I was working on a wireless interference problem at a client site when they asked if there was a way to get an alert if the interference appeared.
Problems such as this one where the issue is intermittent and random, I’m always looking for tools that will keep an eye out for me and ideally, notify me when a problem occurs. Wireless issues are especially tough since it can be anywhere or transmit anytime. Short of pitching a tent and waiting for a while, this is where a tool with some kind of notification is a real benefit.
In this specific case I used AirMagnet Spectrum XT to send a SNMP trap to a SNMP trap listener. If you aren’t familiar with the terminology, a SNMP trap listener is just software that listens for other devices to send a SNMP message, or trap. A more advanced listener will send an email when the trap arrives.
In this video example, I configured the Spectrum XT application to send a trap when I took my digital cordless phone off hook. You will see that the trap was received by the trap listener and optionally, I could have configured the email option to send me an email when that event occurred.
There are only a few caveats to bear in mind;
1. These event based alarms are only helpful when you know exactly what the issue is and if the vendor has a category for it.
2. When you receive a SNMP trap, you should make sure you have the proper SNMP mib loaded or compiled to properly interpet and parse the trap. Otherwise you might have to dig through the message.