Mar
14
We are going to discuss Cisco’s proprietary extensions to STP algorithm, namely UplinkFast and BackBone Fast. Those two features aim to reduce the time it takes STP to re-activate topology after a link failure. While UplinkFast seems pretty intuitive, BB Fast is more complicated. See more detailed overview at: http://blog.ine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/understanding-stp-rstp-convergence.pdf UplinkFast Read More
Mar
07
In this post we are going to look into STP convergence process. Many people have perfect understanding of STP, but yet face difficulties when they see questions like “How many seconds will it take for STP to recover connectivity if a given link fails?”. The post will follow the outline below: 1) General overview of STP convergence process 2) How STP converges if a directly connected link fails 3) How STP converges when it detects indirect link failure 4) Topology changes and their effect See... Read More
Sep
24
Note: You may want to read a newer blog post on MSTP here Understanding MSTP Read More
Aug
07
For the sake of simplicity and enabling a wider audience we decided to post our regular CCIE brainteasers to the blog.  The winner will get a coupon worth 10% off the price of any of our training packages for R&S, Security, Voice or Service Provider or a $250 Amazon.com gift card! Note that the 10% off discount can not be used with any other discount code you may already have. Please post your solution under the comments for this blog entry - the first person to post the correct solution is the... Read More
Jul
27
Note: You may want to read a newer blog post on MSTP here Understanding MSTP Read More
Jul
17
Cisco switches run different types of STP protocol, depending on whether the connected port is access, ISL trunk or 802.1q trunk. Natively, Cisco switch runs a separate STP instance for each configured and active VLAN (this is called Per-VLAN Spanning Tree or PVST) and standard IEEE compliant switches run just one instance of STP shared by all VLANs. Due to that reason, a group of switches running IEEE compatible STP protocol is called MST (Mono Spanning Tree) region, not to be confused with... Read More
Jul
05
UDLD (Unidirectional Link Detection) is Cisco proprietary extension for detecting a mis-configured link. The idea behind it is pretty strighforward - allow two switches to verify if they can both send and receive data on a point-to-point connection. Consider a network with two switches, A and B connected by two links: "A=B". Naturally, if "A" is the root of spanning tree, one of the ports on "B" will be blocking, constantly receiving BPDUs from "A". If this link would turn uni-directional and... Read More
Feb
05
Within the scope of Metro Ethernet services, it is often beneficial to provide customers "point-to-point" VLAN service, where VLAN (multipoint service in essence) is effectively set up to emulate ethernet "pseudowire", by disabling MAC-address learning. The benefit comes from saving metro switches CAM tables address space, thus improving overall scalability (which is far from perfect with Ethernet). There is special command, mac address-table learning available on Cisco Metro swtiches (e.g. ME... Read More

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