VLAN Trunking Protocol VTP

In large networks, configuring VLAN information on each and every switch would be incredibly time consuming. In order to deal with this issue, Cisco created a protocol referred to as the VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP). VTP actually has very little to do with trunking. Instead, its responsibility is propagating information about the configuration of VLANs across trunk links. For example, let’s say that you’ve defined a new VLAN on a switch, VLAN 99. Instead of having to manually create that VLAN on each and every switch, you could instead use VTP – it would automatically make VLAN 99 available on every switch after it was defined on the first. This information is sent to other switches in the form of VTP advertisements. These are multicasts that provide update information to neighboring switches over trunk links. VTP can be used to add, modify or delete VLANs across what is known as a VTP management domain. For example, you might add a new VLAN, change the name of a VLAN, or delete a VLAN that you no longer require.

By default, VTP is not configured on Catalyst switches. You first have to define what is known as a VTP management domain, the group of switches among which you want VLAN information passed and shared. You can actually define multiple VTP domains for different groups of switches that require different configurations. However, you can only make any given switch part of a single VTP management domain.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of 2000Trainers.com. He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.