It may become necessary in your deployment to configure your MS switches for compatibility with another vendor's core or distribution layer switches. In order to ensure that Spanning Tree is properly configured, it is important to understand the following terms and concepts:
Standard Data/VoIP deployments commonly utilize a three port switch built in to the VoIP phone to connect a workstation and phone to the same switch port. For these deployments the MS Access Switch should be configured with Voice VLANs and QoS (Quality of Service) to separate voice traffic into its own broadcast domain and tag it for optimal transfer and prioritization.
The Cisco Meraki MS series switch is compatible with industry standard STP (IEEE 802.1D) and RSTP (IEEE 802.1w). RSTP is used by default. Information on how to configure RSTP on a Cisco Meraki Switch can be found on the “switch settings” section of the MS switch documentation.
VTP (VLAN Trunking Protocol) is a Cisco protocol available on Cisco Catalyst switches that carries VLAN information to all other Catalyst switches running VTP in the same domain. When integrating a Cisco Meraki Switch into a Cisco VTP-enabled domain, there are cases in which the protocol can prevent the VLANs on the Cisco Meraki switch from communicating with the rest of the network.
The default configuration on most enterprise switches will work out-of-box as vendors tend to use a default switch port config of "trunk all, with native vlan 1". It is important to note that if connecting a Meraki MS switch to another vendor's switch, the other end of the link must be identically configured. If this is not the case, the link may not operate as expected due to VLAN or Native VLAN mismatch.
Port isolation allows a network administrator to prevent traffic from being sent between specific ports. This can be configured in addition to an existing VLAN configuration, so even client traffic within the same VLAN will be restricted. This article outlines how to configure isolated ports, as well as best practices and example implementations.
Packet capture is a powerful tool that can help narrow down issues with phones picking up an IP address on the wrong VLAN. In the example below, we have a Cisco Meraki switch connected to a router that has two VLANs, Data on VLAN 20 and Voice on VLAN 40. Each of the phones is connected to an access port configured for data vlan 20 and voice 40 as shown below
When a VoIP phone is attached to an MS switch, it may be seen operating on the regular VLAN and not the port's configured Voice VLAN. When this happens, verify that the phone is running LLDP (with support for LLDP-MED) or CDP to communicate with the switch. If the phone is running a different layer 2 discovery protocol, then the port will need to be configured manually to use the desired voice VLAN as its default VLAN.
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