Redundant links between switches are necessary as they help prevent network failures in the event one link goes down, but it also gives rise to problems such as broadcast storms, inconsistent switch tables and multiple frame transmission. Spanning tree was designed to solve this problem created by the interconnection of Local Area Networks with redundant transparent bridges. STP is a layer 2 protocol that detects all links in the network and shut down the redundant ones. STP uses spanning-tree algorithm to search out and disable the redundant links. With STP running, frames will be forwarded only on the superior links picked by the STP. This paper addresses issues between IEEE Spanning Tree-based protocols and other loop prevention algorithms. Evaluation of such protocols, convergence issues between them and suggestion on how to resolve these issues are presented.
Redundancy, load balancing, spanning tree protocol, convergence time, Ethernet Bridges.