Querying Cisco MST Port Roles via SNMP with OSS_SNMP

OSS_SNMP is a PHP SNMP library written by myself for people who hate SNMP. After a customer migration from PVST to MST (Multiple Spanning Tree), I have added a number of MST functions / MIBs to OSS_SNMP:

During a fairly significant network migration involving breaking / connecting a number of links, I wanted to be able to monitor the MST port role of significant ports at a glance. For this purpose, I wrote the mst-port-roles.php script and have committed it as an example to OSS_SNMP. First, here is what it looks like when run on the command line (with hostnames obfuscated):

MST Port RolesFrom a very simple array of port details at the top of the script, it will poll all switches and for each port print:

  • device and port name;
  • port state and speed;
  • port role for each applicable MST instance.

I run it on bash and use bash colouring. The script is well documented and can easily be repurposed for other networks. You’ll find the source here.

NOCtools and OSS_SNMP Get Support for Multiple Spanning Tree (MST) Protocol

NOCtools (a mixed bag collection of tools and utilities for NOC engineers) and OSS_SNMP (a PHP SNMP Library for People Who HATE SNMP, MIBs and OIDs) have just gotten support for Multiple Spanning Tree.

Specifically, OSS_SNMP has two new MIBS (Cisco’s original MST tree which has a lot of deprecated nodes – MIBS\Cisco\MST; and the newer IEEE tree – MIBS\Cisco\SMST). With these, we can, for example, get an array of [instanceID] => instanceName values from a switch by just coding:

NOCtools has the more impressive use cases of these new features. Specifically (and just likes its RSTP/pvrspt functionality), it can:

  • Show MST port roles (root, designated, alternate, etc) for a given (or all) MST instance(s) – this is equivalent to the RSTP version;
  • From a given device, it can crawl all CDP neighbours and create a graph of all devices, their connecting ports and the MST roles of those ports. This is a really useful feature as it means you don’t need to log into multiple switches to get a handle on what links are blocking. See documentation and a sample diagram here.