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Master thesis

Title Self-Configurable Switches
Author João Pedro Pereira Oliveira Lopes
School Universidade de Aveiro
Month July
Year 2012
Advisor André Zúquete, Susana Sargento
Group (before 2015) Information Systems and Telematics Laboratory

The Spanning Tree Protocol is old and completely misadjusted towards current Ethernet networks requirements. Its successors, Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol and Multiple Spanning Trees reveal also stability problems and poor convergence times.

Recently two new protocols aiming spanning tree protocols substitution were proposed to standard: IETF's TRILL and IEEE's SPB. Although similar in many aspects, their forwarding paradigms are quite different. TRILL acts like a Layer 3 protocol, whereas SPB keeps the typical Layer 2 protocol behaviour. Both TRILL and SPB target backbone or core Ethernet networks, requiring great processing power from bridges and huge investment in new gear.

Self-Configurable Switches protocol (SCS) objective is to replace the spanning tree protocols, changing radically the frame forwarding and control philosophy over Ethernet networks, but keep being suitable to the range of equipment and networks that typically run those spanning tree protocols, minimizing potential large investments.

This thesis presents an overview of all features and problems of spanning tree protocols, the main characteristics of the new proposal standards and the processes and mechanisms of the new Self-Configurable Switches protocol. At the end, test results are presented regarding features, feasibility and performance of SCS protocol versus the spanning tree protocols, which attest SCS protocol superior performance.

The thesis is available here: