The purpose of Root Bridge

Posted on 2016-10-29
Last Modified: 2016-10-29
Knowing that STP is to prevent switching loops.
Well, after you connect the switches together, the STP goes into its calculation to elect the Root Bridge and block redundant  links.  Now will the traffic to the next switch never go from blocked to non-blocked port and vice-versa ?
on the screenshot below, if a PC plugged to Switch B wants to reach a PC plugged to Switch D, will the traffic go B to C then to D or straight B to D.
Also the other way around if PC plugged to Switch D wants to reach PC plugged  to Switch B, will the traffic go D to C then to B or straight D to B?

Thank you
Question by:jskfan
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 4
  • 3
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:Predrag Jovic
ID: 41865144
STP root bridge starts with every switch believes that it is the root bridge. Than - negotiate with other switches who have the the best BridgeID. Winner (Highlander - There can be only one) becomes root bridge (all paths lead to Root bridge), for the rest of the switches rules are relatively simple. Simplified version - Find the best (lowest cost path) to the root bridge (Root port) - block the rest of the paths to the root bridge (not exactly, since there can be downstream switches that path should not be blocked - that's why it is simplified version :) ). In reality similar process is happening between non root bridge switches in the case that there are 2 or more paths to reach Root bridge and both switches have the same cost to reach Root bridge. If cost to reach root bridge is the same again switches compare BridgeID values, whoever looses, needs to block alternative path to the root bridge, however the first criteria is always cost to reach root bridge...
Purpose of all of this is to prevent bridging loops (or switching loops).

You can read more details in article Spanning Tree Protocol: Bridge ID, Priority, System ID Extension & Root Bridge Election Process.

Author Comment

ID: 41865151
I understand how root bridge election happens, What I need to understand, is how network traffic is handled as I mentioned in the example:

on the screenshot above, if a PC plugged to Switch B wants to reach a PC plugged to Switch D, will the traffic go B to C then to D or straight B to D.
Also the other way around if PC plugged to Switch D wants to reach PC plugged  to Switch B, will the traffic go D to C then to B or straight D to B?
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:Predrag Jovic
ID: 41865163
Traffic will go through unblocked links. In your drawing - without red dots.
From switch B to D path will lead through C. The same is for opposite direction.
(Path B -> D (or D -> B) will not be used as long as path B - D is blocked).
Major Incident Management Communications

Major incidents and IT service outages cost companies millions. Often the solution to minimizing damage is automated communication. Find out more in our Major Incident Management Communications infographic.


Author Comment

ID: 41865175
I have not tested yet if you ping  PC on Switch B from PC on Switch D, ping packets will go through C ?
LVL 29

Accepted Solution

Predrag Jovic earned 500 total points
ID: 41865178
Yes in topology with blocked ports marked as above. Block ports can't be used.
Check MAC addresses on ports after ping and you will see the path..

Author Closing Comment

ID: 41865228
Thank you
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:Predrag Jovic
ID: 41865229
You're welcome.

Featured Post

Technology Partners: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
ASA NAT rule change 3 75
Advice on router and switch 25 77
DFS replication issue 7 61
VMware:  Virtual switches and multiple NICs 9 120
Concerto Cloud Services, a provider of fully managed private, public and hybrid cloud solutions, announced today it was named to the 20 Coolest Cloud Infrastructure Vendors Of The 2017 Cloud  (…
For months I had no idea how to 'discover' the IP address of the other end of a link (without asking someone who knows), and it drove me batty. Think about it. You can't use Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) because it's not implemented on the ASAs.…
After creating this article (, I decided to make a video (no audio) to show you how to configure the routers and run some trace routes and pings between the 7 sites…
Both in life and business – not all partnerships are created equal. As the demand for cloud services increases, so do the number of self-proclaimed cloud partners. Asking the right questions up front in the partnership, will enable both parties …

731 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question