STP Vs. RSTP – Question 4

 In 200-301 V1 Ch10: RSTP and EtherChannel, 200-301 V1 Part 3: VLANs, STP, STP vs RSTP

This will be the last one of these STP vs. RSTP questions for a while, unless I hear a clamoring for more! This next question follows the same format. One secondary goal of giving you several questions (with 24 different answers to analyze) in this one topology is to help you reach the point where you own the material. Still a little weak on making choices about whether each answer is right or wrong? Keep working, and ask questions if you have them.

Today’s post follows the same format as the other questions in this series. Related posts:

Aside: Where to Read More about STP vs RSTP

Before getting into today’s question… I added some additional RSTP material to the ICND2 200-101 Cert Guide after the book was published. To do that, I added the material to Appendix B, “Exam Updates”, which is intended as a place where I can add more content after publication. Just go download the updated Appendix B from the “Updates” tab at the book’s web page.


This question uses the same scenario as the others in this series. The design uses three switches in a triangle. You can imagine that hosts connect to each switch as well, but the interesting parts of the discussion occur on the links between the switches. Figure 1 shows the design, with switch names and port numbers.

Figure 1

For this scenario, and the other similar STP/RSTP Comparison questions, make the following assumptions:

  • Any switches are configured as layer 2 switches only, not as layer 3 (aka multilayer) switches.
  • Any hubs do not support any form of Spanning Tree.
  • All routers are configured to act as routers, not as layer 2 bridges that support Spanning Tree. (In case you didn’t know, because it’s outside the scope of CCNA: Routers can be configured to also enabled transparent bridging, which then allows the routers to bridge traffic – the equivalent of switching – and to also run STP.)

The Question

IEEE 802.1D STP and 802.1w RSTP have some similarities and some differences. This question focuses specifically on STP and RSTP port roles.

Each answer lists a protocol (either 802.1D STP or 802.1w RSTP), a switch, a port, and a port role. Select the answers that show a possible combination, that if using that type of spanning tree (STP or RSTP) on all switches in the design, given the assumption of switch SW1 as the root switch.

Multiple answers may be correct.

If You Post an Answer, Convince Me!

If you post a suggested correct answer – convince me! Tell me the circumstances that make that answer true. For instance, would it happen with all default settings, with the assumptions in the question? Would it happen with a particular configuration setting made on a particular switch? Convince me!


  1. STP, SW1, G0/2, Designated Port
  2. STP, SW2, G0/1, Root Port
  3. STP, SW3, G0/2, Designated Port
  4. RSTP, SW1, G0/1, Alternate Port
  5. RSTP, SW2, G0/2, Backup Port
  6. RSTP, SW3, G0/1, Alternate Port


Further Instructions

If you are a little unsure about what the question asks, here are some further instructions.

For each answer, begin with the protocol (STP or RSTP). Then assume that all switches in Figure 1 use only that protocol.

Then think about the combination of switch/port/role, and think about whether that port, on that switch, could end up in that port role.

For instance, if an answer listed:

STP, SW1, G0/1, Root Port

  • You would first see STP, and consider the case in which all three switches use STP.
  • Then, can you think of a combination of settings that would make SW1’s G0/1 port be its root port?

It may be helpful to write down some combinations, for instance: if you make SW2’s Bridge ID (BID) lower/better than SW3’s, does that then change the rules enough so that SW1’s G0/1 could be it’s root port?



STP Vs. RSTP – Answer 3
STP Vs. RSTP – Answer 4
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[…] question once again gets specific about RSTP logic instead of STP. Look back to the original question first before looking at this answer. As usual, the answer post gives the answers, and the reasons […]


Hello Mr. Odom

I assume all STP and RSTP port cost settings are default IEEE numbers
10Gi = 2 , Gi = 4 , Fa= 19 , Eth = 100

in STP:

1) it’s correct because a Root switches ports are all designated ports (stp or rstp).

2) not correct, in sw2, g0/1 root cost is 8 and g0/2 root cost is 4 (in default IEEE cost), so 4 is lower for root port selection.

3) maybe True, maybe Not
again i assume default IEEE cost numbers. both sw3 and sw3 root paths are 4, TIE! so, the next step is lower BID. you didn’t mentioned BIDs in this picture, i can’t make a True judgment.

in RSTP:

4) not correct. Root switches ports are all designated ports (stp or rstp)

5) not correct. first g0/2 in sw2 is a root port (if default IEEE cost assumed),
second, g0/1 and g0/2 are not in same collusion domains, there is no half-duplex port in here. assume there is a half-duplex, g0/1 and g0/2 both are not connected to a one device (HUB i mean).

6) not correct, if default IEEE cost assumed in this senario

Punya Atma

1. STP, SW1, G0/2, Designated Port.

It is given in the question that SW1 is root switch. A root Switch’s all ports are Designated Ports.

3. STP, SW3, G0/2, Designated Port.

It is given SW1 is root Switch, therefore SW3’s G0/1 is a root port. It is because this port directly connects to the root Switch. Port G0/2 is SW3’s other Port and it is a Designated Port.

2. Knocked down.
SW2’s G0/2 port could be a root port as this port directly connects to the root Switch SW1, but G0/1 is not directly connected to SW1, the root Switch.

4. Knocked down.
Alternate Ports are selected only on links where neither end is a root port.
But here G0/2, the end of SW1 – SW2 link, is a root port.

5. Knocked down.
Backup Port is in blocking or discarding state to prevent loops.
But here SW2, G0/2 is a root Port, as connected directly to the root Switch SW1.

6. Knocked down.
Similar reason for Ans: 4,
SW3 G0/1 is a root Port, directly connected to the root Switch.

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