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Scan Your Coffee Machine’s Bean Level with Custom OIDs

3 min. read
By Nils Macharis

We know how diverse an IT environment can be. Keeping track of that device-cocktail can be a hassle, to say the least. SNMP is just one of the many network protocols Lansweeper uses to discover the infinite variety of assets out there. Off the shelf, we already scan a lot of information with a broad one-size fits all discovery of your network, but some device types have very specific information that you’ll want to pull in.

That is exactly what custom OID scanning will enable you to do. Tell Lansweeper what you want to know, for which asset and we’ll go get it on every SNMP-enabled device. This increased flexibility allows you to adapt Lansweeper to your specific network environment, scanning the exact data that you need. Information from thousands of different devices can be discovered using custom OID scanning, from the level of beans in your coffee machine to the battery level of a forklift.

Coffee beans? This reminds us back the Trojan Room coffee pot, a coffee machine located in the old Computer Laboratory of the University of Cambridge, which in 1991 provided the inspiration for the world’s first webcam. To save people working in the building the disappointment of finding the coffee machine empty after making the trip to the room, a camera was set up providing a live picture of the coffee pot to all desktop computers on the office network.


OIDs are the variables used by SNMP, the most widely used network protocol. They are organized in a hierarchy or tree structure. Every manufacturer has a specific branch, similar to a website address. By adding additional numbers to the OID, the manufacturer can create a place for every variable that needs to be accessible for any device. The specific OIDs are stored in a document that labels each OID, the Management Information Base (MIB).

Many manufacturers share their MIBs online or provide OID documentation to their customers. Once you found the OID you need, you can simply add it and select the devices you are looking to gather more information on. Lansweeper will now update them whenever the asset is scanned. The discovered data is then shown in a separate tab on the device’s asset page.

Custom OID Scanning is new in Lansweeper 7, so definitely check it out if you haven’t already or watch the 1-minute video below. If you have any OIDs and MIBs to share, you can post and share them with fellow IT pros on our forum.


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