Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP), is a neighbor discovery protocol that is used for network devices to advertise information about themselves to other devices on the network. This protocol runs over the data-link layer, which allows two systems running different network layer protocols to learn about each other.
LLDP is unidirectional, operating only in an advertising mode. LLDP does not solicit information or monitor state changes between LLDP nodes. LLDP periodically sends advertisements to a constrained multicast address. Devices supporting LLDP can send information about themselves while they receive and record information about their neighbors. Additionally, devices can choose to turn off the send or receive functions independently. Advertisements are sent out and received on every active and enabled interface, allowing any device in a network to learn about all devices to which it is connected.
LLDP supports a set of attributes that it uses to discover neighbor devices. These attributes contain type, length, and value descriptions and are referred to as TLVs. LLDP supported devices can use TLVs to receive and send information to their neighbors. Details such as configuration information, device capabilities, and device identity can be advertised using this protocol.