Spanning tree melt down ?

Joe Abley jabley at
Wed Nov 27 15:53:24 UTC 2002

On Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002, at 10:25 Canada/Eastern, Stephen J. Wilcox 

> Hmm, well until the comment about STP it sounded like the guy did 
> something
> stupid on a program/database on a mainframe..
> I cant see how STP could do this or require that level of DR. Perhaps 
> its just
> the scapegoat for the Doc's mistake which he didnt want to admit!

If it's anything like any other layer-2 IT network meltdown I've seen, 
it'll be some combination of:

  + no documentation on what the network looks like, apart from a large
    yellow autocad diagram which was stapled to the wall in the basement
    wiring closet in 1988

  + a scarcity of diagnostic tools, and no knowledge of how to use the
    ones that do exist

  + complete ignorance of what traffic flows when the network is not

  + a cable management standard that was first broken in 1988 and has
    only been used since to pad out RFPs

  + consideration to network design which does not extend beyond the
    reassuring knowledge that the sales guy who sold you the hardware
    is a good guy, and will look after you

  + random unauthorised insertion of hubs and switches into the fabric
    by users who got fed up of waiting eight months to get another
    ethernet port installed in their lab

  + customers who have been trained by its vendors to believe that
    certification is more important than experience

  + customers who believe in the cost benefit of a large distributed
    layer-2 network over a large distributed (largely self-documenting)
    layer-3 network.

Just another day at the office.


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