You are on page 1of 41

Routing Algorithms

Routing Basics
This chapter introduces the underlying concepts widely used in routing protocols. Topics summarized here include routing protocol components and algorithms. In addition, the role of routing protocols is briefly contrasted with the roles of routed or network protocols.

What is Routing?
Routing is the act of moving information across an internetwork from a source to a destination. Along the way, at least one intermediate node typically is encountered. Routing is often contrasted with bridging, which might seem to accomplish precisely the same thing to the casual observer. The primary difference between the two is that bridging occurs at Layer 2 (the link layer) of the OSI reference model, whereas routing occurs at Layer 3 (the network layer). This distinction provides routing and bridging with different information to use in the process of moving information from source to destination, so the two functions accomplish their tasks in different ways. The topic of routing has been covered in computer science literature for more than two decades, but routing achieved commercial popularity as late as the mid-1980s. The primary reason for this time lag is that networks in the 1970s were fairly simple, homogeneous environments. Only relatively recently has large-scale internetworking become popular.

Routing Components
Routing involves two basic activities: determining optimal routing paths and transporting information groups (typically called packets) through an internetwork. In the context of the routing process, the latter of these is referred to as switching. Although switching is relatively straightforward, path determination can be very complex.

Path Determination
A metric is a standard of measurement, such as path length, that is used by routing algorithms to determine the optimal path to a destination. To aid the process of path determination, routing algorithms initialize and maintain routing tables, which contain route information. Route information varies depending on the routing algorithm used. Routing algorithms fill routing tables with a variety of information. Destination/next hop associations tell a router that a particular destination can be gained optimally by sending the packet to a particular router representing the "next hop" on the way to the final destination. When a router receives an incoming packet, it checks the destination address and attempts to associate this address with a next hop. Figure 5-1 depicts a sample destination/next hop routing table. Figure 5-1: Destination/next hop associations determine the data's optimal path.

Routing tables also can contain other information, such as data about the desirability of a path. Routers compare metrics to determine optimal routes, and these metrics differ depending on the design of the routing algorithm used. A variety of common metrics will be introduced and described later in this chapter. Routers communicate with one another and maintain their routing tables through the transmission of a variety of messages. The routing update message is one such message that generally consists of all or a portion of a routing table. By analyzing routing updates from all other routers, a router can build a detailed picture of network topology. A link-state advertisement, another example of a message sent between routers, informs other routers of the state of the sender's links. Link information also can be used to build a complete picture of topology to enable routers to determine optimal routes to network destinations.

Switching
Switching algorithms are relatively simple and are basically the same for most routing protocols. In most cases, a host determines that it must send a packet to another host. Having acquired a router's address by some means, the source host sends a packet addressed specifically to a router's physical (Media Access Control [MAC]-layer) address, this time with the protocol (network- layer) address of the destination host. As it examines the packet's destination protocol address, the router determines that it either knows or does not know how to forward the packet to the next hop. If the router does not know how to forward the packet, it typically drops the packet. If the router knows how to forward the packet, it changes the destination physical address to that of the next hop and transmits the packet. The next hop may, in fact, be the ultimate destination host. If not, the next hop is usually another router, which executes the same switching decision process. As the packet moves through the internetwork, its physical address changes, but its protocol address remains constant, as illustrated in Figure 5-2 . The preceding discussion describes switching between a source and a destination end system. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed a hierarchical terminology that is useful in describing this process. Using this terminology, network devices without the capability to forward packets between subnetworks are called end systems (ESs), whereas network devices with these capabilities are called intermediate systems (ISs). ISs are further divided into those that can communicate within routing domains (intradomain ISs) and those that communicate both within and between routing domains (interdomain ISs). A routing domain generally is considered to be a portion of an internetwork under common administrative authority that is regulated by a particular set of administrative guidelines. Routing domains are also called autonomous systems. With certain protocols, routing domains can be divided into routing areas, but intradomain routing protocols are still used for switching both within and between areas. Figure 5-2: Numerous routers may come into play during the switching process.

Routing Algorithms
Routing algorithms can be differentiated based on several key characteristics. First, the particular goals of the algorithm designer affect the operation of the resulting routing protocol. Second, various types of routing algorithms exist, and each algorithm has a different impact on network and router resources. Finally, routing algorithms use a variety of metrics that affect calculation of optimal routes. The following sections analyze these routing algorithm attributes.

Design Goals
Routing algorithms often have one or more of the following design goals: Optimality Simplicity and low overhead Robustness and stability Rapid convergence

Flexibility Optimality refers to the capability of the routing algorithm to select the best route, which depends on the metrics and metric weightings used to make the calculation. One routing algorithm, for example, may use a number of hops and delays, but may weight delay more heavily in the calculation. Naturally, routing protocols must define their metric calculation algorithms strictly. Routing algorithms also are designed to be as simple as possible. In other words, the routing algorithm must offer its functionality efficiently, with a minimum of software and utilization overhead. Efficiency is particularly important when the software implementing the routing algorithm must run on a computer with limited physical resources. Routing algorithms must be robust, which means that they should perform correctly in the face of unusual or unforeseen circumstances, such as hardware failures, high load conditions, and incorrect implementations. Because routers are located at network junction points, they can cause considerable problems when they fail. The best routing algorithms are often those that have withstood the test of time and have proven stable under a variety of network conditions. In addition, routing algorithms must converge rapidly. Convergence is the process of agreement, by all routers, on optimal routes. When a network event causes routes either to go down or become available, routers distribute routing update messages that permeate networks, stimulating recalculation of optimal routes and eventually causing all routers to agree on these routes. Routing algorithms that converge slowly can cause routing loops or network outages. In the routing loop displayed in Figure 5-3, a packet arrives at Router 1 at time t1. Router 1 already has been updated and thus knows that the optimal route to the destination calls for Router 2 to be the next stop. Router 1 therefore forwards the packet to Router 2, but because this router has not yet been updated, it believes that the optimal next hop is Router 1. Router 2 therefore forwards the packet back to Router 1, and the packet continues to bounce back and forth between the two routers until Router 2 receives its routing update or until the packet has been switched the maximum number of times allowed. Figure 5-3: Slow convergence and routing loops can hinder progress.

Routing algorithms should also be flexible, which means that they should quickly and accurately adapt to a variety of network circumstances. Assume, for example, that a network segment has gone down. As they become aware of the problem, many routing algorithms will quickly select the next-best path for all routes normally using that segment. Routing algorithms can be programmed to adapt to changes in network bandwidth, router queue size, and network delay, among other variables.

Algorithm Types
Routing algorithms can be classified by type. Key differentiators include: Static versus dynamic Single-path versus multi-path Flat versus hierarchical Host-intelligent versus router-intelligent Intradomain versus interdomain Link state versus distance vector

Static Versus Dynamic


Static routing algorithms are hardly algorithms at all, but are table mappings established by the network administrator prior to the beginning of routing. These mappings do not change unless the network administrator alters them. Algorithms that use static routes are simple to design and work well in environments where network traffic is relatively predictable and where network design is relatively simple. Because static routing systems cannot react to network changes, they generally are considered unsuitable for today's large, changing networks. Most of the dominant routing algorithms in the 1990s are dynamic routing algorithms, which adjust to changing network circumstances by analyzing incoming routing update messages. If the message indicates that a network change has occurred, the routing software recalculates routes and sends out new routing update messages. These messages permeate the network, stimulating routers to rerun their algorithms and change their routing tables accordingly.

Dynamic routing algorithms can be supplemented with static routes where appropriate. A router of last resort (a router to which all unroutable packets are sent), for example, can be designated to act as a repository for all unroutable packets, ensuring that all messages are at least handled in some way.

Single-Path Versus Multipath


Some sophisticated routing protocols support multiple paths to the same destination. Unlike single-path algorithms, these multipath algorithms permit traffic multiplexing over multiple lines. The advantages of multipath algorithms are obvious: They can provide substantially better throughput and reliability.

Flat Versus Hierarchical


Some routing algorithms operate in a flat space, while others use routing hierarchies. In a flat routing system, the routers are peers of all others. In a hierarchical routing system, some routers form what amounts to a routing backbone. Packets from non-backbone routers travel to the backbone routers, where they are sent through the backbone until they reach the general area of the destination. At this point, they travel from the last backbone router through one or more non-backbone routers to the final destination. Routing systems often designate logical groups of nodes, called domains, autonomous systems, or areas. In hierarchical systems, some routers in a domain can communicate with routers in other domains, while others can communicate only with routers within their domain. In very large networks, additional hierarchical levels may exist, with routers at the highest hierarchical level forming the routing backbone. The primary advantage of hierarchical routing is that it mimics the organization of most companies and therefore supports their traffic patterns well. Most network communication occurs within small company groups (domains). Because intradomain routers need to know only about other routers within their domain, their routing algorithms can be simplified, and, depending on the routing algorithm being used, routing update traffic can be reduced accordingly.

Host-Intelligent Versus Router-Intelligent


Some routing algorithms assume that the source end-node will determine the entire route. This is usually referred to as source routing. In source-routing systems, routers merely act as store-and-forward devices, mindlessly sending the packet to the next stop. Other algorithms assume that hosts know nothing about routes. In these algorithms, routers determine the path through the internetwork based on their own calculations. In the first system, the hosts have the routing intelligence. In the latter system, routers have the routing intelligence. The trade-off between host-intelligent and router-intelligent routing is one of path optimality versus traffic overhead. Host-intelligent systems choose the better routes more often, because they typically discover all possible routes to the destination before the packet is actually sent. They then choose the best path based on that particular system's definition of "optimal." The act of determining all routes, however, often requires substantial discovery traffic and a significant amount of time.

Intradomain Versus Interdomain


Some routing algorithms work only within domains; others work within and between domains. The nature of these two algorithm types is different. It stands to reason, therefore, that an optimal intradomain- routing algorithm would not necessarily be an optimal interdomain- routing algorithm.

Link State Versus Distance Vector


Link- state algorithms (also known as shortest path first algorithms) flood routing information to all nodes in the internetwork. Each router, however, sends only the portion of the routing table that describes the state of its own links. Distance- vector algorithms (also known as Bellman-Ford algorithms) call for each router to send all or some portion of its routing table, but only to its neighbors. In essence, link- state algorithms send small updates everywhere, while distance- vector algorithms send larger updates only to neighboring routers. Because they converge more quickly, link- state algorithms are somewhat less prone to routing loops than distancevector algorithms. On the other hand, link- state algorithms require more CPU power and memory than distancevector algorithms. Link-state algorithms, therefore, can be more expensive to implement and support. Despite their differences, both algorithm types perform well in most circumstances.

Routing Metrics
Routing tables contain information used by switching software to select the best route. But how, specifically, are routing tables built? What is the specific nature of the information they contain? How do routing algorithms determine that one route is preferable to others? Routing algorithms have used many different metrics to determine the best route. Sophisticated routing algorithms can base route selection on multiple metrics, combining them in a single (hybrid) metric. All the following metrics have been used: Path Length

Reliability Delay Bandwidth Load Communication Cost Path length is the most common routing metric. Some routing protocols allow network administrators to assign arbitrary costs to each network link. In this case, path length is the sum of the costs associated with each link traversed. Other routing protocols define hop count, a metric that specifies the number of passes through internetworking products, such as routers, that a packet must take en route from a source to a destination. Reliability, in the context of routing algorithms, refers to the dependability (usually described in terms of the biterror rate) of each network link. Some network links might go down more often than others. After a network fails, certain network links might be repaired more easily or more quickly than other links. Any reliability factors can be taken into account in the assignment of the reliability ratings, which are arbitrary numeric values usually assigned to network links by network administrators. Routing delay refers to the length of time required to move a packet from source to destination through the internetwork. Delay depends on many factors, including the bandwidth of intermediate network links, the port queues at each router along the way, network congestion on all intermediate network links, and the physical distance to be travelled. Because delay is a conglomeration of several important variables, it is a common and useful metric. Bandwidth refers to the available traffic capacity of a link. All other things being equal, a 10-Mbps Ethernet link would be preferable to a 64-kbps leased line. Although bandwidth is a rating of the maximum attainable throughput on a link, routes through links with greater bandwidth do not necessarily provide better routes than routes through slower links. If, for example, a faster link is busier, the actual time required to send a packet to the destination could be greater. Load refers to the degree to which a network resource, such as a router, is busy. Load can be calculated in a variety of ways, including CPU utilization and packets processed per second. Monitoring these parameters on a continual basis can be resource-intensive itself. Communication cost is another important metric, especially because some companies may not care about performance as much as they care about operating expenditures. Even though line delay may be longer, they will send packets over their own lines rather than through the public lines that cost money for usage time.

Network Protocols
Routed protocols are transported by routing protocols across an internetwork. In general, routed protocols in this context also are referred to as network protocols. These network protocols perform a variety of functions required for communication between user applications in source and destination devices, and these functions can differ widely among protocol suites. Network protocols occur at the upper four layers of the OSI reference model: the transport layer, the session layer, the presentation layer, and the application layer. Confusion about the terms routed protocol and routing protocol is common. Routed protocols are protocols that are routed over an internetwork. Examples of such protocols are the Internet Protocol (IP), DECnet, AppleTalk, Novell NetWare, OSI, Banyan VINES, and Xerox Network System (XNS). Routing protocols, on the other hand, are protocols that implement routing algorithms. Put simply, routing protocols direct protocols through an internetwork. Examples of these protocols include Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (IGRP), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (Enhanced IGRP), Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Exterior Gateway Protocol (EGP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), Intermediate System to Intermediate System (IS-IS), and Routing Information Protocol (RIP).

2. Routing Information Protocol


Overview
This memo is intended to do the following things: Document a protocol and algorithms that are currently in wide use for routing, but which have never been formally documented. Specify some improvements in the algorithms which will improve stability of the routes in large networks. These improvements do not introduce any incompatibility with existing implementations. They are to be incorporated into all implementations of this protocol. Suggest some optional features to allow greater configurability and control. These features were developed specifically to solve problems that have shown up in actual use by the NSFnet community. However, they should have more general utility.

The Routing Information Protocol (RIP) described here is loosely based on the program "routed", distributed with the 4.3 Berkeley Software Distribution. However, there are several other implementations of what is supposed to be the same protocol. Unfortunately, these various implementations disagree in various details. The specifications here represent a combination of features taken from various implementations. We believe that a program designed according to this document will interoperate with routed, and with all other implementations of RIP of which we are aware. Note that this description adopts a different view than most existing implementations about when metrics should be incremented. By making a corresponding change in the metric used for a local network, we have retained compatibility with other existing implementations. See section 3.6 for details on this issue.

2.1. Introduction
This memo describes one protocol in a series of routing protocols based on the Bellman-Ford (or distance vector) algorithm. This algorithm has been used for routing computations in computer networks since the early days of the ARPANET. The particular packet formats and protocol described here are based on the program "routed", which is included with the Berkeley distribution of Unix. It has become a de facto standard for exchange of routing information among gateways and hosts. It is implemented for this purpose by most commercial vendors of IP gateways. Note, however, that many of these vendors have their own protocols which are used among their own gateways. This protocol is most useful as an "interior gateway protocol". In a nationwide network such as the current Internet, it is very unlikely that a single routing protocol will used for the whole network. Rather, the network will be organized as a collection of "autonomous systems". An autonomous system will in general be administered by a single entity, or at least will have some reasonable degree of technical and administrative control. Each autonomous system will have its own routing technology. This may well be different for different autonomous systems. The routing protocol used within an autonomous system is referred to as an interior gateway protocol, or "IGP". A separate protocol is used to interface among the autonomous systems. The earliest such protocol, still used in the Internet, is "EGP" (exterior gateway protocol). Such protocols are now usually referred to as inter-AS routing protocols. RIP was designed to work with moderate-size networks using reasonably homogeneous technology. Thus it is suitable as an IGP for many campuses and for regional networks using serial lines whose speeds do not vary widely. It is not intended for use in more complex environments. For more information on the context into which RIP is expected to fit, see Braden and Postel [3]. RIP is one of a class of algorithms known as "distance vector algorithms". The earliest description of this class of algorithms known to the author is in Ford and Fulkerson [6]. Because of this, they are sometimes known as FordFulkerson algorithms. The term Bellman-Ford is also used. It comes from the fact that the formulation is based on Bellman's equation, the basis of "dynamic programming". (For a standard introduction to this area, see [1].) The presentation in this document is closely based on [2]. This text contains an introduction to the mathematics of routing algorithms. It describes and justifies several variants of the algorithm presented here, as well as a number of other related algorithms. The basic algorithms described in this protocol were used in computer routing as early as 1969 in the ARPANET. However, the specific ancestry of this protocol is within the Xerox network protocols. The PUP protocols (see [4]) used the Gateway Information Protocol to exchange routing information. A somewhat updated version of this protocol was adopted for the Xerox Network Systems (XNS) architecture, with the name Routing Information Protocol. (See [7].) Berkeley's routed is largely the same as the Routing Information Protocol, with XNS addresses replaced by a more general address format capable of handling IP and other types of address, and with routing updates limited to one every 30 seconds. Because of this similarity, the term Routing Information Protocol (or just RIP) is used to refer to both the XNS protocol and the protocol used by routed. RIP is intended for use within the IP-based Internet. The Internet is organized into a number of networks connected by gateways. The networks may be either point-to-point links or more complex networks such as Ethernet or the ARPANET. Hosts and gateways are presented with IP datagrams addressed to some host. Routing is the method by which the host or gateway decides where to send the datagram. It may be able to send the datagram directly to the destination, if that destination is on one of the networks that are directly connected to the host or gateway. However, the interesting case is when the destination is not directly reachable. In this case, the host or gateway attempts to send the datagram to a gateway that is nearer the destination. The goal of a routing protocol is very simple: It is to supply the information that is needed to do routing.

2.1.1. Limitations of the protocol


This protocol does not solve every possible routing problem. As mentioned above, it is primary intended for use as an IGP, in reasonably homogeneous networks of moderate size. In addition, the following specific limitations should be mentioned: The protocol is limited to networks whose longest path involves 15 hops. The designers believe that the basic protocol design is inappropriate for larger networks. Note that this statement of the limit assumes that

a cost of 1 is used for each network. This is the way RIP is normally configured. If the system administrator chooses to use larger costs, the upper bound of 15 can easily become a problem. The protocol depends upon "counting to infinity" to resolve certain unusual situations. (This will be explained in the next section.) If the system of networks has several hundred networks, and a routing loop was formed involving all of them, the resolution of the loop would require either much time (if the frequency of routing updates were limited) or bandwidth (if updates were sent whenever changes were detected). Such a loop would consume a large amount of network bandwidth before the loop was corrected. We believe that in realistic cases, this will not be a problem except on slow lines. Even then, the problem will be fairly unusual, since various precautions are taken that should prevent these problems in most cases. This protocol uses fixed "metrics" to compare alternative routes. It is not appropriate for situations where routes need to be chosen based on real-time parameters such a measured delay, reliability, or load. The obvious extensions to allow metrics of this type are likely to introduce instabilities of a sort that the protocol is not designed to handle.

2.2. Distance Vector Algorithms


Routing is the task of finding a path from a sender to a desired destination. In the IP "Catenet model" this reduces primarily to a matter of finding gateways between networks. As long as a message remains on a single network or subnet, any routing problems are solved by technology that is specific to the network. For example, the Ethernet and the ARPANET each define a way in which any sender can talk to any specified destination within that one network. IP routing comes in primarily when messages must go from a sender on one such network to a destination on a different one. In that case, the message must pass through gateways connecting the networks. If the networks are not adjacent, the message may pass through several intervening networks, and the gateways connecting them. Once the message gets to a gateway that is on the same network as the destination, that network's own technology is used to get to the destination. Throughout this section, the term "network" is used generically to cover a single broadcast network (e.g., an Ethernet), a point to point line, or the ARPANET. The critical point is that a network is treated as a single entity by IP. Either no routing is necessary (as with a point to point line), or that routing is done in a manner that is transparent to IP, allowing IP to treat the entire network as a single fully-connected system (as with an Ethernet or the ARPANET). Note that the term "network" is used in a somewhat different way in discussions of IP addressing. A single IP network number may be assigned to a collection of networks, with "subnet" addressing being used to describe the individual networks. In effect, we are using the term "network" here to refer to subnets in cases where subnet addressing is in use. A number of different approaches for finding routes between networks are possible. One useful way of categorizing these approaches is on the basis of the type of information the gateways need to exchange in order to be able to find routes. Distance vector algorithms are based on the exchange of only a small amount of information. Each entity (gateway or host) that participates in the routing protocol is assumed to keep information about all of the destinations within the system. Generally, information about all entities connected to one network is summarized by a single entry, which describes the route to all destinations on that network. This summarization is possible because as far as IP is concerned, routing within a network is invisible. Each entry in this routing database includes the next gateway to which datagrams destined for the entity should be sent. In addition, it includes a "metric" measuring the total distance to the entity. Distance is a somewhat generalized concept, which may cover the time delay in getting messages to the entity, the dollar cost of sending messages to it, etc. Distance vector algorithms get their name from the fact that it is possible to compute optimal routes when the only information exchanged is the list of these distances. Furthermore, information is only exchanged among entities that are adjacent, that is, entities that share a common network. Although routing is most commonly based on information about networks, it is sometimes necessary to keep track of the routes to individual hosts. The RIP protocol makes no formal distinction between networks and hosts. It simply describes exchange of information about destinations, which may be either networks or hosts. (Note however, that it is possible for an implementor to choose not to support host routes. See section 2.3.2.) In fact, the mathematical developments are most conveniently thought of in terms of routes from one host or gateway to another. When discussing the algorithm in abstract terms, it is best to think of a routing entry for a network as an abbreviation for routing entries for all of the entities connected to that network. This sort of abbreviation makes sense only because we think of networks as having no internal structure that is visible at the IP level. Thus, we will generally assign the same distance to every entity in a given network. We said above that each entity keeps a routing database with one entry for every possible destination in the system. An actual implementation is likely to need to keep the following information about each destination: address: in IP implementations of these algorithms, this will be the IP address of the host or network. gateway: the first gateway along the route to the destination. interface: the physical network which must be used to reach the first gateway. metric: a number, indicating the distance to the destination.

timer: the amount of time since the entry was last updated. In addition, various flags and other internal information will probably be included. This database is initialized with a description of the entities that are directly connected to the system. It is updated according to information received in messages from neighboring gateways. The most important information exchanged by the hosts and gateways is that carried in update messages. Each entity that participates in the routing scheme sends update messages that describe the routing database as it currently exists in that entity. It is possible to maintain optimal routes for the entire system by using only information obtained from neighboring entities. The algorithm used for that will be described in the next section. As we mentioned above, the purpose of routing is to find a way to get datagrams to their ultimate destinations. Distance vector algorithms are based on a table giving the best route to every destination in the system. Of course, in order to define which route is best, we have to have some way of measuring goodness. This is referred to as the "metric". In simple networks, it is common to use a metric that simply counts how many gateways a message must go through. In more complex networks, a metric is chosen to represent the total amount of delay that the message suffers, the cost of sending it, or some other quantity which may be minimized. The main requirement is that it must be possible to represent the metric as a sum of "costs" for individual hops. Formally, if it is possible to get from entity i to entity j directly (i.e., without passing through another gateway between), then a cost, d(i,j), is associated with the hop between i and j. In the normal case where all entities on a given network are considered to be the same, d(i,j) is the same for all destinations on a given network, and represents the cost of using that network. To get the metric of a complete route, one just adds up the costs of the individual hops that make up the route. For the purposes of this memo, we assume that the costs are positive integers. Let D(i,j) represent the metric of the best route from entity i to entity j. It should be defined for every pair of entities. d(i,j) represents the costs of the individual steps. Formally, let d(i,j) represent the cost of going directly from entity i to entity j. It is infinite if i and j are not immediate neighbors. (Note that d(i,i) is infinite. That is, we don't consider there to be a direct connection from a node to itself.) Since costs are additive, it is easy to show that the best metric must be described by D(i,i) = 0, all i D(i,j) = min [d(i,k) + D(k,j)], otherwise k and that the best routes start by going from i to those neighbors k for which d(i,k) + D(k,j) has the minimum value. (These things can be shown by induction on the number of steps in the routes.) Note that we can limit the second equation to k's that are immediate neighbors of i. For the others, d(i,k) is infinite, so the term involving them can never be the minimum. It turns out that one can compute the metric by a simple algorithm based on this. Entity i gets its neighbors k to send it their estimates of their distances to the destination j. When i gets the estimates from k, it adds d(i,k) to each of the numbers. This is simply the cost of traversing the network between i and k. Now and then i compares the values from all of its neighbors and picks the smallest. A proof is given in [2] that this algorithm will converge to the correct estimates of D(i,j) in finite time in the absence of topology changes. The authors make very few assumptions about the order in which the entities send each other their information, or when the min is recomputed. Basically, entities just can't stop sending updates or recomputing metrics, and the networks can't delay messages forever. (Crash of a routing entity is a topology change.) Also, their proof does not make any assumptions about the initial estimates of D(i,j), except that they must be non-negative. The fact that these fairly weak assumptions are good enough is important. Because we don't have to make assumptions about when updates are sent, it is safe to run the algorithm asynchronously. That is, each entity can send updates according to its own clock. Updates can be dropped by the network, as long as they don't all get dropped. Because we don't have to make assumptions about the starting condition, the algorithm can handle changes. When the system changes, the routing algorithm starts moving to a new equilibrium, using the old one as its starting point. It is important that the algorithm will converge in finite time no matter what the starting point. Otherwise certain kinds of changes might lead to non-convergent behavior. The statement of the algorithm given above (and the proof) assumes that each entity keeps copies of the estimates that come from each of its neighbors, and now and then does a min over all of the neighbors. In fact real implementations don't necessarily do that. They simply remember the best metric seen so far, and the identity of the neighbor that sent it. They replace this information whenever they see a better (smaller) metric. This allows them to compute the minimum incrementally, without having to store data from all of the neighbors. There is one other difference between the algorithm as described in texts and those used in real protocols such as RIP: the description above would have each entity include an entry for itself, showing a distance of zero. In fact this is not generally done. Recall that all entities on a network are normally summarized by a single entry for the network. Consider the situation of a host or gateway G that is connected to network A. C represents the cost of using network A (usually a metric of one). (Recall that we are assuming that the internal structure of a network is not visible to IP, and thus the cost of going between any two entities on it is the same.) In principle, G should get a message from every other entity H on network A, showing a cost of 0 to get from that entity to itself. G would then compute C + 0 as the distance to H. Rather than having G look at all of these identical messages, it simply starts out

by making an entry for network A in its table, and assigning it a metric of C. This entry for network A should be thought of as summarizing the entries for all other entities on network A. The only entity on A that can't be summarized by that common entry is G itself, since the cost of going from G to G is 0, not C. But since we never need those 0 entries, we can safely get along with just the single entry for network A. Note one other implication of this strategy: because we don't need to use the 0 entries for anything, hosts that do not function as gateways don't need to send any update messages. Clearly hosts that don't function as gateways (i.e., hosts that are connected to only one network) can have no useful information to contribute other than their own entry D(i,i) = 0. As they have only the one interface, it is easy to see that a route to any other network through them will simply go in that interface and then come right back out it. Thus the cost of such a route will be greater than the best cost by at least C. Since we don't need the 0 entries, non- gateways need not participate in the routing protocol at all. Let us summarize what a host or gateway G does. For each destination in the system, G will keep a current estimate of the metric for that destination (i.e., the total cost of getting to it) and the identity of the neighboring gateway on whose data that metric is based. If the destination is on a network that is directly connected to G, then G simply uses an entry that shows the cost of using the network, and the fact that no gateway is needed to get to the destination. It is easy to show that once the computation has converged to the correct metrics, the neighbor that is recorded by this technique is in fact the first gateway on the path to the destination. (If there are several equally good paths, it is the first gateway on one of them.) This combination of destination, metric, and gateway is typically referred to as a route to the destination with that metric, using that gateway. The method so far only has a way to lower the metric, as the existing metric is kept until a smaller one shows up. It is possible that the initial estimate might be too low. Thus, there must be a way to increase the metric. It turns out to be sufficient to use the following rule: suppose the current route to a destination has metric D and uses gateway G. If a new set of information arrived from some source other than G, only update the route if the new metric is better than D. But if a new set of information arrives from G itself, always update D to the new value. It is easy to show that with this rule, the incremental update process produces the same routes as a calculation that remembers the latest information from all the neighbors and does an explicit minimum. (Note that the discussion so far assumes that the network configuration is static. It does not allow for the possibility that a system might fail.) To summarize, here is the basic distance vector algorithm as it has been developed so far. (Note that this is not a statement of the RIP protocol. There are several refinements still to be added.) The following procedure is carried out by every entity that participates in the routing protocol. This must include all of the gateways in the system. Hosts that are not gateways may participate as well. Keep a table with an entry for every possible destination in the system. The entry contains the distance D to the destination, and the first gateway G on the route to that network. Conceptually, there should be an entry for the entity itself, with metric 0, but this is not actually included. Periodically, send a routing update to every neighbor. The update is a set of messages that contain all of the information from the routing table. It contains an entry for each destination, with the distance shown to that destination. When a routing update arrives from a neighbor G', add the cost associated with the network that is shared with G'. (This should be the network over which the update arrived.) Call the resulting distance D'. Compare the resulting distances with the current routing table entries. If the new distance D' for N is smaller than the existing value D, adopt the new route. That is, change the table entry for N to have metric D' and gateway G'. If G' is the gateway from which the existing route came, i.e., G' = G, then use the new metric even if it is larger than the old one.

2.2.1. Dealing with changes in topology


The discussion above assumes that the topology of the network is fixed. In practice, gateways and lines often fail and come back up. To handle this possibility, we need to modify the algorithm slightly. The theoretical version of the algorithm involved a minimum over all immediate neighbors. If the topology changes, the set of neighbors changes. Therefore, the next time the calculation is done, the change will be reflected. However, as mentioned above, actual implementations use an incremental version of the minimization. Only the best route to any given destination is remembered. If the gateway involved in that route should crash, or the network connection to it break, the calculation might never reflect the change. The algorithm as shown so far depends upon a gateway notifying its neighbors if its metrics change. If the gateway crashes, then it has no way of notifying neighbors of a change. In order to handle problems of this kind, distance vector protocols must make some provision for timing out routes. The details depend upon the specific protocol. As an example, in RIP every gateway that participates in routing sends an update message to all its neighbors once every 30 seconds. Suppose the current route for network N uses gateway G. If we don't hear from G for 180 seconds, we can assume that either the gateway has crashed or the network connecting us to it has become unusable. Thus, we mark the route as invalid. When we hear from another neighbor that has a valid route to N, the valid route will replace the invalid one. Note that we wait for 180 seconds before timing out a route even though we expect to hear from each neighbor every 30 seconds. Unfortunately,

messages are occasionally lost by networks. Thus, it is probably not a good idea to invalidate a route based on a single missed message. As we will see below, it is useful to have a way to notify neighbors that there currently isn't a valid route to some network. RIP, along with several other protocols of this class, does this through a normal update message, by marking that network as unreachable. A specific metric value is chosen to indicate an unreachable destination; that metric value is larger than the largest valid metric that we expect to see. In the existing implementation of RIP, 16 is used. This value is normally referred to as "infinity", since it is larger than the largest valid metric. 16 may look like a surprisingly small number. It is chosen to be this small for reasons that we will see shortly. In most implementations, the same convention is used internally to flag a route as invalid.

2.2.2. Preventing instability


The algorithm as presented up to this point will always allow a host or gateway to calculate a correct routing table. However, that is still not quite enough to make it useful in practice. The proofs referred to above only show that the routing tables will converge to the correct values in finite time. They do not guarantee that this time will be small enough to be useful, nor do they say what will happen to the metrics for networks that become inaccessible. It is easy enough to extend the mathematics to handle routes becoming inaccessible. The convention suggested above will do that. We choose a large metric value to represent "infinity". This value must be large enough that no real metric would ever get that large. For the purposes of this example, we will use the value 16. Suppose a network becomes inaccessible. All of the immediately neighboring gateways time out and set the metric for that network to 16. For purposes of analysis, we can assume that all the neighboring gateways have gotten a new piece of hardware that connects them directly to the vanished network, with a cost of 16. Since that is the only connection to the vanished network, all the other gateways in the system will converge to new routes that go through one of those gateways. It is easy to see that once convergence has happened, all the gateways will have metrics of at least 16 for the vanished network. Gateways one hop away from the original neighbors would end up with metrics of at least 17; gateways two hops away would end up with at least 18, etc. As these metrics are larger than the maximum metric value, they are all set to 16. It is obvious that the system will now converge to a metric of 16 for the vanished network at all gateways. Unfortunately, the question of how long convergence will take is not amenable to quite so simple an answer. Before going any further, it will be useful to look at an example (taken from [2]). Note, by the way, that what we are about to show will not happen with a correct implementation of RIP. We are trying to show why certain features are needed. Note that the letters correspond to gateways, and the lines to networks. A-----B \ / \ \ / | C / all networks have cost 1, except | / for the direct link from C to D, which |/ has cost 10 D |<=== target network Each gateway will have a table showing a route to each network. However, for purposes of this illustration, we show only the routes from each gateway to the network marked at the bottom of the diagram. D: directly connected, metric 1 B: route via D, metric 2 C: route via B, metric 3 A: route via B, metric 3 Now suppose that the link from B to D fails. The routes should now adjust to use the link from C to D. Unfortunately, it will take a while for this to this to happen. The routing changes start when B notices that the route to D is no longer usable. For simplicity, the chart below assumes that all gateways send updates at the same time. The chart shows the metric for the target network, as it appears in the routing table at each gateway. time ------> D: B: C: A: dir, 1 unreach B, 3 B, 3 dir, C, A, C, 1 4 4 4 dir, C, A, C, 1 5 5 5 dir, C, A, C, 1 6 6 6 ... dir, 1 C, 11 A, 11 C, 11 dir, 1 C, 12 D, 11 C, 12

dir = directly connected unreach = unreachable Here's the problem: B is able to get rid of its failed route using a timeout mechanism. But vestiges of that route persist in the system for a long time. Initially, A and C still think they can get to D via B. So, they keep sending updates listing metrics of 3. In the next iteration, B will then claim that it can get to D via either A or C. Of course, it

can't. The routes being claimed by A and C are now gone, but they have no way of knowing that yet. And even when they discover that their routes via B have gone away, they each think there is a route available via the other. Eventually the system converges, as all the mathematics claims it must. But it can take some time to do so. The worst case is when a network becomes completely inaccessible from some part of the system. In that case, the metrics may increase slowly in a pattern like the one above until they finally reach infinity. For this reason, the problem is called "counting to infinity". You should now see why "infinity" is chosen to be as small as possible. If a network becomes completely inaccessible, we want counting to infinity to be stopped as soon as possible. Infinity must be large enough that no real route is that big. But it shouldn't be any bigger than required. Thus the choice of infinity is a tradeoff between network size and speed of convergence in case counting to infinity happens. The designers of RIP believed that the protocol was unlikely to be practical for networks with a diameter larger than 15. There are several things that can be done to prevent problems like this. The ones used by RIP are called "split horizon with poisoned reverse", and "triggered updates".

2.2.2.1. Split horizon


Note that some of the problem above is caused by the fact that A and C are engaged in a pattern of mutual deception. Each claims to be able to get to D via the other. This can be prevented by being a bit more careful about where information is sent. In particular, it is never useful to claim reachability for a destination network to the neighbor(s) from which the route was learned. "Split horizon" is a scheme for avoiding problems caused by including routes in updates sent to the gateway from which they were learned. The "simple split horizon" scheme omits routes learned from one neighbor in updates sent to that neighbor. "Split horizon with poisoned reverse" includes such routes in updates, but sets their metrics to infinity. If A thinks it can get to D via C, its messages to C should indicate that D is unreachable. If the route through C is real, then C either has a direct connection to D, or a connection through some other gateway. C's route can't possibly go back to A, since that forms a loop. By telling C that D is unreachable, A simply guards against the possibility that C might get confused and believe that there is a route through A. This is obvious for a point to point line. But consider the possibility that A and C are connected by a broadcast network such as an Ethernet, and there are other gateways on that network. If A has a route through C, it should indicate that D is unreachable when talking to any other gateway on that network. The other gateways on the network can get to C themselves. They would never need to get to C via A. If A's best route is really through C, no other gateway on that network needs to know that A can reach D. This is fortunate, because it means that the same update message that is used for C can be used for all other gateways on the same network. Thus, update messages can be sent by broadcast. In general, split horizon with poisoned reverse is safer than simple split horizon. If two gateways have routes pointing at each other, advertising reverse routes with a metric of 16 will break the loop immediately. If the reverse routes are simply not advertised, the erroneous routes will have to be eliminated by waiting for a timeout. However, poisoned reverse does have a disadvantage: it increases the size of the routing messages. Consider the case of a campus backbone connecting a number of different buildings. In each building, there is a gateway connecting the backbone to a local network. Consider what routing updates those gateways should broadcast on the backbone network. All that the rest of the network really needs to know about each gateway is what local networks it is connected to. Using simple split horizon, only those routes would appear in update messages sent by the gateway to the backbone network. If split horizon with poisoned reverse is used, the gateway must mention all routes that it learns from the backbone, with metrics of 16. If the system is large, this can result in a large update message, almost all of whose entries indicate unreachable networks. In a static sense, advertising reverse routes with a metric of 16 provides no additional information. If there are many gateways on one broadcast network, these extra entries can use significant bandwidth. The reason they are there is to improve dynamic behavior. When topology changes, mentioning routes that should not go through the gateway as well as those that should can speed up convergence. However, in some situations, network managers may prefer to accept somewhat slower convergence in order to minimize routing overhead. Thus implementors may at their option implement simple split horizon rather than split horizon with poisoned reverse, or they may provide a configuration option that allows the network manager to choose which behavior to use. It is also permissible to implement hybrid schemes that advertise some reverse routes with a metric of 16 and omit others. An example of such a scheme would be to use a metric of 16 for reverse routes for a certain period of time after routing changes involving them, and thereafter omitting them from updates.

2.2.2.2. Triggered updates


Split horizon with poisoned reverse will prevent any routing loops that involve only two gateways. However, it is still possible to end up with patterns in which three gateways are engaged in mutual deception. For example, A may believe it has a route through B, B through C, and C through A. Split horizon cannot stop such a loop. This loop will only be resolved when the metric reaches infinity and the network involved is then declared unreachable. Triggered

updates are an attempt to speed up this convergence. To get triggered updates, we simply add a rule that whenever a gateway changes the metric for a route, it is required to send update messages almost immediately, even if it is not yet time for one of the regular update message. (The timing details will differ from protocol to protocol. Some distance vector protocols, including RIP, specify a small time delay, in order to avoid having triggered updates generate excessive network traffic.) Note how this combines with the rules for computing new metrics. Suppose a gateway's route to destination N goes through gateway G. If an update arrives from G itself, the receiving gateway is required to believe the new information, whether the new metric is higher or lower than the old one. If the result is a change in metric, then the receiving gateway will send triggered updates to all the hosts and gateways directly connected to it. They in turn may each send updates to their neighbors. The result is a cascade of triggered updates. It is easy to show which gateways and hosts are involved in the cascade. Suppose a gateway G times out a route to destination N. G will send triggered updates to all of its neighbors. However, the only neighbors who will believe the new information are those whose routes for N go through G. The other gateways and hosts will see this as information about a new route that is worse than the one they are already using, and ignore it. The neighbors whose routes go through G will update their metrics and send triggered updates to all of their neighbors. Again, only those neighbors whose routes go through them will pay attention. Thus, the triggered updates will propagate backwards along all paths leading to gateway G, updating the metrics to infinity. This propagation will stop as soon as it reaches a portion of the network whose route to destination N takes some other path. If the system could be made to sit still while the cascade of triggered updates happens, it would be possible to prove that counting to infinity will never happen. Bad routes would always be removed immediately, and so no routing loops could form. Unfortunately, things are not so nice. While the triggered updates are being sent, regular updates may be happening at the same time. Gateways that haven't received the triggered update yet will still be sending out information based on the route that no longer exists. It is possible that after the triggered update has gone through a gateway, it might receive a normal update from one of these gateways that hasn't yet gotten the word. This could reestablish an orphaned remnant of the faulty route. If triggered updates happen quickly enough, this is very unlikely. However, counting to infinity is still possible.

2.3. Specifications for the protocol


RIP is intended to allow hosts and gateways to exchange information for computing routes through an IP-based network. RIP is a distance vector protocol. Thus, it has the general features described in section 2.2. RIP may be implemented by both hosts and gateways. As in most IP documentation, the term "host" will be used here to cover either. RIP is used to convey information about routes to "destinations", which may be individual hosts, networks, or a special destination used to convey a default route. Any host that uses RIP is assumed to have interfaces to one or more networks. These are referred to as its "directlyconnected networks". The protocol relies on access to certain information about each of these networks. The most important is its metric or "cost". The metric of a network is an integer between 1 and 15 inclusive. It is set in some manner not specified in this protocol. Most existing implementations always use a metric of 1. New implementations should allow the system administrator to set the cost of each network. In addition to the cost, each network will have an IP network number and a subnet mask associated with it. These are to be set by the system administrator in a manner not specified in this protocol. Note that the rules specified in section 2.3.2 assume that there is a single subnet mask applying to each IP network, and that only the subnet masks for directly-connected networks are known. There may be systems that use different subnet masks for different subnets within a single network. There may also be instances where it is desirable for a system to know the subnets masks of distant networks. However, such situations will require modifications of the rules which govern the spread of subnet information. Such modifications raise issues of interoperability, and thus must be viewed as modifying the protocol. Each host that implements RIP is assumed to have a routing table. This table has one entry for every destination that is reachable through the system described by RIP. Each entry contains at least the following information: The IP address of the destination. A metric, which represents the total cost of getting a datagram from the host to that destination. This metric is the sum of the costs associated with the networks that would be traversed in getting to the destination. The IP address of the next gateway along the path to the destination. If the destination is on one of the directly-connected networks, this item is not needed. A flag to indicate that information about the route has changed recently. This will be referred to as the "route change flag." Various timers associated with the route. See section 2.3.3 for more details on them. The entries for the directly-connected networks are set up by the host, using information gathered by means not specified in this protocol. The metric for a directly-connected network is set to the cost of that network. In existing RIP implementations, 1 is always used for the cost. In that case, the RIP metric reduces to a simple hop-count. More

complex metrics may be used when it is desirable to show preference for some networks over others, for example because of differences in bandwidth or reliability. Implementors may also choose to allow the system administrator to enter additional routes. These would most likely be routes to hosts or networks outside the scope of the routing system. Entries for destinations other these initial ones are added and updated by the algorithms described in the following sections. In order for the protocol to provide complete information on routing, every gateway in the system must participate in it. Hosts that are not gateways need not participate, but many implementations make provisions for them to listen to routing information in order to allow them to maintain their routing tables.

2.3.1. Message formats


RIP is a UDP-based protocol. Each host that uses RIP has a routing process that sends and receives datagrams on UDP port number 520. All communications directed at another host's RIP processor are sent to port 520. All routing update messages are sent from port 520. Unsolicited routing update messages have both the source and destination port equal to 520. Those sent in response to a request are sent to the port from which the request came. Specific queries and debugging requests may be sent from ports other than 520, but they are directed to port 520 on the target machine. There are provisions in the protocol to allow "silent" RIP processes. A silent process is one that normally does not send out any messages. However, it listens to messages sent by others. A silent RIP might be used by hosts that do not act as gateways, but wish to listen to routing updates in order to monitor local gateways and to keep their internal routing tables up to date. (See [5] for a discussion of various ways that hosts can keep track of network topology.) A gateway that has lost contact with all but one of its networks might choose to become silent, since it is effectively no longer a gateway. However, this should not be done if there is any chance that neighboring gateways might depend upon its messages to detect that the failed network has come back into operation. (The 4BSD routed program uses routing packets to monitor the operation of point-to- point links.) The packet format is shown in Figure 1. Format of datagrams containing network information. Field sizes are given in octets. Unless otherwise specified, fields contain binary integers, in normal Internet order with the most-significant octet first. Each tick mark represents one bit. 0 1 2 3 3 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ | command (1) | version (1) | must be zero (2) | +---------------+---------------+-------------------------------+ | address family identifier (2) | must be zero (2) | +-------------------------------+-------------------------------+ | IP address (4) | +---------------------------------------------------------------+ | must be zero (4) | +---------------------------------------------------------------+ | must be zero (4) | +---------------------------------------------------------------+ | metric (4) | +---------------------------------------------------------------+ . . . The portion of the datagram from address family identifier through metric may appear up to 25 times. IP address is the usual 4-octet Internet address, in network order. Figure 1. Packet format Every datagram contains a command, a version number, and possible arguments. This document describes version 1 of the protocol. Details of processing the version number are described in section 2.3.4. The command field is used to specify the purpose of this datagram. Here is a summary of the commands implemented in version 1: 1 - request A request for the responding system to send all or part of its routing table.

2 - response

A message containing all or part of the sender's routing table. This message may be sent in response to a request or poll, or it may be an update message generated by the sender. Obsolete. ignored. Obsolete. ignored. Messages containing this command are to be Messages containing this command are to be

3 - traceon 4 - traceoff 5 - reserved

This value is used by Sun Microsystems for its own purposes. If new commands are added in any succeeding version, they should begin with 6. Messages containing this command may safely be ignored by implementations that do not choose to respond to it. For request and response, the rest of the datagram contains a list of destinations, with information about each. Each entry in this list contains a destination network or host, and the metric for it. The packet format is intended to allow RIP to carry routing information for several different protocols. Thus, each entry has an address family identifier to indicate what type of address is specified in that entry. This document only describes routing for Internet networks. The address family identifier for IP is 2. None of the RIP implementations available to the author implement any other type of address. However, to allow for future development, implementations are required to skip entries that specify address families that are not supported by the implementation. (The size of these entries will be the same as the size of an entry specifying an IP address.) Processing of the message continues normally after any unsupported entries are skipped. The IP address is the usual Internet address, stored as 4 octets in network order. The metric field must contain a value between 1 and 15 inclusive, specifying the current metric for the destination, or the value 16, which indicates that the destination is not reachable. Each route sent by a gateway supercedes any previous route to the same destination from the same gateway. The maximum datagram size is 512 octets. This includes only the portions of the datagram described above. It does not count the IP or UDP headers. The commands that involve network information allow information to be split across several datagrams. No special provisions are needed for continuations, since correct results will occur if the datagrams are processed individually.

2.3.2. Addressing considerations


As indicated in section 2.2, distance vector routing can be used to describe routes to individual hosts or to networks. The RIP protocol allows either of these possibilities. The destinations appearing in request and response messages can be networks, hosts, or a special code used to indicate a default address. In general, the kinds of routes actually used will depend upon the routing strategy used for the particular network. Many networks are set up so that routing information for individual hosts is not needed. If every host on a given network or subnet is accessible through the same gateways, then there is no reason to mention individual hosts in the routing tables. However, networks that include point to point lines sometimes require gateways to keep track of routes to certain hosts. Whether this feature is required depends upon the addressing and routing approach used in the system. Thus, some implementations may choose not to support host routes. If host routes are not supported, they are to be dropped when they are received in response messages. (See section 2.3.4.2.) The RIP packet formats do not distinguish among various types of address. Fields that are labeled "address" can contain any of the following: host address subnet number network number 0, indicating a default route Entities that use RIP are assumed to use the most specific information available when routing a datagram. That is, when routing a datagram, its destination address must first be checked against the list of host addresses. Then it must be checked to see whether it matches any known subnet or network number. Finally, if none of these match, the default route is used. When a host evaluates information that it receives via RIP, its interpretation of an address depends upon whether it knows the subnet mask that applies to the net. If so, then it is possible to determine the meaning of the address. For example, consider net 128.6. It has a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. Thus 128.6.0.0 is a network number, 128.6.4.0 is a subnet number, and 128.6.4.1 is a host address. However, if the host does not know the subnet mask, evaluation of an address may be ambiguous. If there is a non-zero host part, there is no clear way to determine whether the address represents a subnet number or a host address. As a subnet number would be useless without the subnet mask, addresses are assumed to represent hosts in this situation. In order to avoid this sort of ambiguity, hosts must

not send subnet routes to hosts that cannot be expected to know the appropriate subnet mask. Normally hosts only know the subnet masks for directly-connected networks. Therefore, unless special provisions have been made, routes to a subnet must not be sent outside the network of which the subnet is a part. This filtering is carried out by the gateways at the "border" of the subnetted network. These are gateways that connect that network with some other network. Within the subnetted network, each subnet is treated as an individual network. Routing entries for each subnet are circulated by RIP. However, border gateways send only a single entry for the network as a whole to hosts in other networks. This means that a border gateway will send different information to different neighbors. For neighbors connected to the subnetted network, it generates a list of all subnets to which it is directly connected, using the subnet number. For neighbors connected to other networks, it makes a single entry for the network as a whole, showing the metric associated with that network. (This metric would normally be the smallest metric for the subnets to which the gateway is attached.) Similarly, border gateways must not mention host routes for hosts within one of the directly-connected networks in messages to other networks. Those routes will be subsumed by the single entry for the network as a whole. We do not specify what to do with host routes for "distant" hosts (i.e., hosts not part of one of the directly- connected networks). Generally, these routes indicate some host that is reachable via a route that does not support other hosts on the network of which the host is a part. The special address 0.0.0.0 is used to describe a default route. A default route is used when it is not convenient to list every possible network in the RIP updates, and when one or more closely- connected gateways in the system are prepared to handle traffic to the networks that are not listed explicitly. These gateways should create RIP entries for the address 0.0.0.0, just as if it were a network to which they are connected. The decision as to how gateways create entries for 0.0.0.0 is left to the implementor. Most commonly, the system administrator will be provided with a way to specify which gateways should create entries for 0.0.0.0. However, other mechanisms are possible. For example, an implementor might decide that any gateway that speaks EGP should be declared to be a default gateway. It may be useful to allow the network administrator to choose the metric to be used in these entries. If there is more than one default gateway, this will make it possible to express a preference for one over the other. The entries for 0.0.0.0 are handled by RIP in exactly the same manner as if there were an actual network with this address. However, the entry is used to route any datagram whose destination address does not match any other network in the table. Implementations are not required to support this convention. However, it is strongly recommended. Implementations that do not support 0.0.0.0 must ignore entries with this address. In such cases, they must not pass the entry on in their own RIP updates. System administrators should take care to make sure that routes to 0.0.0.0 do not propagate further than is intended. Generally, each autonomous system has its own preferred default gateway. Thus, routes involving 0.0.0.0 should generally not leave the boundary of an autonomous system. The mechanisms for enforcing this are not specified in this document.

2.3.3. Timers
This section describes all events that are triggered by timers. Every 30 seconds, the output process is instructed to generate a complete response to every neighboring gateway. When there are many gateways on a single network, there is a tendency for them to synchronize with each other such that they all issue updates at the same time. This can happen whenever the 30 second timer is affected by the processing load on the system. It is undesirable for the update messages to become synchronized, since it can lead to unnecessary collisions on broadcast networks. Thus, implementations are required to take one of two precautions. The 30-second updates are triggered by a clock whose rate is not affected by system load or the time required to service the previous update timer. The 30-second timer is offset by addition of a small random time each time it is set. There are two timers associated with each route, a "timeout" and a "garbage-collection time". Upon expiration of the timeout, the route is no longer valid. However, it is retained in the table for a short time, so that neighbors can be notified that the route has been dropped. Upon expiration of the garbage-collection timer, the route is finally removed from the tables. The timeout is initialized when a route is established, and any time an update message is received for the route. If 180 seconds elapse from the last time the timeout was initialized, the route is considered to have expired, and the deletion process which we are about to describe is started for it. Deletions can occur for one of two reasons: (1) the timeout expires, or (2) the metric is set to 16 because of an update received from the current gateway. (See section 2.3.4.2 for a discussion processing updates from other gateways.) In either case, the following events happen: The garbage-collection timer is set for 120 seconds. The metric for the route is set to 16 (infinity). This causes the route to be removed from service. A flag is set noting that this entry has been changed, and the output process is signalled to trigger a response. Until the garbage-collection timer expires, the route is included in all updates sent by this host, with a metric of 16 (infinity). When the garbage-collection timer expires, the route is deleted from the tables.

Should a new route to this network be established while the garbage- collection timer is running, the new route will replace the one that is about to be deleted. In this case the garbage-collection timer must be cleared. See section 2.3.5 for a discussion of a delay that is required in carrying out triggered updates. Although implementation of that delay will require a timer, it is more natural to discuss it in section 2.3.5 than here.

2.3.4. Input processing


This section will describe the handling of datagrams received on UDP port 520. Before processing the datagrams in detail, certain general format checks must be made. These depend upon the version number field in the datagram, as follows: 0 Datagrams whose version number is zero are to be ignored. These are from a previous version of the protocol, whose packet format was machine-specific. 1 Datagrams whose version number is one are to be processed as described in the rest of this specification. All fields that are described above as "must be zero" are to be checked. If any such field contains a non-zero value, the entire message is to be ignored. > Datagrams whose version number are greater than one are to be processed as described in the rest of this 1 specification. All fields that are described above as "must be zero" are to be ignored. Future versions of the protocol may put data into these fields. Version 1 implementations are to ignore this extra data and process only the fields specified in this document. After checking the version number and doing any other preliminary checks, processing will depend upon the value in the command field.

2.3.4.1. Request
Request is used to ask for a response containing all or part of the host's routing table. [Note that the term host is used for either host or gateway, in most cases it would be unusual for a non-gateway host to send RIP messages.] Normally, requests are sent as broadcasts, from a UDP source port of 520. In this case, silent processes do not respond to the request. Silent processes are by definition processes for which we normally do not want to see routing information. However, there may be situations involving gateway monitoring where it is desired to look at the routing table even for a silent process. In this case, the request should be sent from a UDP port number other than 520. If a request comes from port 520, silent processes do not respond. If the request comes from any other port, processes must respond even if they are silent. The request is processed entry by entry. If there are no entries, no response is given. There is one special case. If there is exactly one entry in the request, with an address family identifier of 0 (meaning unspecified), and a metric of infinity (i.e., 16 for current implementations), this is a request to send the entire routing table. In that case, a call is made to the output process to send the routing table to the requesting port. Except for this special case, processing is quite simple. Go down the list of entries in the request one by one. For each entry, look up the destination in the host's routing database. If there is a route, put that route's metric in the metric field in the datagram. If there isn't a route to the specified destination, put infinity (i.e., 16) in the metric field in the datagram. Once all the entries have been filled in, set the command to response and send the datagram back to the port from which it came. Note that there is a difference in handling depending upon whether the request is for a specified set of destinations, or for a complete routing table. If the request is for a complete host table, normal output processing is done. This includes split horizon (see section 2.2.1) and subnet hiding (section 2.3.2), so that certain entries from the routing table will not be shown. If the request is for specific entries, they are looked up in the host table and the information is returned. No split horizon processing is done, and subnets are returned if requested. We anticipate that these requests are likely to be used for different purposes. When a host first comes up, it broadcasts requests on every connected network asking for a complete routing table. In general, we assume that complete routing tables are likely to be used to update another host's routing table. For this reason, split horizon and all other filtering must be used. Requests for specific networks are made only by diagnostic software, and are not used for routing. In this case, the requester would want to know the exact contents of the routing database, and would not want any information hidden.

2.3.4.2. Response
Responses can be received for several different reasons: response to a specific query regular updates triggered updates triggered by a metric change

Processing is the same no matter how responses were generated. Because processing of a response may update the host's routing table, the response must be checked carefully for validity. The response must be ignored if it is not from port 520. The IP source address should be checked to see whether the datagram is from a valid neighbor. The source of the datagram must be on a directly-connected network. It is also worth checking to see whether the response is from one of the host's own addresses. Interfaces on broadcast networks may receive copies of their own broadcasts immediately. If a host processes its own output as new input, confusion is likely, and such datagrams must be ignored (except as discussed in the next paragraph). Before actually processing a response, it may be useful to use its presence as input to a process for keeping track of interface status. As mentioned above, we time out a route when we haven't heard from its gateway for a certain amount of time. This works fine for routes that come from another gateway. It is also desirable to know when one of our own directly-connected networks has failed. This document does not specify any particular method for doing this, as such methods depend upon the characteristics of the network and the hardware interface to it. However, such methods often involve listening for datagrams arriving on the interface. Arriving datagrams can be used as an indication that the interface is working. However, some caution must be used, as it is possible for interfaces to fail in such a way that input datagrams are received, but output datagrams are never sent successfully. Now that the datagram as a whole has been validated, process the entries in it one by one. Again, start by doing validation. If the metric is greater than infinity, ignore the entry. (This should be impossible, if the other host is working correctly. Incorrect metrics and other format errors should probably cause alerts or be logged.) Then look at the destination address. Check the address family identifier. If it is not a value which is expected (e.g., 2 for Internet addresses), ignore the entry. Now check the address itself for various kinds of inappropriate addresses. Ignore the entry if the address is class D or E, if it is on net 0 (except for 0.0.0.0, if we accept default routes) or if it is on net 127 (the loopback network). Also, test for a broadcast address, i.e., anything whose host part is all ones on a network that supports broadcast, and ignore any such entry. If the implementor has chosen not to support host routes (see section 2.3.2), check to see whether the host portion of the address is non-zero; if so, ignore the entry. Recall that the address field contains a number of unused octets. If the version number of the datagram is 1, they must also be checked. If any of them is nonzero, the entry is to be ignored. (Many of these cases indicate that the host from which the message came is not working correctly. Thus some form of error logging or alert should be triggered.) Update the metric by adding the cost of the network on which the message arrived. If the result is greater than 16, use 16. That is, metric = MIN (metric + cost, 16) Now look up the address to see whether this is already a route for it. In general, if not, we want to add one. However, there are various exceptions. If the metric is infinite, don't add an entry. (We would update an existing one, but we don't add new entries with infinite metric.) We want to avoid adding routes to hosts if the host is part of a net or subnet for which we have at least as good a route. If neither of these exceptions applies, add a new entry to the routing database. This includes the following actions: Set the destination and metric to those from the datagram. Set the gateway to be the host from which the datagram came. Initialize the timeout for the route. If the garbage- collection timer is running for this route, stop it. (See section 2.3.3 for a discussion of the timers.) Set the route change flag, and signal the output process to trigger an update (see 2.3.5). If there is an existing route, first compare gateways. If this datagram is from the same gateway as the existing route, reinitialize the timeout. Next compare metrics. If the datagram is from the same gateway as the existing route and the new metric is different than the old one, or if the new metric is lower than the old one, do the following actions: adopt the route from the datagram. That is, put the new metric in, and set the gateway to be the host from which the datagram came. Initialize the timeout for the route. Set the route change flag, and signal the output process to trigger an update (see 2.3.5). If the new metric is 16 (infinity), the deletion process is started. If the new metric is 16 (infinity), this starts the process for deleting the route. The route is no longer used for routing packets, and the deletion timer is started (see section 2.3.3). Note that a deletion is started only when the metric is first set to 16. If the metric was already 16, then a new deletion is not started. (Starting a deletion sets a timer. The concern is that we do not want to reset the timer every 30 seconds, as new messages arrive with an infinite metric.) If the new metric is the same as the old one, it is simplest to do nothing further (beyond reinitializing the timeout, as specified above). However, the 4BSD routed uses an additional heuristic here. Normally, it is senseless to change to a route with the same metric as the existing route but a different gateway. If the existing route is showing signs of timing out, though, it may be better to switch to an equally-good alternative route immediately, rather than waiting for the timeout to happen. (See section 2.3.3 for a discussion of timeouts.) Therefore, if the new metric is the same as the old one, routed looks at the timeout for the existing route. If it is at least halfway to the expiration point, routed switches to the new route. That is, the gateway is changed to the source of the current message. This heuristic is optional. Any entry that fails these tests is ignored, as it is no better than the current route.

2.3.5. Output Processing


This section describes the processing used to create response messages that contain all or part of the routing table. This processing may be triggered in any of the following ways: by input processing when a request is seen. In this case, the resulting message is sent to only one destination. - by the regular routing update. Every 30 seconds, a response containing the whole routing table is sent to every neighboring gateway. (See section 2.3.3.) by triggered updates. Whenever the metric for a route is changed, an update is triggered. (The update may be delayed; see below.) Before describing the way a message is generated for each directly- connected network, we will comment on how the destinations are chosen for the latter two cases. Normally, when a response is to be sent to all destinations (that is, either the regular update or a triggered update is being prepared), a response is sent to the host at the opposite end of each connected point-to-point link, and a response is broadcast on all connected networks that support broadcasting. Thus, one response is prepared for each directly-connected network and sent to the corresponding (destination or broadcast) address. In most cases, this reaches all neighboring gateways. However, there are some cases where this may not be good enough. This may involve a network that does not support broadcast (e.g., the ARPANET), or a situation involving dumb gateways. In such cases, it may be necessary to specify an actual list of neighboring hosts and gateways, and send a datagram to each one explicitly. It is left to the implementor to determine whether such a mechanism is needed, and to define how the list is specified. Triggered updates require special handling for two reasons. First, experience shows that triggered updates can cause excessive loads on networks with limited capacity or with many gateways on them. Thus the protocol requires that implementors include provisions to limit the frequency of triggered updates. After a triggered update is sent, a timer should be set for a random time between 1 and 5 seconds. If other changes that would trigger updates occur before the timer expires, a single update is triggered when the timer expires, and the timer is then set to another random value between 1 and 5 seconds. Triggered updates may be suppressed if a regular update is due by the time the triggered update would be sent. Second, triggered updates do not need to include the entire routing table. In principle, only those routes that have changed need to be included. Thus messages generated as part of a triggered update must include at least those routes that have their route change flag set. They may include additional routes, or all routes, at the discretion of the implementor; however, when full routing updates require multiple packets, sending all routes is strongly discouraged. When a triggered update is processed, messages should be generated for every directly-connected network. Split horizon processing is done when generating triggered updates as well as normal updates (see below). If, after split horizon processing, a changed route will appear identical on a network as it did previously, the route need not be sent; if, as a result, no routes need be sent, the update may be omitted on that network. (If a route had only a metric change, or uses a new gateway that is on the same network as the old gateway, the route will be sent to the network of the old gateway with a metric of infinity both before and after the change.) Once all of the triggered updates have been generated, the route change flags should be cleared. If input processing is allowed while output is being generated, appropriate interlocking must be done. The route change flags should not be changed as a result of processing input while a triggered update message is being generated. The only difference between a triggered update and other update messages is the possible omission of routes that have not changed. The rest of the mechanisms about to be described must all apply to triggered updates. Here is how a response datagram is generated for a particular directly-connected network: The IP source address must be the sending host's address on that network. This is important because the source address is put into routing tables in other hosts. If an incorrect source address is used, other hosts may be unable to route datagrams. Sometimes gateways are set up with multiple IP addresses on a single physical interface. Normally, this means that several logical IP networks are being carried over one physical medium. In such cases, a separate update message must be sent for each address, with that address as the IP source address. Set the version number to the current version of RIP. (The version described in this document is 1.) Set the command to response. Set the bytes labeled "must be zero" to zero. Now start filling in entries. To fill in the entries, go down all the routes in the internal routing table. Recall that the maximum datagram size is 512 bytes. When there is no more space in the datagram, send the current message and start a new one. If a triggered update is being generated, only entries whose route change flags are set need be included. See the description in Section 2.3.2 for a discussion of problems raised by subnet and host routes. Routes to subnets will be meaningless outside the network, and must be omitted if the destination is not on the same subnetted network; they should be replaced with a single route to the network of which the subnets are a part. Similarly, routes to hosts must be eliminated if they are subsumed by a network route, as described in the discussion in Section 2.3.2. If the route passes these tests, then the destination and metric are put into the entry in the output datagram. Routes must be included in the datagram even if their metrics are infinite. If the gateway for the route is on the network for which the datagram is being prepared, the metric in the entry is set to 16, or the entire entry is omitted. Omitting the

entry is simple split horizon. Including an entry with metric 16 is split horizon with poisoned reverse. See Section 2.2.2 for a more complete discussion of these alternatives.

2.3.6. Compatibility
The protocol described in this document is intended to interoperate with routed and other existing implementations of RIP. However, a different viewpoint is adopted about when to increment the metric than was used in most previous implementations. Using the previous perspective, the internal routing table has a metric of 0 for all directly-connected networks. The cost (which is always 1) is added to the metric when the route is sent in an update message. By contrast, in this document directly-connected networks appear in the internal routing table with metrics equal to their costs; the metrics are not necessarily 1. In this document, the cost is added to the metrics when routes are received in update messages. Metrics from the routing table are sent in update messages without change (unless modified by split horizon). These two viewpoints result in identical update messages being sent. Metrics in the routing table differ by a constant one in the two descriptions. Thus, there is no difference in effect. The change was made because the new description makes it easier to handle situations where different metrics are used on directly-attached networks. Implementations that only support network costs of one need not change to match the new style of presentation. However, they must follow the description given in this document in all other ways.

2.4. Control functions


This section describes administrative controls. These are not part of the protocol per se. However, experience with existing networks suggests that they are important. Because they are not a necessary part of the protocol, they are considered optional. However, we strongly recommend that at least some of them be included in every implementation. These controls are intended primarily to allow RIP to be connected to networks whose routing may be unstable or subject to errors. Here are some examples: It is sometimes desirable to limit the hosts and gateways from which information will be accepted. On occasion, hosts have been misconfigured in such a way that they begin sending inappropriate information. A number of sites limit the set of networks that they allow in update messages. Organization A may have a connection to organization B that they use for direct communication. For security or performance reasons A may not be willing to give other organizations access to that connection. In such cases, A should not include B's networks in updates that A sends to third parties. Here are some typical controls. Note, however, that the RIP protocol does not require these or any other controls. a neighbor list - the network administrator should be able to define a list of neighbors for each host. A host would accept response messages only from hosts on its list of neighbors. allowing or disallowing specific destinations - the network administrator should be able to specify a list of destination addresses to allow or disallow. The list would be associated with a particular interface in the incoming or outgoing direction. Only allowed networks would be mentioned in response messages going out or processed in response messages coming in. If a list of allowed addresses is specified, all other addresses are disallowed. If a list of disallowed addresses is specified, all other addresses are allowed.

3. OSPF Version 2
Status of this Memo
This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state and status of this protocol. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Abstract
This memo documents version 2 of the OSPF protocol. OSPF is a link-state routing protocol. It is designed to be run internal to a single Autonomous System. Each OSPF router maintains an identical database describing the Autonomous System's topology. From this database, a routing table is calculated by constructing a shortest- path tree. OSPF recalculates routes quickly in the face of topological changes, utilizing a minimum of routing protocol traffic. OSPF provides support for equal-cost multipath. Separate routes can be calculated for each IP Type of Service. An area routing capability is provided, enabling an additional level of routing protection and a reduction in routing protocol traffic. In addition, all OSPF routing protocol exchanges are authenticated.

3.1. Introduction
This document is a specification of the Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) TCP/IP internet routing protocol. OSPF is classified as an Interior Gateway Protocol (IGP). This means that it distributes routing information between routers belonging to a single Autonomous System. The OSPF protocol is based on link-state or SPF technology. This is a departure from the Bellman-Ford base used by traditional TCP/IP internet routing protocols. The OSPF protocol was developed by the OSPF working group of the Internet Engineering Task Force. It has been designed expressly for the TCP/IP internet environment, including explicit support for IP subnetting, TOS-based routing and the tagging of externally-derived routing information. OSPF also provides for the authentication of routing updates, and utilizes IP multicast when sending/receiving the updates. In addition, much work has been done to produce a protocol that responds quickly to topology changes, yet involves small amounts of routing protocol traffic.

3.1.1. Protocol overview


OSPF routes IP packets based solely on the destination IP address and IP Type of Service found in the IP packet header. IP packets are routed "as is" -- they are not encapsulated in any further protocol headers as they transit the Autonomous System. OSPF is a dynamic routing protocol. It quickly detects topological changes in the AS (such as router interface failures) and calculates new loop-free routes after a period of convergence. This period of convergence is short and involves a minimum of routing traffic. In a link-state routing protocol, each router maintains a database describing the Autonomous System's topology. Each participating router has an identical database. Each individual piece of this database is a particular router's local state (e.g., the router's usable interfaces and reachable neighbors). The router distributes its local state throughout the Autonomous System by flooding. All routers run the exact same algorithm, in parallel. From the topological database, each router constructs a tree of shortest paths with itself as root. This shortest-path tree gives the route to each destination in the Autonomous System. Externally derived routing information appears on the tree as leaves. OSPF calculates separate routes for each Type of Service (TOS). When several equal-cost routes to a destination exist, traffic is distributed equally among them. The cost of a route is described by a single dimensionless metric. OSPF allows sets of networks to be grouped together. Such a grouping is called an area. The topology of an area is hidden from the rest of the Autonomous System. This information hiding enables a significant reduction in routing traffic. Also, routing within the area is determined only by the area's own topology, lending the area protection from bad routing data. An area is a generalization of an IP subnetted network. OSPF enables the flexible configuration of IP subnets. Each route distributed by OSPF has a destination and mask. Two different subnets of the same IP network number may have different sizes (i.e., different masks). This is commonly referred to as variable length subnetting. A packet is routed to the best (i.e., longest or most specific) match. Host routes are considered to be subnets whose masks are "all ones" (0xffffffff). All OSPF protocol exchanges are authenticated. This means that only trusted routers can participate in the Autonomous System's routing. A variety of authentication schemes can be used; a single authentication scheme is configured for each area. This enables some areas to use much stricter authentication than others. Externally derived routing data (e.g., routes learned from the Exterior Gateway Protocol (EGP)) is passed transparently throughout the Autonomous System. This externally derived data is kept separate from the OSPF

protocol's link state data. Each external route can also be tagged by the advertising router, enabling the passing of additional information between routers on the boundaries of the Autonomous System.

3.1.2. Definitions of commonly used terms


This section provides definitions for terms that have a specific meaning to the OSPF protocol and that are used throughout the text. Router A level three Internet Protocol packet switch. Formerly called a gateway in much of the IP literature. Autonomous System A group of routers exchanging routing information via a common routing protocol. Abbreviated as AS. Interior Gateway Protocol The routing protocol spoken by the routers belonging to an Autonomous system. Abbreviated as IGP. Each Autonomous System has a single IGP. Separate Autonomous Systems may be running different IGPs. Router ID A 32-bit number assigned to each router running the OSPF protocol. This number uniquely identifies the router within an Autonomous System. Network In this memo, an IP network/subnet/supernet. It is possible for one physical network to be assigned multiple IP network/subnet numbers. We consider these to be separate networks. Point-to-point physical networks are an exception - they are considered a single network no matter how many (if any at all) IP network/subnet numbers are assigned to them. Network mask A 32-bit number indicating the range of IP addresses residing on a single IP network/subnet/supernet. This specification displays network masks as hexadecimal numbers. For example, the network mask for a class C IP network is displayed as 0xffffff00. Such a mask is often displayed elsewhere in the literature as 255.255.255.0. Multi-access networks Those physical networks that support the attachment of multiple (more than two) routers. Each pair of routers on such a network is assumed to be able to communicate directly (e.g., multi-drop networks are excluded). Interface The connection between a router and one of its attached networks. An interface has state information associated with it, which is obtained from the underlying lower level protocols and the routing protocol itself. An interface to a network has associated with it a single IP address and mask (unless the network is an unnumbered point-topoint network). An interface is sometimes also referred to as a link. Neighboring routers Two routers that have interfaces to a common network. On multi-access networks, neighbors are dynamically discovered by OSPF's Hello Protocol. Adjacency A relationship formed between selected neighboring routers for the purpose of exchanging routing information. Not every pair of neighboring routers become adjacent. Link state advertisement

Describes the local state of a router or network. This includes the state of the router's interfaces and adjacencies. Each link state advertisement is flooded throughout the routing domain. The collected link state advertisements of all routers and networks forms the protocol's topological database. Hello Protocol The part of the OSPF protocol used to establish and maintain neighbor relationships. On multi-access networks the Hello Protocol can also dynamically discover neighboring routers. Designated Router Each multi-access network that has at least two attached routers has a Designated Router. The Designated Router generates a link state advertisement for the multi-access network and has other special responsibilities in the running of the protocol. The Designated Router is elected by the Hello Protocol. The Designated Router concept enables a reduction in the number of adjacencies required on a multi-access network. This in turn reduces the amount of routing protocol traffic and the size of the topological database. Lower-level protocols The underlying network access protocols that provide services to the Internet Protocol and in turn the OSPF protocol. Examples of these are the X.25 packet and frame levels for X.25 PDNs, and the ethernet data link layer for ethernets.

3.1.3. Brief history of link-state routing technology


OSPF is a link state routing protocol. Such protocols are also referred to in the literature as SPF-based or distributeddatabase protocols. This section gives a brief description of the developments in link-state technology that have influenced the OSPF protocol. The first link-state routing protocol was developed for use in the ARPANET packet switching network. This protocol is described in [McQuillan]. It has formed the starting point for all other link-state protocols. The homogeneous Arpanet environment, i.e., single-vendor packet switches connected by synchronous serial lines, simplified the design and implementation of the original protocol. Modifications to this protocol were proposed in [Perlman]. These modifications dealt with increasing the fault tolerance of the routing protocol through, among other things, adding a checksum to the link state advertisements (thereby detecting database corruption). The paper also included means for reducing the routing traffic overhead in a link-state protocol. This was accomplished by introducing mechanisms which enabled the interval between link state advertisement originations to be increased by an order of magnitude. A link-state algorithm has also been proposed for use as an ISO IS-IS routing protocol. This protocol is described in [DEC]. The protocol includes methods for data and routing traffic reduction when operating over broadcast networks. This is accomplished by election of a Designated Router for each broadcast network, which then originates a link state advertisement for the network. The OSPF subcommittee of the IETF has extended this work in developing the OSPF protocol. The Designated Router concept has been greatly enhanced to further reduce the amount of routing traffic required. Multicast capabilities are utilized for additional routing bandwidth reduction. An area routing scheme has been developed enabling information hiding/protection/reduction. Finally, the algorithm has been modified for efficient operation in TCP/IP internets.

3.2. The Topological Database


The Autonomous System's topological database describes a directed graph. The vertices of the graph consist of routers and networks. A graph edge connects two routers when they are attached via a physical point-to-point network. An edge connecting a router to a network indicates that the router has an interface on the network. The vertices of the graph can be further typed according to function. Only some of these types carry transit data traffic; that is, traffic that is neither locally originated nor locally destined. Vertices that can carry transit traffic are indicated on the graph by having both incoming and outgoing edges.

Vertex type Vertex name Transit? _____________________________________ 1 Router yes 2 Network yes 3 Stub network no Table 1: OSPF vertex types. OSPF supports the following types of physical networks: Point-to-point networks A network that joins a single pair of routers. A 56Kb serial line is an example of a point-to-point network. Broadcast networks Networks supporting many (more than two) attached routers, together with the capability to address a single physical message to all of the attached routers (broadcast). Neighboring routers are discovered dynamically on these nets using OSPF's Hello Protocol. The Hello Protocol itself takes advantage of the broadcast capability. The protocol makes further use of multicast capabilities, if they exist. An ethernet is an example of a broadcast network. Non-broadcast networks Networks supporting many (more than two) routers, but having no broadcast capability. Neighboring routers are also discovered on these nets using OSPF's Hello Protocol. However, due to the lack of broadcast capability, some configuration information is necessary for the correct operation of the Hello Protocol. On these networks, OSPF protocol packets that are normally multicast need to be sent to each neighboring router, in turn. An X.25 Public Data Network (PDN) is an example of a non- broadcast network. The neighborhood of each network node in the graph depends on whether the network has multi-access capabilities (either broadcast or non-broadcast) and, if so, the number of routers having an interface to the network. The three cases are depicted in Figure 1. Rectangles indicate routers. Circles and oblongs indicate multi- access networks. Router names are prefixed with the letters RT and network names with the letter N. Router interface names are prefixed by the letter I. Lines between routers indicate point-to- point networks. The left side of the figure shows a network with its connected routers, with the resulting graph shown on the right. Two routers joined by a point-to-point network are represented in the directed graph as being directly connected by a pair of edges, one in each direction. Interfaces to physical point-to-point networks need not be assigned IP addresses. Such a point-to-point network is called unnumbered. The graphical representation of point-to-point networks is designed so that unnumbered networks can be supported naturally. When interface addresses exist, they are modelled as stub routes. Note that each router would then have a stub connection to the other router's interface address (see Figure 1). When multiple routers are attached to a multi-access network, the directed graph shows all routers bidirectionally connected to the network vertex (again, see Figure 1). If only a single router is attached to a multi-access network, the network will appear in the directed graph as a stub connection. **FROM** +---+Ia +---+ |RT1|------|RT2| +---+ Ib+---+ * * T O * * |RT1|RT2| -----------RT1| | X | RT2| X | | Ia| | X | Ib| X | |

Physical point-to-point networks +---+ +---+ |RT3| |RT4| +---+ +---+ | N2 | +----------------------+ | | +---+ +---+ |RT5| |RT6| **FROM** * * T O * * |RT3|RT4|RT5|RT6|N2 | -----------------------RT3| | | | | X | RT4| | | | | X | RT5| | | | | X | RT6| | | | | X | N2| X | X | X | X | |

+---+

+---+ Multi-access networks **FROM**

+---+ |RT7| +---+ | +----------------------+ N3

* * T O * *

|RT7| N3| -----------RT7| | | N3| X | |

Stub multi-access networks Figure 1: Network map components Networks and routers are represented by vertices. An edge connects Vertex A to Vertex B iff the intersection of Column A and Row B is marked with an X. Each network (stub or transit) in the graph has an IP address and associated network mask. The mask indicates the number of nodes on the network. Hosts attached directly to routers (referred to as host routes) appear on the graph as stub networks. The network mask for a host route is always 0xffffffff, which indicates the presence of a single node. Figure 2 shows a sample map of an Autonomous System. The rectangle labelled H1 indicates a host, which has a SLIP connection to Router RT12. Router RT12 is therefore advertising a host route. Lines between routers indicate physical point-to-point networks. The only point-to-point network that has been assigned interface addresses is the one joining Routers RT6 and RT10. Routers RT5 and RT7 have EGP connections to other Autonomous Systems. A set of EGP-learned routes have been displayed for both of these routers. A cost is associated with the output side of each router interface. This cost is configurable by the system administrator. The lower the cost, the more likely the interface is to be used to forward data traffic. Costs are also associated with the externally derived routing data (e.g., the EGP-learned routes). The directed graph resulting from the map in Figure 2 is depicted in Figure 3. Arcs are labelled with the cost of the corresponding router output interface. Arcs having no labelled cost have a cost of 0. Note that arcs leading from networks to routers always have cost 0; they are significant nonetheless. Note also that the externally derived routing data appears on the graph as stubs. The topological database (or what has been referred to above as the directed graph) is pieced together from link state advertisements generated by the routers. The neighborhood of each transit vertex is represented in a single, separate link state advertisement. Figure 4 shows graphically the link state representation of the two kinds of transit vertices: routers and multi-access networks. Router RT12 has an interface to two broadcast networks and a SLIP line to a host. Network N6 is a broadcast network with three attached routers. The cost of all links from Network N6 to its attached routers is 0. Note that the link state advertisement for Network N6 is actually generated by one of the attached routers: the router that has been elected Designated Router for the network.

3.2.1. The shortest-path tree


When no OSPF areas are configured, each router in the Autonomous System has an identical topological database, leading to an identical graphical representation. A router generates its routing table from this graph by calculating a tree of shortest paths with the router itself as root. Obviously, the shortest- path tree depends on the router doing the calculation. The shortest-path tree for Router RT6 in our example is depicted in Figure 5.

+ | 3+---+ N12 N14 N1|--|RT1|\ 1 \ N13 / | +---+ \ 8\ |8/8 + \ ____ \|/ / \ 1+---+8 8+---+6 * N3 *---|RT4|------|RT5|--------+ \____/ +---+ +---+ | + / | |7 | | 3+---+ / | | | N2|--|RT2|/1 |1 |6 | | +---+ +---+8 6+---+ | + |RT3|--------------|RT6| | +---+ +---+ | |2 Ia|7 | | | | +---------+ | | N4 | | | | | | N11 | | +---------+ | | | | | N12 |3 | |6 2/ +---+ | +---+/ |RT9| | |RT7|---N15 +---+ | +---+ 9 |1 + | |1 _|__ | Ib|5 __|_ / \ 1+----+2 | 3+----+1 / \ * N9 *------|RT11|----|---|RT10|---* N6 * \____/ +----+ | +----+ \____/ | | | |1 + |1 +--+ 10+----+ N8 +---+ |H1|-----|RT12| |RT8| +--+SLIP +----+ +---+ |2 |4 | | +---------+ +--------+ N10 N7 Figure 2: A sample Autonomous System **FROM**

* * T O * *

|RT|RT|RT|RT|RT|RT|RT|RT|RT|RT|RT|RT| |1 |2 |3 |4 |5 |6 |7 |8 |9 |10|11|12|N3|N6|N8|N9| ----- --------------------------------------------RT1| | | | | | | | | | | | |0 | | | | RT2| | | | | | | | | | | | |0 | | | | RT3| | | | | |6 | | | | | | |0 | | | | RT4| | | | |8 | | | | | | | |0 | | | | RT5| | | |8 | |6 |6 | | | | | | | | | | RT6| | |8 | |7 | | | | |5 | | | | | | | RT7| | | | |6 | | | | | | | | |0 | | | RT8| | | | | | | | | | | | | |0 | | | RT9| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |0 | RT10| | | | | |7 | | | | | | | |0 |0 | | RT11| | | | | | | | | | | | | | |0 |0 | RT12| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |0 | N1|3 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | N2| |3 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | N3|1 |1 |1 |1 | | | | | | | | | | | | | N4| | |2 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | N6| | | | | | |1 |1 | |1 | | | | | | | N7| | | | | | | |4 | | | | | | | | | N8| | | | | | | | | |3 |2 | | | | | | N9| | | | | | | | |1 | |1 |1 | | | | | N10| | | | | | | | | | | |2 | | | | | N11| | | | | | | | |3 | | | | | | | | N12| | | | |8 | |2 | | | | | | | | | | N13| | | | |8 | | | | | | | | | | | | N14| | | | |8 | | | | | | | | | | | | N15| | | | | | |9 | | | | | | | | | | H1| | | | | | | | | | | |10| | | | | Figure 3: The resulting directed graph Networks and routers are represented by vertices. An edge of cost X connects Vertex A to Vertex B iff the intersection of Column A and Row B is marked with an X. **FROM** **FROM** * * T O * * |RT12|N9|N10|H1| -------------------RT12| | | | | N9|1 | | | | N10|2 | | | | H1|10 | | | | RT12's router links advertisement * * T O * * |RT9|RT11|RT12|N9| ---------------------RT9| | | |0 | RT11| | | |0 | RT12| | | |0 | N9| | | | | N9's network links advertisement

Figure 4: Individual link state components Networks and routers are represented by vertices. An edge of cost X connects Vertex A to Vertex B iff the intersection of Column A and Row B is marked with an X. The tree gives the entire route to any destination network or host. However, only the next hop to the destination is used in the forwarding process. Note also that the best route to any router has also been calculated. For the processing of external data, we note the next hop and distance to any router advertising external routes. The resulting routing table for Router RT6 is pictured in Table 2. Note that there is a separate route for each end of a numbered serial line (in this case, the serial line between Routers RT6 and RT10). Routes to networks belonging to other AS'es (such as N12) appear as dashed lines on the shortest path tree in Figure 5. Use of this externally derived routing information is considered in the next section.

3.2.2. Use of external routing information


After the tree is created the external routing information is examined. This external routing information may originate from another routing protocol such as EGP, or be statically configured (static routes). Default routes can also be included as part of the Autonomous System's external routing information. RT6(origin) RT5 o------------o-----------o Ib /|\ 6 |\ 7 8/8|8\ | \ / | \ | \ o | o | \7 N12 o N14 | \ N13 2 | \ N4 o-----o RT3 \ / \ 5 1/ RT10 o-------o Ia / |\ RT4 o-----o N3 3| \1 /| | \ N6 RT7 / | N8 o o---------o / | | | /| RT2 o o RT1 | | 2/ |9 / | | |RT8 / | /3 |3 RT11 o o o o / | | | N12 N15 N2 o o N1 1| |4 | | N9 o o N7 /| / | N11 RT9 / |RT12 o--------o-------o o--------o H1 3 | 10 |2 | o N10 Figure 5: The SPF tree for Router RT6 Edges that are not marked with a cost have a cost of of zero (these are network-to-router links). Routes to networks N12-N15 are external information that is considered in Section 3.2.2 Destination Next Hop Distance __________________________________ N1 RT3 10 N2 RT3 10 N3 RT3 7 N4 RT3 8 Ib * 7 Ia RT10 12 N6 RT10 8 N7 RT10 12 N8 RT10 10 N9 RT10 11 N10 RT10 13 N11 RT10 14 H1 RT10 21 __________________________________ RT5 RT5 6 RT7 RT10 8 Table 2: The portion of Router RT6's routing table listing local destinations.

External routing information is flooded unaltered throughout the AS. In our example, all the routers in the Autonomous System know that Router RT7 has two external routes, with metrics 2 and 9. OSPF supports two types of external metrics. Type 1 external metrics are equivalent to the link state metric. Type 2 external metrics are greater than the cost of any path internal to the AS. Use of Type 2 external metrics assumes that routing between AS'es is the major cost of routing a packet, and eliminates the need for conversion of external costs to internal link state metrics. As an example of Type 1 external metric processing, suppose that the Routers RT7 and RT5 in Figure 2 are advertising Type 1 external metrics. For each external route, the distance from Router RT6 is calculated as the sum of the external route's cost and the distance from Router RT6 to the advertising router. For every external destination, the router advertising the shortest route is discovered, and the next hop to the advertising router becomes the next hop to the destination. Both Router RT5 and RT7 are advertising an external route to destination Network N12. Router RT7 is preferred since it is advertising N12 at a distance of 10 (8+2) to Router RT6, which is better than Router RT5's 14 (6+8). Table 3 shows the entries that are added to the routing table when external routes are examined: Destination Next Hop Distance __________________________________ N12 RT10 10 N13 RT5 14 N14 RT5 14 N15 RT10 17 Table 3: The portion of Router RT6's routing table listing external destinations. Processing of Type 2 external metrics is simpler. The AS boundary router advertising the smallest external metric is chosen, regardless of the internal distance to the AS boundary router. Suppose in our example both Router RT5 and Router RT7 were advertising Type 2 external routes. Then all traffic destined for Network N12 would be forwarded to Router RT7, since 2 < 8. When several equal-cost Type 2 routes exist, the internal distance to the advertising routers is used to break the tie. Both Type 1 and Type 2 external metrics can be present in the AS at the same time. In that event, Type 1 external metrics always take precedence. This section has assumed that packets destined for external destinations are always routed through the advertising AS boundary router. This is not always desirable. For example, suppose in Figure 2 there is an additional router attached to Network N6, called Router RTX. Suppose further that RTX does not participate in OSPF routing, but does exchange EGP information with the AS boundary router RT7. Then, Router RT7 would end up advertising OSPF external routes for all destinations that should be routed to RTX. An extra hop will sometimes be introduced if packets for these destinations need always be routed first to Router RT7 (the advertising router). To deal with this situation, the OSPF protocol allows an AS boundary router to specify a "forwarding address" in its external advertisements. In the above example, Router RT7 would specify RTX's IP address as the "forwarding address" for all those destinations whose packets should be routed directly to RTX. The "forwarding address" has one other application. It enables routers in the Autonomous System's interior to function as "route servers". For example, in Figure 2 the router RT6 could become a route server, gaining external routing information through a combination of static configuration and external routing protocols. RT6 would then start advertising itself as an AS boundary router, and would originate a collection of OSPF external advertisements. In each external advertisement, Router RT6 would specify the correct Autonomous System exit point to use for the destination through appropriate setting of the advertisement's "forwarding address" field.

3.2.3. Equal-cost multipath


The above discussion has been simplified by considering only a single route to any destination. In reality, if multiple equal-cost routes to a destination exist, they are all discovered and used. This requires no conceptual changes to the algorithm, and its discussion is postponed until we consider the tree-building process in more detail. With equal cost multipath, a router potentially has several available next hops towards any given destination.

3.2.4. TOS-based routing


OSPF can calculate a separate set of routes for each IP Type of Service. This means that, for any destination, there can potentially be multiple routing table entries, one for each IP TOS. The IP TOS values are represented in OSPF exactly as they appear in the IP packet header.

Up to this point, all examples shown have assumed that routes do not vary on TOS. In order to differentiate routes based on TOS, separate interface costs can be configured for each TOS. For example, in Figure 2 there could be multiple costs (one for each TOS) listed for each interface. A cost for TOS 0 must always be specified. When interface costs vary based on TOS, a separate shortest path tree is calculated for each TOS (see Section 3.2.1). In addition, external costs can vary based on TOS. For example, in Figure 2 Router RT7 could advertise a separate type 1 external metric for each TOS. Then, when calculating the TOS X distance to Network N15 the cost of the shortest TOS X path to RT7 would be added to the TOS X cost advertised by RT7 for Network N15 (see Section 3.2.2). All OSPF implementations must be capable of calculating routes based on TOS. However, OSPF routers can be configured to route all packets on the TOS 0 path, eliminating the need to calculate non-zero TOS paths. This can be used to conserve routing table space and processing resources in the router. These TOS-0-only routers can be mixed with routers that do route based on TOS. TOS-0-only routers will be avoided as much as possible when forwarding traffic requesting a non-zero TOS. It may be the case that no path exists for some non-zero TOS, even if the router is calculating non-zero TOS paths. In that case, packets requesting that non-zero TOS are routed along the TOS 0 path.

3.3. Splitting the AS into Areas


OSPF allows collections of contiguous networks and hosts to be grouped together. Such a group, together with the routers having interfaces to any one of the included networks, is called an area. Each area runs a separate copy of the basic link-state routing algorithm. This means that each area has its own topological database and corresponding graph, as explained in the previous section. The topology of an area is invisible from the outside of the area. Conversely, routers internal to a given area know nothing of the detailed topology external to the area. This isolation of knowledge enables the protocol to effect a marked reduction in routing traffic as compared to treating the entire Autonomous System as a single link-state domain. With the introduction of areas, it is no longer true that all routers in the AS have an identical topological database. A router actually has a separate topological database for each area it is connected to. (Routers connected to multiple areas are called area border routers). Two routers belonging to the same area have, for that area, identical area topological databases. Routing in the Autonomous System takes place on two levels, depending on whether the source and destination of a packet reside in the same area (intra-area routing is used) or different areas (inter-area routing is used). In intra-area routing, the packet is routed solely on information obtained within the area; no routing information obtained from outside the area can be used. This protects intra-area routing from the injection of bad routing information.

3.3.1. The backbone of the Autonomous System


The backbone consists of those networks not contained in any area, their attached routers, and those routers that belong to multiple areas. The backbone must be contiguous. It is possible to define areas in such a way that the backbone is no longer contiguous. In this case the system administrator must restore backbone connectivity by configuring virtual links. Virtual links can be configured between any two backbone routers that have an interface to a common nonbackbone area. Virtual links belong to the backbone. The protocol treats two routers joined by a virtual link as if they were connected by an unnumbered point-to-point network. On the graph of the backbone, two such routers are joined by arcs whose costs are the intra-area distances between the two routers. The routing protocol traffic that flows along the virtual link uses intra- area routing only. The backbone is responsible for distributing routing information between areas. The backbone itself has all of the properties of an area. The topology of the backbone is invisible to each of the areas, while the backbone itself knows nothing of the topology of the areas.

3.3.2. Inter-area routing


When routing a packet between two areas the backbone is used. The path that the packet will travel can be broken up into three contiguous pieces: an intra-area path from the source to an area border router, a backbone path between the source and destination areas, and then another intra-area path to the destination. The algorithm finds the set of such paths that have the smallest cost. Looking at this another way, inter-area routing can be pictured as forcing a star configuration on the Autonomous System, with the backbone as hub and each of the areas as spokes.

The topology of the backbone dictates the backbone paths used between areas. The topology of the backbone can be enhanced by adding virtual links. This gives the system administrator some control over the routes taken by interarea traffic. The correct area border router to use as the packet exits the source area is chosen in exactly the same way routers advertising external routes are chosen. Each area border router in an area summarizes for the area its cost to all networks external to the area. After the SPF tree is calculated for the area, routes to all other networks are calculated by examining the summaries of the area border routers.

3.3.3. Classification of routers


Before the introduction of areas, the only OSPF routers having a specialized function were those advertising external routing information, such as Router RT5 in Figure 2. When the AS is split into OSPF areas, the routers are further divided according to function into the following four overlapping categories: Internal routers A router with all directly connected networks belonging to the same area. Routers with only backbone interfaces also belong to this category. These routers run a single copy of the basic routing algorithm. Area border routers A router that attaches to multiple areas. Area border routers run multiple copies of the basic algorithm, one copy for each attached area and an additional copy for the backbone. Area border routers condense the topological information of their attached areas for distribution to the backbone. The backbone in turn distributes the information to the other areas. Backbone routers A router that has an interface to the backbone. This includes all routers that interface to more than one area (i.e., area border routers). However, backbone routers do not have to be area border routers. Routers with all interfaces connected to the backbone are considered to be internal routers. AS boundary routers A router that exchanges routing information with routers belonging to other Autonomous Systems. Such a router has AS external routes that are advertised throughout the Autonomous System. The path to each AS boundary router is known by every router in the AS. This classification is completely independent of the previous classifications: AS boundary routers may be internal or area border routers, and may or may not participate in the backbone.

3.3.4. A sample area configuration


Figure 6 shows a sample area configuration. The first area consists of networks N1-N4, along with their attached routers RT1-RT4. The second area consists of networks N6-N8, along with their attached routers RT7, RT8, RT10 and RT11. The third area consists of networks N9-N11 and Host H1, along with their attached routers RT9, RT11 and RT12. The third area has been configured so that networks N9-N11 and Host H1 will all be grouped into a single route, when advertised external to the area (see Section 3.3.5 for more details). In Figure 6, Routers RT1, RT2, RT5, RT6, RT8, RT9 and RT12 are internal routers. Routers RT3, RT4, RT7, RT10 and RT11 are area border routers. Finally, as before, Routers RT5 and RT7 are AS boundary routers. Figure 7 shows the resulting topological database for the Area 1. The figure completely describes that area's intraarea routing. It also shows the complete view of the internet for the two internal routers RT1 and RT2. It is the job of the area border routers, RT3 and RT4, to advertise into Area 1 the distances to all destinations external to the area. These are indicated in Figure 7 by the dashed stub routes. Also, RT3 and RT4 must advertise into Area 1 the location of the AS boundary routers RT5 and RT7. Finally, external advertisements from RT5 and RT7 are flooded throughout the entire AS, and in particular throughout Area 1. These advertisements are included in Area 1's database, and yield routes to Networks N12-N15. Routers RT3 and RT4 must also summarize Area 1's topology for distribution to the backbone. Their backbone advertisements are shown in Table 4. These summaries show which networks are contained in Area 1 (i.e., Networks N1-N4), and the distance to these networks from the routers RT3 and RT4 respectively.

........................... . + . . | 3+---+ . N12 N14 . N1|--|RT1|\ 1 . \ N13 / . | +---+ \ . 8\ |8/8 . + \ ____ . \|/ . / \ 1+---+8 8+---+6 . * N3 *---|RT4|------|RT5|--------+ . \____/ +---+ +---+ | . + / \ . |7 | . | 3+---+ / \ . | | . N2|--|RT2|/1 1\ . |6 | . | +---+ +---+8 6+---+ | . + |RT3|------|RT6| | . +---+ +---+ | . 2/ . Ia|7 | . / . | | . +---------+ . | | .Area 1 N4 . | | ........................... | | .......................... | | . N11 . | | . +---------+ . | | . | . | | N12 . |3 . Ib|5 |6 2/ . +---+ . +----+ +---+/ . |RT9| . .........|RT10|.....|RT7|---N15. . +---+ . . +----+ +---+ 9 . . |1 . . + /3 1\ |1 . . _|__ . . | / \ __|_ . . / \ 1+----+2 |/ \ / \ . . * N9 *------|RT11|----| * N6 * . . \____/ +----+ | \____/ . . | . . | | . . |1 . . + |1 . . +--+ 10+----+ . . N8 +---+ . . |H1|-----|RT12| . . |RT8| . . +--+SLIP +----+ . . +---+ . . |2 . . |4 . . | . . | . . +---------+ . . +--------+ . . N10 . . N7 . . . .Area 2 . .Area 3 . ................................ .......................... Figure 6: A sample OSPF area configuration Network RT3 adv. RT4 adv. _____________________________ N1 4 4 N2 4 4 N3 1 1 N4 2 3 Table 4: Networks advertised to the backbone by Routers RT3 and RT4. The topological database for the backbone is shown in Figure 8. The set of routers pictured are the backbone routers. Router RT11 is a backbone router because it belongs to two areas. In order to make the backbone connected, a virtual link has been configured between Routers R10 and R11. Again, Routers RT3, RT4, RT7, RT10 and RT11 are area border routers. As Routers RT3 and RT4 did above, they have condensed the routing information of their attached areas for distribution via the backbone; these are the dashed stubs that appear in Figure 8. Remember that the third area has been configured to condense Networks N9N11 and Host H1 into a single route. This yields a single dashed line for networks N9-N11 and Host H1 in Figure 8.

Routers RT5 and RT7 are AS boundary routers; their externally derived information also appears on the graph in Figure 8 as stubs. The backbone enables the exchange of summary information between area border routers. Every area border router hears the area summaries from all other area border routers. It then forms a picture of the distance to all networks outside of its area by examining the collected advertisements, and adding in the backbone distance to each advertising router. Again using Routers RT3 and RT4 as an example, the procedure goes as follows: They first calculate the SPF tree for the backbone. This gives the distances to all other area border routers. Also noted are the distances to networks (Ia and Ib) and AS boundary routers (RT5 and RT7) that belong to the backbone. This calculation is shown in Table 5. Next, by looking at the area summaries from these area border routers, RT3 and RT4 can determine the distance to all networks outside their area. These distances are then advertised internally to the area by RT3 and RT4. The advertisements that Router RT3 and RT4 will make into Area 1 are shown in Table 6. **FROM** |RT|RT|RT|RT|RT|RT| |1 |2 |3 |4 |5 |7 |N3| ----- ------------------RT1| | | | | | |0 | RT2| | | | | | |0 | RT3| | | | | | |0 | * RT4| | | | | | |0 | * RT5| | |14|8 | | | | T RT7| | |20|14| | | | O N1|3 | | | | | | | * N2| |3 | | | | | | * N3|1 |1 |1 |1 | | | | N4| | |2 | | | | | Ia,Ib| | |15|22| | | | N6| | |16|15| | | | N7| | |20|19| | | | N8| | |18|18| | | | N9-N11,H1| | |19|16| | | | N12| | | | |8 |2 | | N13| | | | |8 | | | N14| | | | |8 | | | N15| | | | | |9 | | Figure 7: Area 1's Database. Networks and routers are represented by vertices. An edge of cost X connects Vertex A to Vertex B iff the intersection of Column A and Row B is marked with an X.

**FROM** |RT|RT|RT|RT|RT|RT|RT |3 |4 |5 |6 |7 |10|11| -----------------------RT3| | | |6 | | | | RT4| | |8 | | | | | RT5| |8 | |6 |6 | | | RT6|8 | |7 | | |5 | | RT7| | |6 | | | | | * RT10| | | |7 | | |2 | * RT11| | | | | |3 | | T N1|4 |4 | | | | | | O N2|4 |4 | | | | | | * N3|1 |1 | | | | | | * N4|2 |3 | | | | | | Ia| | | | | |5 | | Ib| | | |7 | | | | N6| | | | |1 |1 |3 | N7| | | | |5 |5 |7 | N8| | | | |4 |3 |2 | N9-N11,H1| | | | | | |1 | N12| | |8 | |2 | | | N13| | |8 | | | | | N14| | |8 | | | | | N15| | | | |9 | | | Figure 8: The backbone's database. Networks and routers are represented by vertices. An edge of cost X connects Vertex A to Vertex B iff the intersection of Column A and Row B is marked with an X. Area border dist from dist from router RT3 RT4 ______________________________________ to RT3 * 21 to RT4 22 * to RT7 20 14 to RT10 15 22 to RT11 18 25 ______________________________________ to Ia 20 27 to Ib 15 22 ______________________________________ to RT5 14 8 to RT7 20 14 Table 5: Backbone distances calculated by Routers RT3 and RT4. Note that Table 6 assumes that an area range has been configured for the backbone which groups Ia and Ib into a single advertisement. The information imported into Area 1 by Routers RT3 and RT4 enables an internal router, such as RT1, to choose an area border router intelligently. Router RT1 would use RT4 for traffic to Network N6, RT3 for traffic to Network N10, and would load share between the two for traffic to Network N8.

Destination RT3 adv. RT4 adv. _________________________________ Ia,Ib 15 22 N6 16 15 N7 20 19 N8 18 18 N9-N11,H1 19 26 _________________________________ RT5 14 8 RT7 20 14 Table 6: Destinations advertised into Area 1 by Routers RT3 and RT4. Router RT1 can also determine in this manner the shortest path to the AS boundary routers RT5 and RT7. Then, by looking at RT5 and RT7's external advertisements, Router RT1 can decide between RT5 or RT7 when sending to a destination in another Autonomous System (one of the networks N12-N15). Note that a failure of the line between Routers RT6 and RT10 will cause the backbone to become disconnected. Configuring a virtual link between Routers RT7 and RT10 will give the backbone more connectivity and more resistance to such failures. Also, a virtual link between RT7 and RT10 would allow a much shorter path between the third area (containing N9) and the router RT7, which is advertising a good route to external network N12.

3.3.5. IP subnetting support


OSPF attaches an IP address mask to each advertised route. The mask indicates the range of addresses being described by the particular route. For example, a summary advertisement for the destination 128.185.0.0 with a mask of 0xffff0000 actually is describing a single route to the collection of destinations 128.185.0.0 128.185.255.255. Similarly, host routes are always advertised with a mask of 0xffffffff, indicating the presence of only a single destination. Including the mask with each advertised destination enables the implementation of what is commonly referred to as variable- length subnetting. This means that a single IP class A, B, or C network number can be broken up into many subnets of various sizes. For example, the network 128.185.0.0 could be broken up into 62 variable-sized subnets: 15 subnets of size 4K, 15 subnets of size 256, and 32 subnets of size 8. Table 7 shows some of the resulting network addresses together with their masks: Network address IP address mask Subnet size _______________________________________________ 128.185.16.0 0xfffff000 4K 128.185.1.0 0xffffff00 256 128.185.0.8 0xfffffff8 8 Table 7: Some sample subnet sizes. There are many possible ways of dividing up a class A, B, and C network into variable sized subnets. The precise procedure for doing so is beyond the scope of this specification. This specification however establishes the following guideline: When an IP packet is forwarded, it is always forwarded to the network that is the best match for the packet's destination. Here best match is synonymous with the longest or most specific match. For example, the default route with destination of 0.0.0.0 and mask 0x00000000 is always a match for every IP destination. Yet it is always less specific than any other match. Subnet masks must be assigned so that the best match for any IP destination is unambiguous. The OSPF area concept is modelled after an IP subnetted network. OSPF areas have been loosely defined to be a collection of networks. In actuality, an OSPF area is specified to be a list of address ranges. Each address range is defined as an [address,mask] pair. Many separate networks may then be contained in a single address range, just as a subnetted network is composed of many separate subnets. Area border routers then summarize the area contents (for distribution to the backbone) by advertising a single route for each address range. The cost of the route is the minimum cost to any of the networks falling in the specified range. For example, an IP subnetted network can be configured as a single OSPF area. In that case, the area would be defined as a single address range: a class A, B, or C network number along with its natural IP mask. Inside the area, any number of variable sized subnets could be defined. External to the area, a single route for the entire subnetted network would be distributed, hiding even the fact that the network is subnetted at all. The cost of this route is the minimum of the set of costs to the component subnets.

3.3.6. Supporting stub areas


In some Autonomous Systems, the majority of the topological database may consist of AS external advertisements. An OSPF AS external advertisement is usually flooded throughout the entire AS. However, OSPF allows certain areas to be configured as "stub areas". AS external advertisements are not flooded into/throughout stub areas; routing to AS external destinations in these areas is based on a (per-area) default only. This reduces the topological database size, and therefore the memory requirements, for a stub area's internal routers. In order to take advantage of the OSPF stub area support, default routing must be used in the stub area. This is accomplished as follows. One or more of the stub area's area border routers must advertise a default route into the stub area via summary link advertisements. These summary defaults are flooded throughout the stub area, but no further. (For this reason these defaults pertain only to the particular stub area). These summary default routes will match any destination that is not explicitly reachable by an intra-area or inter-area path (i.e., AS external destinations). An area can be configured as stub when there is a single exit point from the area, or when the choice of exit point need not be made on a per-external-destination basis. For example, Area 3 in Figure 6 could be configured as a stub area, because all external traffic must travel though its single area border router RT11. If Area 3 were configured as a stub, Router RT11 would advertise a default route for distribution inside Area 3 (in a summary link advertisement), instead of flooding the AS external advertisements for Networks N12-N15 into/throughout the area. The OSPF protocol ensures that all routers belonging to an area agree on whether the area has been configured as a stub. This guarantees that no confusion will arise in the flooding of AS external advertisements. There are a couple of restrictions on the use of stub areas. Virtual links cannot be configured through stub areas. In addition, AS boundary routers cannot be placed internal to stub areas.

3.3.7. Partitions of areas


OSPF does not actively attempt to repair area partitions. When an area becomes partitioned, each component simply becomes a separate area. The backbone then performs routing between the new areas. Some destinations reachable via intra-area routing before the partition will now require inter-area routing. In the previous section, an area was described as a list of address ranges. Any particular address range must still be completely contained in a single component of the area partition. This has to do with the way the area contents are summarized to the backbone. Also, the backbone itself must not partition. If it does, parts of the Autonomous System will become unreachable. Backbone partitions can be repaired by configuring virtual links). Another way to think about area partitions is to look at the Autonomous System graph that was introduced in Section 3.2. Area IDs can be viewed as colors for the graph's edges.[1] Each edge of the graph connects to a network, or is itself a point-to- point network. In either case, the edge is colored with the network's Area ID. A group of edges, all having the same color, and interconnected by vertices, represents an area. If the topology of the Autonomous System is intact, the graph will have several regions of color, each color being a distinct Area ID. When the AS topology changes, one of the areas may become partitioned. The graph of the AS will then have multiple regions of the same color (Area ID). The routing in the Autonomous System will continue to function as long as these regions of same color are connected by the single backbone region.

3.4. Functional Summary


A separate copy of OSPF's basic routing algorithm runs in each area. Routers having interfaces to multiple areas run multiple copies of the algorithm. A brief summary of the routing algorithm follows. When a router starts, it first initializes the routing protocol data structures. The router then waits for indications from the lower- level protocols that its interfaces are functional. A router then uses the OSPF's Hello Protocol to acquire neighbors. The router sends Hello packets to its neighbors, and in turn receives their Hello packets. On broadcast and point-to-point networks, the router dynamically detects its neighboring routers by sending its Hello packets to the multicast address AllSPFRouters. On non-broadcast networks, some configuration information is necessary in order to discover neighbors. On all multi-access networks (broadcast or non-broadcast), the Hello Protocol also elects a Designated router for the network. The router will attempt to form adjacencies with some of its newly acquired neighbors. Topological databases are synchronized between pairs of adjacent routers. On multi-access networks, the Designated Router determines which routers should become adjacent. Adjacencies control the distribution of routing protocol packets. Routing protocol packets are sent and received only on adjacencies. In particular, distribution of topological database updates proceeds along adjacencies.

A router periodically advertises its state, which is also called link state. Link state is also advertised when a router's state changes. A router's adjacencies are reflected in the contents of its link state advertisements. This relationship between adjacencies and link state allows the protocol to detect dead routers in a timely fashion. Link state advertisements are flooded throughout the area. The flooding algorithm is reliable, ensuring that all routers in an area have exactly the same topological database. This database consists of the collection of link state advertisements received from each router belonging to the area. From this database each router calculates a shortestpath tree, with itself as root. This shortest-path tree in turn yields a routing table for the protocol.

3.4.1. Inter-area routing


The previous section described the operation of the protocol within a single area. For intra-area routing, no other routing information is pertinent. In order to be able to route to destinations outside of the area, the area border routers inject additional routing information into the area. This additional information is a distillation of the rest of the Autonomous System's topology. This distillation is accomplished as follows: Each area border router is by definition connected to the backbone. Each area border router summarizes the topology of its attached areas for transmission on the backbone, and hence to all other area border routers. An area border router then has complete topological information concerning the backbone, and the area summaries from each of the other area border routers. From this information, the router calculates paths to all destinations not contained in its attached areas. The router then advertises these paths into its attached areas. This enables the area's internal routers to pick the best exit router when forwarding traffic to destinations in other areas.

3.4.2. AS external routes


Routers that have information regarding other Autonomous Systems can flood this information throughout the AS. This external routing information is distributed verbatim to every participating router. There is one exception: external routing information is not flooded into "stub" areas (see Section 3.3.6). To utilize external routing information, the path to all routers advertising external information must be known throughout the AS (excepting the stub areas). For that reason, the locations of these AS boundary routers are summarized by the (non-stub) area border routers.

4.4.3. Routing protocol packets


The OSPF protocol runs directly over IP, using IP protocol 89. OSPF does not provide any explicit fragmentation/reassembly support. When fragmentation is necessary, IP fragmentation/reassembly is used. OSPF protocol packets have been designed so that large protocol packets can generally be split into several smaller protocol packets. This practice is recommended; IP fragmentation should be avoided whenever possible. Routing protocol packets should always be sent with the IP TOS field set to 0. If at all possible, routing protocol packets should be given preference over regular IP data traffic, both when being sent and received. As an aid to accomplishing this, OSPF protocol packets should have their IP precedence field set to the value Internetwork Control (see [RFC 791]). All OSPF protocol packets share a common protocol header. The OSPF packet types are listed below in Table 8. Type Packet name Protocol function __________________________________________________________ 1 Hello Discover/maintain neighbors 2 Database Description Summarize database contents 3 Link State Request Database download 4 Link State Update Database update 5 Link State Ack Flooding acknowledgment Table 8: OSPF packet types. OSPF's Hello protocol uses Hello packets to discover and maintain neighbor relationships. The Database Description and Link State Request packets are used in the forming of adjacencies. OSPF's reliable update mechanism is implemented by the Link State Update and Link State Acknowledgment packets. Each Link State Update packet carries a set of new link state advertisements one hop further away from their point of origination. A single Link State Update packet may contain the link state advertisements of several routers. Each

advertisement is tagged with the ID of the originating router and a checksum of its link state contents. The five different types of OSPF link state advertisements are listed below in Table 9. As mentioned above, OSPF routing packets (with the exception of Hellos) are sent only over adjacencies. Note that this means that all OSPF protocol packets travel a single IP hop, except those that are sent over virtual adjacencies. The IP source address of an OSPF protocol packet is one end of a router adjacency, and the IP destination address is either the other end of the adjacency or an IP multicast address. LS Advertisement Advertisement description type name _________________________________________________________ 1 Router links Originated by all routers. advertisements This advertisement describes the collected states of the router's interfaces to an area. Flooded throughout a single area only. _________________________________________________________ 2 Network links Originated for multi-access advertisements networks by the Designated Router. This advertisement contains the list of routers connected to the network. Flooded throughout a single area only. _________________________________________________________ 3,4 Summary link Originated by area border advertisements routers, and flooded throughout the advertisement's associated area. Each summary link advertisement describes a route to a destination outside the area, yet still inside the AS (i.e., an inter-area route). Type 3 advertisements describe routes to networks. Type 4 advertisements describe routes to AS boundary routers. _________________________________________________________ 5 AS external link Originated by AS boundary advertisements routers, and flooded throughout the AS. Each AS external link advertisement describes a route to a destination in another Autonomous System. Default routes for the AS can also be described by AS external link advertisements. Table 9: OSPF link state advertisements.

3.4.4. Basic implementation requirements


An implementation of OSPF requires the following pieces of system support: Timers Two different kind of timers are required. The first kind, called single shot timers, fire once and cause a protocol event to be processed. The second kind, called interval timers, fire at continuous intervals. These are used for the sending of packets at regular intervals. A good example of this is the regular broadcast of Hello packets (on broadcast networks). The granularity of both kinds of timers is one second. Interval timers should be implemented to avoid drift. In some router implementations, packet processing can affect timer execution. When multiple routers are attached to a single network, all doing broadcasts, this can

lead to the synchronization of routing packets (which should be avoided). If timers cannot be implemented to avoid drift, small random amounts should be added to/subtracted from the timer interval at each firing. IP multicast Certain OSPF packets take the form of IP multicast datagrams. Support for receiving and sending IP multicast datagrams, along with the appropriate lower-level protocol support, is required. The IP multicast datagrams used by OSPF never travel more than one hop. For this reason, the ability to forward IP multicast datagrams is not required. For information on IP multicast, see [RFC 1112]. Variable-length subnet support The router's IP protocol support must include the ability to divide a single IP class A, B, or C network number into many subnets of various sizes. This is commonly called variable-length subnetting; see Section 3.3.5 for details. IP supernetting support The router's IP protocol support must include the ability to aggregate contiguous collections of IP class A, B, and C networks into larger quantities called supernets. Supernetting has been proposed as one way to improve the scaling of IP routing in the worldwide Internet. For more information on IP supernetting, see [RFC 1519]. Lower-level protocol support The lower level protocols referred to here are the network access protocols, such as the Ethernet data link layer. Indications must be passed from these protocols to OSPF as the network interface goes up and down. For example, on an ethernet it would be valuable to know when the ethernet transceiver cable becomes unplugged. Non-broadcast lower-level protocol support Remember that non-broadcast networks are multi-access networks such as a X.25 PDN. On these networks, the Hello Protocol can be aided by providing an indication to OSPF when an attempt is made to send a packet to a dead or non- existent router. For example, on an X.25 PDN a dead neighboring router may be indicated by the reception of a X.25 clear with an appropriate cause and diagnostic, and this information would be passed to OSPF. List manipulation primitives Much of the OSPF functionality is described in terms of its operation on lists of link state advertisements. For example, the collection of advertisements that will be retransmitted to an adjacent router until acknowledged are described as a list. Any particular advertisement may be on many such lists. An OSPF implementation needs to be able to manipulate these lists, adding and deleting constituent advertisements as necessary. Tasking support Certain procedures described in this specification invoke other procedures. At times, these other procedures should be executed in-line, that is, before the current procedure is finished. This is indicated in the text by instructions to execute a procedure. At other times, the other procedures are to be executed only when the current procedure has finished. This is indicated by instructions to schedule a task.

3.4.5. Optional OSPF capabilities


The OSPF protocol defines several optional capabilities. A router indicates the optional capabilities that it supports in its OSPF Hello packets, Database Description packets and in its link state advertisements. This enables routers supporting a mix of optional capabilities to coexist in a single Autonomous System. Some capabilities must be supported by all routers attached to a specific area. In this case, a router will not accept a neighbor's Hello Packet unless there is a match in reported capabilities (i.e., a capability mismatch prevents a neighbor relationship from forming). An example of this is the ExternalRoutingCapability (see below). Other capabilities can be negotiated during the Database Exchange process. This is accomplished by specifying the optional capabilities in Database Description packets. A capability mismatch with a neighbor in this case will result in only a subset of link state advertisements being exchanged between the two neighbors. The routing table build process can also be affected by the presence/absence of optional capabilities. For example, since the optional capabilities are reported in link state advertisements, routers incapable of certain functions can be avoided when building the shortest path tree. An example of this is the TOS routing capability (see below).

The current OSPF optional capabilities are listed below. ExternalRoutingCapability Entire OSPF areas can be configured as "stubs" (see Section 3.3.6). AS external advertisements will not be flooded into stub areas. This capability is represented by the E-bit in the OSPF options field. In order to ensure consistent configuration of stub areas, all routers interfacing to such an area must have the E-bit clear in their Hello packets. TOS capability All OSPF implementations must be able to calculate separate routes based on IP Type of Service. However, to save routing table space and processing resources, an OSPF router can be configured to ignore TOS when forwarding packets. In this case, the router calculates routes for TOS 0 only. This capability is represented by the T-bit in the OSPF options field. TOS-capable routers will attempt to avoid non-TOS-capable routers when calculating non-zero TOS paths.

3.5. Protocol Data Structures


The OSPF protocol is described in this specification in terms of its operation on various protocol data structures. The following list comprises the top-level OSPF data structures. Any initialization that needs to be done is noted. OSPF areas, interfaces and neighbors also have associated data structures that are described later in this specification. Router ID A 32-bit number that uniquely identifies this router in the AS. One possible implementation strategy would be to use the smallest IP interface address belonging to the router. If a router's OSPF Router ID is changed, the router's OSPF software should be restarted before the new Router ID takes effect. Before restarting in order to change its Router ID, the router should flush its self-originated link state advertisements from the routing domain, or they will persist for up to MaxAge minutes. Area structures Each one of the areas to which the router is connected has its own data structure. This data structure describes the working of the basic algorithm. Remember that each area runs a separate copy of the basic algorithm. Backbone (area) structure The basic algorithm operates on the backbone as if it were an area. For this reason the backbone is represented as an area structure. Virtual links configured The virtual links configured with this router as one endpoint. In order to have configured virtual links, the router itself must be an area border router. Virtual links are identified by the Router ID of the other endpoint -- which is another area border router. These two endpoint routers must be attached to a common area, called the virtual link's Transit area. Virtual links are part of the backbone, and behave as if they were unnumbered point-to-point networks between the two routers. A virtual link uses the intra-area routing of its Transit area to forward packets. Virtual links are brought up and down through the building of the shortest-path trees for the Transit area. List of external routes These are routes to destinations external to the Autonomous System, that have been gained either through direct experience with another routing protocol (such as EGP), or through configuration information, or through a combination of the two (e.g., dynamic external information to be advertised by OSPF with configured metric). Any router having these external routes is called an AS boundary router. These routes are advertised by the router into the OSPF routing domain via AS external link advertisements. List of AS external link advertisements

Part of the topological database. These have originated from the AS boundary routers. They comprise routes to destinations external to the Autonomous System. Note that, if the router is itself an AS boundary router, some of these AS external link advertisements have been self-originated. The routing table Derived from the topological database. Each destination that the router can forward to is represented by a cost and a set of paths. A path is described by its type and next hop. TOS capability This item indicates whether the router will calculate separate routes based on TOS. This is a configurable parameter. Figure 9 shows the collection of data structures present in a typical router. The router pictured is RT10, from the map in Figure 6. Note that Router RT10 has a virtual link configured to Router RT11, with Area 2 as the link's Transit area. This is indicated by the dashed line in Figure 9. When the virtual link becomes active, through the building of the shortest path tree for Area 2, it becomes an interface to the backbone (see the two backbone interfaces depicted in Figure 9).

3.6. The Area Data Structure


The area data structure contains all the information used to run the basic routing algorithm. Each area maintains its own topological database. A network belongs to a single area, and a router interface connects to a single area. Each router adjacency also belongs to a single area. The OSPF backbone has all the properties of an area. For that reason it is also represented by an area data structure. Note that some items in the structure apply differently to the backbone than to non-backbone areas. +----+ |RT10|------+ +----+ \+-------------+ / \ |Routing Table| / \ +-------------+ / \ +------+ / \ +--------+ |Area 2|---+ +---|Backbone| +------+***********+ +--------+ / \ * / \ / \ * / \ +---------+ +---------+ +------------+ +------------+ |Interface| |Interface| |Virtual Link| |Interface Ib| | to N6 | | to N8 | | to RT11 | +------------+ +---------+ +---------+ +------------+ | / \ | | | / \ | | | +--------+ +--------+ | +-------------+ +------------+ |Neighbor| |Neighbor| | |Neighbor RT11| |Neighbor RT6| | RT8 | | RT7 | | +-------------+ +------------+ +--------+ +--------+ | | +-------------+ |Neighbor RT11| +-------------+ Figure 9: Router RT10's Data structures The area topological (or link state) database consists of the collection of router links, network links and summary link advertisements that have originated from the area's routers. This information is flooded throughout a single area only. The list of AS external link advertisements (see Section 3.5) is also considered to be part of each area's topological database. Area ID A 32-bit number identifying the area. 0.0.0.0 is reserved for the Area ID of the backbone. If assigning subnetted networks as separate areas, the IP network number could be used as the Area ID.

List of component address ranges The address ranges that define the area. Each address range is specified by an [address,mask] pair and a status indication of either Advertise or DoNotAdvertise. Each network is then assigned to an area depending on the address range that it falls into (specified address ranges are not allowed to overlap). As an example, if an IP subnetted network is to be its own separate OSPF area, the area is defined to consist of a single address range an IP network number with its natural (class A, B or C) mask. Associated router interfaces This router's interfaces connecting to the area. A router interface belongs to one and only one area (or the backbone). For the backbone structure this list includes all the virtual links. A virtual link is identified by the Router ID of its other endpoint; its cost is the cost of the shortest intra-area path through the Transit area that exists between the two routers. List of router links advertisements A router links advertisement is generated by each router in the area. It describes the state of the router's interfaces to the area. List of network links advertisements One network links advertisement is generated for each transit multi-access network in the area. A network links advertisement describes the set of routers currently connected to the network. List of summary link advertisements Summary link advertisements originate from the area's area border routers. They describe routes to destinations internal to the Autonomous System, yet external to the area. Shortest-path tree The shortest-path tree for the area, with this router itself as root. Derived from the collected router links and network links advertisements by the Dijkstra algorithm. AuType The type of authentication used for this area. All OSPF packet exchanges are authenticated. Different authentication schemes may be used in different areas. TransitCapability Set to TRUE if and only if there are one or more active virtual links using the area as a Transit area. Equivalently, this parameter indicates whether the area can carry data traffic that neither originates nor terminates in the area itself. This parameter is calculated when the area's shortest-path tree is built, and is used as an input to a subsequent step of the routing table build process. ExternalRoutingCapability Whether AS external advertisements will be flooded into/throughout the area. This is a configurable parameter. If AS external advertisements are excluded from the area, the area is called a "stub". Internal to stub areas, routing to AS external destinations will be based solely on a default summary route. The backbone cannot be configured as a stub area. Also, virtual links cannot be configured through stub areas. For more information, see Section 3.3.6. StubDefaultCost If the area has been configured as a stub area, and the router itself is an area border router, then the StubDefaultCost indicates the cost of the default summary link that the router should advertise into the area. There can be a separate cost configured for each IP TOS. Unless otherwise specified, the remaining sections of this document refer to the operation of the protocol in a single area.