Chapter 4. Spanning Tree

The Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) is a Layer 2 protocol that prevents loops in transparently bridged networks. Due to the nature of transparent bridging, when an active looped topology exists, a network meltdown generally occurs in a matter seconds. STP is a protocol that builds a logical loop-free topology, ensuring the network does not suffer from major problems such as a broadcast storm or bridge table corruption.

STP was originally developed by Digital Equipment Corporation in 1983 to address the issues of running transparent bridging in a looped Layer 2 topology. Today, STP exists in two flavors:

  • DEC—. The original Spanning Tree Protocol, created by Digital Equipment Corporation.

  • IEEE—. Standards-based Spanning Tree Protocol, ...

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