VTP stands for VLAN Trunking Protocol. It is cisco proprietary protocol which provides a means by which cisco switches can exchange VLAN configuration details. VTP advertises each existing VLAN in the network based on its VLAN ID and name. It has several benefits but also might become a problem if not configured properly. These are some of the benefits of VTP,
- One of the benefits of VTP is that it provides an efficient method of managing Cisco switches as if they are within a one group, for configuration purpose. Which means that if VTP has been enabled on a Cisco switch and VLAN has been created on the same switch then it makes the VLAN accessible to all the switches in that VTP domain. The switch cannot be a part of more than one VTP domain at a single time.
- VTP provides better network management. VTP decreases the possible inconsistencies in configuration that normally come about when some changes are made in a network or network has been modified. Those inconsistencies may lead to security violations as VLANs have that capability of cross connecting when matching names are used. VLAN Trunking Protocol offers a good mapping scheme for seamless exchange of data within a network that uses mixed media.
- VTP causes all the switches in the same VTP domain, i.e. the group of switches with the same domain name and password, to converge to have the exact same configuration of VLAN. Thus, any changes made on VTP server will be automatically learned by all other switches in that domain.
- The VLAN Trunking Protocol has the benefit of maintaining configuration consistency throughout the network. This is due to the fact, that VTP uses trunked frames for managing any changes made to the VLANs in the network. This is attained by using a central switch found in the VTP server mode. VTP synchronizes all the VLAN information by updating it in a VTP domain, thereby lowering the need of configuring similar VLAN data on every switch.
- VTP have an ability to synchronize its own configuration data when receiving VTP messages with a higher revision number.
- VTP servers allow the network engineer to create, add, remove and rename VLANs using CLI. Thus, maintaining consistency throughout the network with less work and ensuring protection against data overwrites.
- VTP not just supports VLAN data exchange but also supports for the propagation of other databases such as MST databases.
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