To solve this problem, the BIG-IP®
system supports a set of
industry-standard, Layer 2 protocols known as spanning tree protocols.
block redundant paths on a network, thus preventing bridging loops. If a
blocked, redundant path is needed later because another path has failed, the spanning tree
protocols clear the path again for traffic. The spanning tree protocols that the BIG-IP system
supports are Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP), and Multiple
Spanning Tree Protocol (MSTP).