A Bridges: Scalable, Self-Configuring Ethernet Campus Networks Articles uri icon

publication date

  • February 2008

start page

  • 630

end page

  • 649


  • 3


  • 52

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1389-1286

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1872-7069


  • This article describes a scalable, self-configuring architecture for campus networks, the ABridges architecture. It is a two-tiered hierarchy of layer two switches in which network islands running independent rapid spanning tree protocols communicate through a core formed by island root bridges (ABridges). ABridges use AMSTP, a simplified and self configuring version of MSTP protocol, to establish shortest paths in the core using multiple spanning tree instances, one instance rooted at each core edge ABridge. The architecture is very efficient in terms of network usage and path length due to the ability of AMSTP to provide optimum paths in the core mesh, while RSTP is used to aggregate efficiently the traffic at islands networks, where sparsely connected, tree-like topologies are frequent and recommended. Convergence speed is as fast as existing Rapid Spanning Tree and Multiple Spanning Tree Protocols.