Chapter 10. Implementing and Tuning Spanning Tree

This chapter covers the following topics:

  • Preventing loops with spanning tree

  • Spanning-tree convergence

  • Introducing Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol

  • Understanding Multiple Spanning Tree

  • UniDirectional Link Detection

Chapter 1, "LAN Switching Foundation Technologies," discussed the fundamentals behind the spanning-tree algorithm. This chapter will explore the intricacies of spanning tree along with Cisco's numerous proprietary features that help with preventing Layer 2 loops on the network. Today's networks require rapid convergence because of the sensitive nature of applications and other network protocols. It becomes imperative for the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) to handle convergence issues quickly and more effectively. The introductions of Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP) and Multiple Spanning Tree (MST) have addressed faster convergence and scalability issues at Layer 2.