Spanning Tree Protocol

Topics: Network switch, Spanning tree protocol, Ethernet Pages: 2 (501 words) Published: February 27, 2005
Spanning Tree Protocol

Spanning tree protocol is a protocol that prevents loops that are not wanted in a network. In order for a network to work properly it has to have only one active path between two network stations. If there are multiple active paths between stations loops can and will occur. When loops occur, there can sometimes be duplicate messages in the network. The loops are created by the network and if the devices that connect the network segments are all configured to forward, they will continuously forward frames into an endless network loop. If there are enough loops going then a frame will not reach its destination. The reason duplicate messages occur is because sometimes switches will see situations appear on both sides of it. When this occurs that is when spanning tree protocol comes in. In order to shut down the loops bridges and switches exchange BPDU messages with other bridges and switches to detect loops and then remove them by shutting down selected bridge interfaces. BPDU is short for bridge protocol data unit. Bridge protocol data units are part of the spanning tree protocol and they help describe and identify the parts of a switch port. The bridge protocol data unit allows switches to obtain information about each other. All the switches gather information from each other by exchanging data messages. In order for them to exchange messages they have to elect a root switch for the topology. The root switch has to be unique. The way they elect they have to have a unique switch for every local area network segment. To exchange messages they have to remove all loops by putting them in a backup state. Now to talk about states there is 5 different states. Two of the five states do not participate in frame forwarding. Frame forwarding is what the three main states do. The three main states are listening, learning, and forwarding. The other 2 are blocking state and disabled state. When you enable the spanning tree protocol the network goes...
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