trap viewer that allows you to take an action when a particular message comes in. This can include an email alert.
The only problem is getting the alert just right, and often this requires that you have had a particular message that you can use to base your new alert on.
Trap viewer does have the advantage that you can right click on the trap type and it will create the rule for you. All you have to do is add the action you want to take.