Cisco Support Community
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Announcements

Welcome to Cisco Support Community. We would love to have your feedback.

For an introduction to the new site, click here. If you'd prefer to explore, try our test area to get started. And see here for current known issues.

New Member

When a switch is flooding on all its ports a unicast frame?

Is there any real case when a switch after it receives a unicast frame on one of its ports would flood the frame on all its ports except the port it received the frame on?

I see this being possible only if the destination MAC address was already flushed by the switch from its MAC table when the unicast frame arrived, whereas that destination MAC address is still valid in the host's ARP table (not needing os to send a broadcast ARP for learing that MAC address), but I don't know if this could happen in real cases.

What is the default timer for flusing an entry from the MAC table of a switch ?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Hall of Fame Super Blue

Re: When a switch is flooding on all its ports a unicast frame?

Petru

Apologies. Yes if an end device has the mac-address of the destination device but the switch does not then it would flood the frame out all ports (except the one it received on).

It could also occur when the mac-address table is full and the switch can no longer store any entries. Have a look at this link which covers unicast flooding within a switched network -

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/switches/ps700/products_tech_note09186a00801d0808.shtml

Jon

8 REPLIES
Hall of Fame Super Blue

Re: When a switch is flooding on all its ports a unicast frame?

The most common case is when the switch does not know which port the unicast packet is destined for so it needs to flood the packet out of all ports.

This quite a common occurence and you often find posts in these forums saying "i am running a sniffer on my desktop and am seeing unicast packets that are not addressed to my pc."

Jon

New Member

Re: When a switch is flooding on all its ports a unicast frame?

What is the default timer for flusing an entry from the MAC table of a switch ?

i think its 300 seconds.

New Member

Re: When a switch is flooding on all its ports a unicast frame?

To Jon:

Yes, I know the reason why a switch floos a frame, it is when it does not have the entry with destination MAC in its MAC table.

The question is when we could have such cases?

And I was wondering whether this is possible only when the host's ARP table expires later then the switch flushed its MAC table. Otherwise the host will always start with broadcast ARP, then the switch will learn the destination MAC and next when the host will send the actual unicast frame the switch will be able to forward/filter it to only the right port.

So, is this the only case possible?

And those 300secs seems higher than the ARP table validity timer in the host, which then puzzles me even more.

Hall of Fame Super Blue

Re: When a switch is flooding on all its ports a unicast frame?

Petru

Apologies. Yes if an end device has the mac-address of the destination device but the switch does not then it would flood the frame out all ports (except the one it received on).

It could also occur when the mac-address table is full and the switch can no longer store any entries. Have a look at this link which covers unicast flooding within a switched network -

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/switches/ps700/products_tech_note09186a00801d0808.shtml

Jon

New Member

Re: When a switch is flooding on all its ports a unicast frame?

Thanks for the link.

A last point: do you confirm that the default timer is 300 seconds?

PS:I have a lot to learn, just started to prepare for CCNA, hope in 6 months to be at full speed :-)

I'll surely come with lots of questions, as I don't take anything I'm reading as granted, must have a complete technical explanation in order to accept it.

Hall of Fame Super Blue

Re: When a switch is flooding on all its ports a unicast frame?

Petru

"as I don't take anything I'm reading as granted, must have a complete technical explanation in order to accept it."

That is the best way to be. If you have this approach you will be a very good network person.

Feel free to ask as many questions as you need.

Jon

New Member

Re: When a switch is flooding on all its ports a unicast frame?

good luck on the ccna. my ccie lab is tuesday ahh the madness of it

Re: When a switch is flooding on all its ports a unicast frame?

Hi Michael,

Good luck! Hope you do your best. Which one is it? R&S?

Lejoe

356
Views
0
Helpful
8
Replies