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Spanning trees for VLANs

Can you direct me to a tool that can map spanning trees for VLANs on Cisco switches, locate the root and draw the topology? Also a requirement is to monitor the status looking for things such as loops or spanning tree reconfigurations and providing some alert capability.

We can do this manually but with hundreds of VLANs and few staff it's not practical.

Discovery and accurate topology generation is a difficult problem. And spanning trees for VLANs is even tougher. It is an active research topic.

I don't have a particular solution to point you to. However, I would have a look at Avaya's offerings and see if they can provide the tools that you need. Cisco would be another logical choice. Further, I would check into the various academic offerings - quite often simple but effective tools can be found for free, especially if you are willing to act as a proving ground and provide feedback to the researchers.

This was last published in May 2003

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