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What is Bridge Protocol Data Unit (BPDU) frame

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The Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enabled switches in a redundant Local Area Network (LAN) need to exchange information between each other for Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) to work properly. Bridge Protocol Data Units (BPDUs) are messages exchanged between the switches inside an interconnected redundant Local Area Network (LAN).

Bridge Protocol Data Units (BPDUs) frames contain information regarding the Switch ID, originating switch port, MAC address, switch port priority, switch port cost etc.

Bridge Protocol Data Units (BPDUs) frames are sent out as multicast messages regularly at multicast destination MAC address 01:80:c2:00:00:00. When Bridge Protocol Data Units (BPDUs) are received, the Switch uses a mathematical formula called the Spanning Tree Algorithm (STA) to know when there is a Layer 2 Switch loop in network and determines which of the redundant ports needs to be shut down.

Three types of Bridge Protocol Data Units (BPDUs) are Configuration BPDU (CBPDU), Topology Change Notification (TCN) BPDU and Topology Change Notification Acknowledgment (TCA).

The basic purpose of the Bridge Protocol Data Units (BPDUs) and the Spanning Tree Algorithm (STA) is to avoid Layer 2 Switching loops and Broadcast storms.

              Jajish Thomason Google+
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