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PVST Configuration Tutorial: Simplifying STP for Cisco Networks

Are you a network administrator looking for a way to optimize network performance and reduce downtime?

One solution could be to implement the Per VLAN Spanning Tree Protocol (PVST) on your Cisco network.

This tutorial will guide you through the process of configuring PVST on your Cisco switches, ensuring efficient and reliable network operation.

Introduction to PVST

PVST is an enhancement of the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) that provides a separate instance of STP for each VLAN in a network.

This allows for better load balancing and faster convergence times compared to the standard STP configuration.

PVST also allows for VLAN-based root bridges, further enhancing network efficiency.


Before configuring PVST, make sure that all switches in the network are running the same version of Cisco IOS and have the same STP settings.

It's also important to have a solid understanding of basic networking concepts and Cisco command-line interface (CLI) syntax.

Step-by-Step Configuration

  1. Enable PVST globally on the switch:
    Switch(config)# spanning-tree mode pvst

  2. Set the root bridge priority for each VLAN:
    Switch(config)# spanning-tree vlan vlan_id root priority priority_number

    The default priority is 32768, with a lower number indicating a higher priority. Make sure to set the priority for each VLAN according to your network topology and requirements.

  3. Verify PVST configuration using the following command:
    Switch# show spanning-tree

    This command will display the current spanning tree configuration for the switch.

  4. Optional: Configure port priority to prioritize certain ports over others. This can be useful for ensuring important network traffic has priority over less critical traffic.

    Switch(config-if)# spanning-tree port-priority priority_number

    The default port priority is 128, with a lower number indicating higher priority.

  5. Verify port priority using the following command:
    Switch# show spanning-tree interface interface_id

    This command will display the current spanning tree port priority for the specified interface.

Best Practices for PVST Configuration

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when configuring PVST on your Cisco network:

  • Always set the root bridge priority for each VLAN to ensure proper network hierarchy and stability.
  • Use the show spanning-tree command to verify PVST configuration and identify any potential issues.
  • Consider implementing Rapid PVST (RPVST) for even faster convergence times.
  • Use port priority settings to prioritize important network traffic, such as VoIP or video data.
  • Regularly review and adjust PVST configuration as network requirements change.


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Stanley Arvey

I am a certified network engineer with over 10 years of experience in the field. I have a deep understanding of networking and IT security, and I am always looking for new challenges.

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