This chapter covers the following topics:
Preventing loops with spanning tree
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.