The Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) is a proprietary Data Link Layer network protocol developed by Cisco Systems that is implemented in most Cisco networking equipment. It is used to share information about other directly connected Cisco equipment, such as the operating system version and IP address. CDP can also be used for On-Demand Routing, which is a method of including routing information in CDP announcements so that dynamic routing protocols do not need to be used in simple networks.

Cisco devices send CDP announcements to the multicast destination address 01-00-0c-cc-cc-cc, which is also used in other Cisco protocols such as VTP. By default, CDP announcements are sent every 60 seconds on interfaces that support Subnetwork Access Protocol (SNAP) headers, including Ethernet, Frame Relay and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM). Each Cisco device that supports CDP stores the information received from other devices in a table that can be viewed using the show cdp neighbors command. The CDP table information is refreshed each time an announcement is received, and the holdtime for that entry is reinitialized. The holdtime specifies the lifetime of an entry in the table - if no announcements are received from a device for a period in excess of the holdtime, the device information is discarded (default 180 seconds).

The information contained in CDP announcements varies by the type of device and the version of the operating system running on it. This information may include the operating system version, hostname, every address (i.e. IP address) from all protocol(s) configured on the port where CDP frame is sent, the port identifier from which the announcement was sent, device type and model, duplex setting, VTP domain, native VLAN, power draw (for Power over Ethernet devices), and other device specific information. The details contained in these announcements is easily extended due to the use of the type-length-value (TLV) frame format. See external links for a technical definition.

Hewlett-Packard removed support for transmitting CDP from HP Procurve products shipped after February 2006 and all future software upgrades. Receiving and processing CDP information is still supported. CDP support was replaced with Link Layer Discovery Protocol, an IEEE standard that is implemented by multiple vendors and is functionally similar to CDP.