Where I don't care what others think

Vlans, Switching Loops, PVST

September 19th, 2007 Posted in Life

No, for those of you who expected some strange post about managed switches you’ve come to the wrong place. A website like Cisco.com may be able to help you out, me? I can try and make it work, but I also might break it. If you can actually break anything, I thought the spanning tree protocol was suppose to fix that.

The world is connected, not only online, but in person. Some people think of the internet as the frontier in globalization and networking but I would challenge that argument. The internet brings another dimension to connections that already existed. With another dimension comes another fallover method, more redundancy to the process… globalization, RAID 5 style. I’m not going to focus on the network of people on earth as a whole, but zoom in a little bit, traverse down the tree closer to a few leaves. (The algorithm deciding which leaves I’ll be getting close to is up to debate of course).

I think we can look at people in the same way we look at connections to the internet as both provide methods for access and transmitting data. How that data gets from A to B is very interested. Clearly there are direct connections, I can talk with someone and tell them something, A direct relay of that information, they can then process it, relay it along to someone else who I might not be able to contact at the moment, or tuck it away to look at it later.

To control network data we use VLANS (Virtual Lans) to create smaller segments of the data, while they generally all have physical access to the same devices their are software barriers setup to prevent them from talking to undesired nodes. We as people behave very similarly, without thinking about it. We fall into certain networks, we only talk to a few nodes, even though we may have access to hundreds (the population of a university or school). Clearly there are logical routes to this, its illogical for me to ask a stranger to relay information, completely unreliable, but people are more likely to ask a stranger for directions, something they’ve determined is outside their standard network.

Sidenote, I just found the optimal sound quality can be generated by my iPod headphones if I wedge them in my ears in a very uncomfortable position. This can only mean a few things, in this case Coldplay’s “Speed of Sound” is playing.

Back to the networks. I don’t know much about the Spanning Tree Protocol except for its not instant, and I don’t like that but I can see why. If a human can’t do it instantly how do we expect a piece of emotionless machinery to.. wait a second.. My understand is that this protocol attempts to remove loops from the network, where data could be transmitted to the same place multiple times, or data could get lost in this loop trying to find an exit. The same can happen with the human networks. If you introduce a new node … no you can’t insert a new node, that would imply a birth. If you move a node from a different part of a network into one of your preferred communication channels your spanning tree protocol should update, and so should everyone else’s . Ok, the effect on the person in Africa is minimal, but the butterfly effect makes sense to me.

Now I was going to introduce the idea of spanning trees applied to a specific Vlan, but clearly I’m not going to. I’ve had quite enough switching theory for now. I’d like to go to bed but it sounds like the roommate next door is carrying on a phone call in the bathroom. Time to resolve.

Good night moon.

  1. 2 Responses to “Vlans, Switching Loops, PVST”

  2. By katie on Sep 20, 2007

    terrible blog. yuck a poo.

    make kt friendly ones!

  3. By J on Sep 21, 2007

    yea.. these blogs are hard for me to understand can we at least ya know make it in average brain-sized words.

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