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Spanning-Tree Protocol
Prepared By:
Hazim O. Alghalayini
Hazim.alghalayini@gmail.com
&
Fayez J. Budear
Fault Tolerance
• How is reliability in a network achieved and downtime
reduced?
• by using reliable equipment
• by designing networks that are tolerant to failures and faults

• Networks should be designed to reconverge rapidly so that a
fault is bypassed
• Fault tolerance is achieved by redundancy

2
What causes switching loops?
• Switches flood traffic out all ports when the traffic is sent to a
destination that is not yet known
• Broadcast and multicast traffic is forwarded out every port,
except the port on which the traffic arrived
• This traffic can be caught in a loop

3
Avoiding Switching Loops
• The Spanning-Tree Protocol is used in switched networks to
create a loop free logical topology from a physical topology
that has loops
Redundant Switched Topologies
• Redundant topologies eliminate single points of failure
• If a path or device fails, the redundant path or device can take
over the tasks of the failed path or device.

A Simple Redundant
Switched Topology
The Solution…
• To allow redundant links in a switched network
topology and avoid:
• Broadcast storms
• Multiple frame transmissions
• MAC database instability (routing loops)

• Spanning-Tree Protocol (STP) to the rescue
Intro to Spanning-Tree Protocol
(STP)
• IEEE 802.1D Spanning-Tree Protocol
• Used by Ethernet bridges and switches to construct a
loop free shortest path network using the spanningtree algorithm

• Shortest path is based on cumulative link costs
• Link costs are based on the speed of the link
Bridge Protocol Data Units
(BPDUs)
• The Spanning-Tree Protocol requires network devices to
exchange messages to help form a loop-free logical topology
• These messages are called Bridge Protocol Data Units (BPDUs)
• Links that will cause a loop are put into a blocking state

• BPDUs continue to be received on blocked ports (ensures that if
an active path or device fails, a new spanning tree can be
calculated)
More on BPDUs…
• BPDUs help switches do the following:
• Select a single switch that will act as the root of the
spanning tree
• Calculate the shortest path from itself to the root switch
• Designate one of the switches as the closest one to the
root, for each LAN segment. This bridge is called the
“designated switch”
• The designated switch handles all communication from that LAN
towards the root bridge.

• Choose one of its ports as a root port (if it is a non-root
switch)
• This is the interface that gives the best path to root switch.

• Select ports that are part of the spanning tree, called
designated ports
• Non-designated ports are blocked
Root Ports, Designated Ports, &
Non-Designated Ports
Information Contained in
BPDUs
Spanning-Tree Operation
• For every switched network the following
elements exist:
•
•
•
•

One root bridge per network
One root port per non root bridge
One designated port per segment
Unused, non-designated ports

• Root ports and designated ports forward data
traffic.
• Non-designated ports discard data traffic
• These ports are called blocking or discarding ports
Selecting the Root Bridge

1. An example network. The numbered boxes
represent bridges (the number represents the bridge
ID). The lettered clouds represent network segments.
Selecting the Root Bridge

2. The smallest bridge ID is 3. Therefore, bridge 3 is the
root bridge.
Selecting the Root Bridge Cont’d
• The root bridge of the spanning tree is the bridge
with the smallest (lowest) bridge ID.
• BPDUs are sent out with the Bridge ID (BID).
• The BID consists of a bridge priority (that defaults to
32768) and the switch base MAC address
• By default BPDUs are sent every two seconds
• All switches see the BIDs sent
Determine the least cost paths to the root bridge

• The computed spanning tree has the property that messages
from any connected device to the root bridge traverse a least
cost path
• The port connecting this bridge to the network segment is
then the designated port (DP) for the segment.
• Disable all other root paths. Any active port that is not a root
port or a designated port is a blocked port (BP).
Continue …

3. Assuming that the cost of traversing any network segment is
1, the least cost path from bridge 4 to the root bridge goes
through network segment c. Therefore, the root port for
bridge 4 is the one on network segment c.
Four Stages of Spanning-Tree Port
States

•A port can also be in a disabled state which occurs when an
administrator shuts down the port or the port fails.
Four Stages of Spanning-Tree Port
States
• Blocking State
• Ports can only receive BPDUs
• Data frames are discarded and no addresses can be learned
• It may take up to 20 seconds to change from this state

• Listening State
• Switches determine if there are any other paths to the root bridge
• The path that is not the least cost path to the root bridge goes back
to the blocked state
• BPDUs are still processed.
• User data is not being forwarded and MAC addresses are not being
learned
• The listening period is called the forward delay and lasts for 15
seconds
Four Stages of Spanning-Tree Port
States
• Learning State
• user data is not forwarded, but MAC addresses are learned
from any traffic that is seen
• The learning state lasts for 15 seconds and is also called the
forward delay
• BPDUs are still processed

• Forwarding state
• user data is forwarded and MAC addresses continue to be
learned
• BPDUs are still processed

• Disabled State (Fifth State)
• can occur when an administrator shuts down the port or
the port fails
Spanning-Tree Recalculation
• A switched internetwork has converged when all the
switch and bridge ports are in either the forwarding
or blocked state
• Forwarding ports send and receive data traffic and BPDUs
• Blocked ports will only receive BPDUs

• When the network topology changes, switches and
bridges recompute the Spanning Tree causing a
disruption of user traffic.

• Convergence on a new spanning-tree topology using
the IEEE 802.1D standard can take up to 50 seconds
Thanks…

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Spanning tree protocol

  • 1. Spanning-Tree Protocol Prepared By: Hazim O. Alghalayini Hazim.alghalayini@gmail.com & Fayez J. Budear
  • 2. Fault Tolerance • How is reliability in a network achieved and downtime reduced? • by using reliable equipment • by designing networks that are tolerant to failures and faults • Networks should be designed to reconverge rapidly so that a fault is bypassed • Fault tolerance is achieved by redundancy 2
  • 3. What causes switching loops? • Switches flood traffic out all ports when the traffic is sent to a destination that is not yet known • Broadcast and multicast traffic is forwarded out every port, except the port on which the traffic arrived • This traffic can be caught in a loop 3
  • 4. Avoiding Switching Loops • The Spanning-Tree Protocol is used in switched networks to create a loop free logical topology from a physical topology that has loops
  • 5. Redundant Switched Topologies • Redundant topologies eliminate single points of failure • If a path or device fails, the redundant path or device can take over the tasks of the failed path or device. A Simple Redundant Switched Topology
  • 6. The Solution… • To allow redundant links in a switched network topology and avoid: • Broadcast storms • Multiple frame transmissions • MAC database instability (routing loops) • Spanning-Tree Protocol (STP) to the rescue
  • 7. Intro to Spanning-Tree Protocol (STP) • IEEE 802.1D Spanning-Tree Protocol • Used by Ethernet bridges and switches to construct a loop free shortest path network using the spanningtree algorithm • Shortest path is based on cumulative link costs • Link costs are based on the speed of the link
  • 8. Bridge Protocol Data Units (BPDUs) • The Spanning-Tree Protocol requires network devices to exchange messages to help form a loop-free logical topology • These messages are called Bridge Protocol Data Units (BPDUs) • Links that will cause a loop are put into a blocking state • BPDUs continue to be received on blocked ports (ensures that if an active path or device fails, a new spanning tree can be calculated)
  • 9. More on BPDUs… • BPDUs help switches do the following: • Select a single switch that will act as the root of the spanning tree • Calculate the shortest path from itself to the root switch • Designate one of the switches as the closest one to the root, for each LAN segment. This bridge is called the “designated switch” • The designated switch handles all communication from that LAN towards the root bridge. • Choose one of its ports as a root port (if it is a non-root switch) • This is the interface that gives the best path to root switch. • Select ports that are part of the spanning tree, called designated ports • Non-designated ports are blocked
  • 10. Root Ports, Designated Ports, & Non-Designated Ports
  • 12. Spanning-Tree Operation • For every switched network the following elements exist: • • • • One root bridge per network One root port per non root bridge One designated port per segment Unused, non-designated ports • Root ports and designated ports forward data traffic. • Non-designated ports discard data traffic • These ports are called blocking or discarding ports
  • 13. Selecting the Root Bridge 1. An example network. The numbered boxes represent bridges (the number represents the bridge ID). The lettered clouds represent network segments.
  • 14. Selecting the Root Bridge 2. The smallest bridge ID is 3. Therefore, bridge 3 is the root bridge.
  • 15. Selecting the Root Bridge Cont’d • The root bridge of the spanning tree is the bridge with the smallest (lowest) bridge ID. • BPDUs are sent out with the Bridge ID (BID). • The BID consists of a bridge priority (that defaults to 32768) and the switch base MAC address • By default BPDUs are sent every two seconds • All switches see the BIDs sent
  • 16. Determine the least cost paths to the root bridge • The computed spanning tree has the property that messages from any connected device to the root bridge traverse a least cost path • The port connecting this bridge to the network segment is then the designated port (DP) for the segment. • Disable all other root paths. Any active port that is not a root port or a designated port is a blocked port (BP).
  • 17. Continue … 3. Assuming that the cost of traversing any network segment is 1, the least cost path from bridge 4 to the root bridge goes through network segment c. Therefore, the root port for bridge 4 is the one on network segment c.
  • 18. Four Stages of Spanning-Tree Port States •A port can also be in a disabled state which occurs when an administrator shuts down the port or the port fails.
  • 19. Four Stages of Spanning-Tree Port States • Blocking State • Ports can only receive BPDUs • Data frames are discarded and no addresses can be learned • It may take up to 20 seconds to change from this state • Listening State • Switches determine if there are any other paths to the root bridge • The path that is not the least cost path to the root bridge goes back to the blocked state • BPDUs are still processed. • User data is not being forwarded and MAC addresses are not being learned • The listening period is called the forward delay and lasts for 15 seconds
  • 20. Four Stages of Spanning-Tree Port States • Learning State • user data is not forwarded, but MAC addresses are learned from any traffic that is seen • The learning state lasts for 15 seconds and is also called the forward delay • BPDUs are still processed • Forwarding state • user data is forwarded and MAC addresses continue to be learned • BPDUs are still processed • Disabled State (Fifth State) • can occur when an administrator shuts down the port or the port fails
  • 21. Spanning-Tree Recalculation • A switched internetwork has converged when all the switch and bridge ports are in either the forwarding or blocked state • Forwarding ports send and receive data traffic and BPDUs • Blocked ports will only receive BPDUs • When the network topology changes, switches and bridges recompute the Spanning Tree causing a disruption of user traffic. • Convergence on a new spanning-tree topology using the IEEE 802.1D standard can take up to 50 seconds