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Configuration Guide - Ethernet Switching

CloudEngine 8800, 7800, 6800, and 5800 V200R003C00

This document describes the configuration of Ethernet services, including configuring MAC address table, link aggregation, VLANs, MUX VLAN, Voice VLAN, VLAN mapping, QinQ, GVRP, VCMP, STP/RSTP/MSTP, VBST, SEP, RRPP, ERPS, LBDT, and Layer 2 protocol transparent transmission.

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Overview of MSTP

Overview of MSTP


Generally, redundant links are used on an Ethernet switching network to provide link backup and enhance network reliability. The use of redundant links, however, may produce loops, causing broadcast storms and rendering the MAC address table unstable. As a result, the communication quality deteriorates, and the communication service may even be interrupted. The Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) is introduced to solve this problem.

STP refers to STP defined in IEEE 802.1D, the Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP) defined in IEEE 802.1w, and the Multiple Spanning Tree Protocol (MSTP) defined in IEEE 802.1s.

MSTP is compatible with RSTP and STP, and RSTP is compatible with STP. STP, RSTP, and MSTP all prevent broadcast storms and achieve redundancy. Table 10-1 compares STP, RSTP, and MSTP.

Table 10-1 Comparison between STP, RSTP, and MSTP

Spanning Tree Protocol


Usage Scenario


  • In an STP region, a loop-free tree is generated.
  • Route convergence is slow.

STP or RSTP is used when all VLANs share one spanning tree. In this situation, users or services do not need to be differentiated.


  • In an RSTP region, a loop-free tree is generated.
  • RSTP allows fast convergence of the network topology.


  • In an MSTP region, multiple loop-free trees are generated.
  • MSTP achieves fast convergence of the network topology.
  • MSTP implements load balancing among VLANs. Traffic in different VLANs is transmitted along different paths.

MSTP is used when traffic in different VLANs is forwarded through different spanning trees that are independent of each other to implement load balancing. In this situation, users or services are distinguished by VLANs.


After a spanning tree protocol is configured on an Ethernet switching network, it calculates the network topology and implements the following functions to remove network loops:

  • Loop cut-off: The potential loops on the network are cut off by blocking redundant links.
  • Link redundancy: If an active path becomes faulty, a redundant link can be activated to ensure network connectivity.

In addition to the above functions, MSTP also ensures faster convergence than STP and can load balance among multiple VLANs.

Updated: 2019-05-08

Document ID: EDOC1100004351

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