Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) is Microsoft's implementation of NetBIOS Name Service (NBNS), a name server and service for NetBIOS computer names. Effectively, WINS is to NetBIOS names what DNS is to domain names — a central mapping of host names to network addresses. Like the DNS, it is implemented in two parts, a server service (that manages the embedded Jet Database, server to server replication, service requests, and conflicts) and a TCP/IP client component which manages the client's registration and renewal of names, and takes care of queries.
The IEEE approved the IEEE 802.1aq standard May 2012, also known and documented in most books as Shortest Path Bridging (SPB). SPB allows all links to be active through multiple equal cost paths, and provides much larger layer 2 topologies, faster convergence, and improves the use of the mesh topologies through increased bandwidth between all devices by allowing traffic to load share across all paths on a mesh network. SPB consolidates multiple existing functionalities, including Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), Multiple Spanning Tree Protocol (MSTP), Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP), and Multiple MAC Registration Protocol (MMRP) into a one link state protocol. SPB is designed to virtually eliminate human error during configuration and preserves the plug-and-play nature that established Ethernet as the de facto protocol at Layer 2.
The Multiple Spanning Tree Protocol (MSTP), originally defined in IEEE 802.1s and later merged into IEEE 802.1Q-2005, defines an extension to RSTP to further develop the usefulness of virtual LANs (VLANs). This "Per-VLAN" Multiple Spanning Tree Protocol configures a separate Spanning Tree for each VLAN group and blocks all but one of the possible alternate paths within each Spanning Tree.
If there is only one Virtual LAN (VLAN) in the network, single (traditional) STP works appropriately. If the network contains more than one VLAN, the logical network configured by single STP would work, but it is possible to make better use of the alternate paths available by using an alternate spanning tree for different VLANs or groups of VLANs.
MSTP allows formation of MST regions that can run multiple MST instances (MSTI). Multiple regions and other STP bridges are interconnected using one single common spanning tree (CST).
MSTP is similar to Cisco Systems' Multiple Instances Spanning Tree Protocol (MISTP), and is an evolution of the Spanning Tree Protocol and theRapid Spanning Tree Protocol. It was introduced in IEEE 802.1s as an amendment to 802.1Q, 1998 edition. Standard IEEE 802.1Q-2005 now includes MSTP.
Unlike some proprietary per-VLAN spanning tree implementations, MSTP includes all of its spanning tree information in a single BPDU format. Not only does this reduce the number of BPDUs required on a LAN to communicate spanning tree information for each VLAN, but it also ensures backward compatibility with RSTP (and in effect, classic STP too). MSTP does this by encoding additional region information after the standard RSTP BPDU as well as a number of MSTI messages (from 0 to 64 instances, although in practice many bridges support fewer). Each of these MSTI configuration messages conveys the spanning tree information for each instance. Each instance can be assigned a number of configured VLANs and frames (packets) assigned to these VLANs operate in this spanning tree instance whenever they are inside the MST region. In order to avoid conveying their entire VLAN to spanning tree mapping in each BPDU, bridges encode an MD5 digest of their VLAN to instance table in the MSTP BPDU. This digest is then used by other MSTP bridges, along with other administratively configured values, to determine if the neighboring bridge is in the same MST region as itself.
MSTP is fully compatible with RSTP bridges, in that an MSTP BPDU can be interpreted by an RSTP bridge as an RSTP BPDU. This not only allows compatibility with RSTP bridges without configuration changes, but also causes any RSTP bridges outside of an MSTP region to see the region as a single RSTP bridge, regardless of the number of MSTP bridges inside the region itself. In order to further facilitate this view of an MST region as a single RSTP bridge, the MSTP protocol uses a variable known as remaining hops as a time to live counter instead of the message age timer used by RSTP. The message age time is only incremented once when spanning tree information enters an MST region, and therefore RSTP bridges will see a region as only one "hop" in the spanning tree. Ports at the edge of an MST region connected to either an RSTP or STP bridge or an endpoint are known as boundary ports. As in RSTP, these ports can be configured as edge ports to facilitate rapid changes to the forwarding state when connected to endpoints.
In Juniper Networks environment, if compatibility to Cisco's proprietary PVST protocol is required, VLAN Spanning Tree Protocol (VSTP) can be configured. VSTP maintains a separate spanning-tree instance for each VLAN configured in the switch. The VSTP protocol is only supported by the EX and MX Series from Juniper Networks. There are two restrictions to the compatibility of VSTP:
VSTP supports only 253 different spanning-tree topologies. If there are more than 253 VLANs, it is recommended to configure RSTP in addition to VSTP, and VLANs beyond 253 will be handled by RSTP.
MVRP does not support VSTP. If this protocol is in use, VLAN membership for trunk interfaces must be statically configured.
By default, VSTP uses the RSTP protocol as its core spanning-tree protocol, but usage of STP can be forced if the network includes old bridges.
This is Cisco's proprietary version of Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol. It creates a spanning tree for each VLAN, just like PVST. Cisco refers to this as Rapid Per-VLAN Spanning Tree (RPVST).
In Ethernet switched environments where multiple Virtual LANs exist, it is often desirable to create multiple spanning trees so that traffic from different VLANs uses different links. Cisco's proprietary versions of Spanning Tree Protocol, Per-VLAN Spanning Tree (PVST) and Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), create a separate spanning tree for each VLAN. Both PVST and PVST+ protocols are Cisco proprietary protocols, and few switches from other vendors support them. Some devices from Force10 Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, Extreme Networks, Avaya, and BLADE Network Technologies support PVST+. Extreme Networks does so with two limitations: Lack of support on ports where the VLAN is untagged/native, and also on the VLAN with ID 1. PVST works only with ISL (Cisco's proprietary protocol for VLAN encapsulation) due to its embedded Spanning Tree ID. This is the default protocol on Cisco switches that support ISL. Due to high penetration of the IEEE 802.1Q VLAN trunking standard and PVST's dependence on ISL, Cisco defined an additional PVST+ standard that is compatible with 802.1Q encapsulation. This became the default protocol for Cisco switches when Cisco discontinued and removed ISL support from its switches. PVST+ can tunnel across an MSTP Region.
RSTP adds new bridge port roles in order to speed convergence following a link failure. The number of states a port can be in has been reduced to three instead of STP's original five.
RSTP bridge port roles:
Root - A forwarding port that is the best port from Nonroot-bridge to Rootbridge
Designated - A forwarding port for every LAN segment
Alternate - An alternate path to the root bridge. This path is different than using the root port
Backup - A backup/redundant path to a segment where another bridge port already connects
Disabled - Not strictly part of STP, a network administrator can manually disable a port
RSTP switch port states:
Discarding - No user data is sent over the port
Learning - The port is not forwarding frames yet, but is populating its MAC-address-table
Forwarding - The port is fully operational
Additional RSTP Operation Details:
Detection of root switch failure is done in 3 hello times, which is 6 seconds if the default hello times have not been changed.
Ports may be configured as edge ports if they are attached to a LAN that has no other bridges attached. These edge ports transition directly to the forwarding state. RSTP still continues to monitor the port for BPDUs in case a bridge is connected. RSTP can also be configured to automatically detect edge ports. As soon as the bridge detects a BPDU coming to an edge port, the port becomes a non-edge port.
RSTP calls the connection between two or more switches as a "link-type" connection. A port that operates in full-duplex mode is assumed to be point-to-point link, whereas a half-duplex port (through a hub) is considered a shared port by default. This automatic link type setting can be overridden by explicit configuration. RSTP improves convergence on point-to-point links by reducing the Max-Age time to 3 times Hello interval, removing the STP listening state, and exchanging a handshake between two switches to quickly transition the port to forwarding state. RSTP does not do anything differently from STP on shared links.
Unlike in STP, RSTP will respond to BPDUs sent from the direction of the root bridge. An RSTP bridge will "propose" its spanning tree information to its designated ports. If another RSTP bridge receives this information and determines this is the superior root information, it sets all its other ports to discarding. The bridge may send an "agreement" to the first bridge confirming its superior spanning tree information. The first bridge, upon receiving this agreement, knows it can rapidly transition that port to the forwarding state bypassing the traditional listening/learning state transition. This essentially creates a cascading effect away from the root bridge where each designated bridge proposes to its neighbors to determine if it can make a rapid transition. This is one of the major elements that allows RSTP to achieve faster convergence times than STP.
As discussed in the port role details above, RSTP maintains backup details regarding the discarding status of ports. This avoids timeouts if the current forwarding ports were to fail or BPDUs were not received on the root port in a certain interval.
RSTP will revert to legacy STP on an interface if a legacy version of an STP BPDU is detected on that port.
In 2001, the IEEE introduced Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP) as 802.1w. RSTP provides significantly faster spanning tree convergence after a topology change, introducing new convergence behaviors and bridge port roles to do this. RSTP was designed to be backwards-compatible with standard STP.
While STP can take 30 to 50 seconds to respond to a topology change, RSTP is typically able to respond to changes within 3 × Hello times (default: 3 times 2 seconds) or within a few milliseconds of a physical link failure. The so-called Hello time is an important and configurable time interval that is used by RSTP for several purposes; its default value is 2 seconds.
Standard IEEE 802.1D-2004 incorporates RSTP and obsoletes the original STP standard.