BPDU forwarding mechanism

The configuration BPDUs of STP are forwarded according to these guidelines:

  • Upon network initiation, every device regards itself as the root bridge and generates configuration BPDUs with itself as the root. Then it sends the configuration BPDUs at a regular hello interval.
  • If the root port received a configuration BPDU superior to the configuration BPDU of the port, the device performs the following tasks:
    • Increases the message age carried in the configuration BPDU.

    • Starts a timer to time the configuration BPDU.

    • Sends this configuration BPDU through the designated port.

  • If a designated port receives a configuration BPDU with a lower priority than its configuration BPDU, the port immediately responds with its configuration BPDU.
  • If a path fails, the root port on this path no longer receives new configuration BPDUs and the old configuration BPDUs will be discarded due to timeout. The device generates a configuration BPDU with itself as the root and sends the BPDUs and TCN BPDUs. This triggers a new spanning tree calculation process to establish a new path to restore the network connectivity.

However, the newly calculated configuration BPDU cannot be propagated throughout the network immediately. As a result, the old root ports and designated ports that have not detected the topology change continue forwarding data along the old path. If the new root ports and designated ports begin to forward data as soon as they are elected, a temporary loop might occur.