Open for Voting

Spanning tree topology map

Spanning tree, as we know, is an extremely useful function of a network. However, equally so, in the hands of an inexperience engineer, or with someone adding network devices or 802.1q capable network cards to the network in an uncontrolled manner, it can be the worst thing ever.

It would be useful to  have a map view of the layer 2 status of spanning tree to help manage moving, adding and adjusting spanning tree to be at it's most efficient.  Clearly this is a reasonable simple task to do via the CLi on Cisco devices (which is what I mainly have in mind), but if you have many of them, a topology viewer will save time and offer the opportunity to get alerts for any topology changes.

  • Time to BUMP this one! This should be a thing for sure.


  • This tool would have definitely made a difference in out network re-vamping. Needed to discover the Spanning Tree topology via manual processes. This was time consuming.

  • As recently as 2007 I was really enjoying managing a Nortel Network that used their Enterprise Switch Manager (ESM) discovery and management tool.  I've been hoping SW (or Cisco) would come out with the equivalent, but it's not been happening.

    ESM not only discovered all L2 and L3 Nortel devices, it could be set to discover other brands of switches & routers via CDP and LLDP.

    It mapped them all out beautifully, including multi-linked port-channels (Nortel called them multi-link-trunks, or MLT's).

    It discovered STP priorities.  It discovered all VLAN's on every trunked port.

    And a click or two would reveal where there were MLT mismatches--VLAN's on one side and not on the other side of a link would show up as errors.  They were easily corrected via this tool.

    Another click and any or all VLANs could be selected by ID, and each one would have a unique color assigned to it, which would show up on the Visio-like map of ESM.

    And better still, every device that had that VLAN on it would turn that VLAN's assigned color.  Further, every link between switches or routers that carried that VLAN would ALSO turn that same color.

    Better still, you could hover over every switch or router and get full info about it, or right click on it and web/ssh/telnet to it.  Talk about user-friendly!  I was so sad (and budget-impacted) when Nortel failed financially.

    ESM was fast and intuitive and easy, and I'm waiting for SW or Cisco to come up with an equivalent.  Whatever this Feature Request shows up in, that product could be a start down the path to easier and faster network management and discovery.

  • if you wait long enough ...STP will die...

    I wouldn't hold my breath to get that feature ..

    There are way to avoid using STP

    Multi-link trunking - Wikipedia

    IEEE 802.1aq - Wikipedia

    Something totally new

    IP routing - Wikipedia