You are in the: Small Business Computing Channelarrow View Sites +
Small Business Technology
» ECommerce-Guide | Small Business Computing | Webopedia | WinPlanet |  »Close
Enter a word for a definition... ...or choose a computer category.

   Term of the Day
   New Terms
   New Links
   Quick Reference
   Did You Know?
   Tech Support
   Webopedia Jobs
   About Us
   Link to Us

talk to us
   Submit a URL
   Suggest a Term
   Report an Error
Internet Lists
Internet News
Internet Resources
Linux/Open Source
Personal Technology
Small Business
Windows Technology
xSP Resources
Corporate Info
Tech Jobs
E-mail Offers
  Be a Commerce Partner

Last modified: Friday, February 13, 2004 

Short for Open Shortest Path First, an interior gateway routing protocol developed for IP networks based on the shortest path first or link-state algorithm.

Routers use link-state algorithms to send routing information to all nodes in an internetwork by calculating the shortest path to each node based on a topography of the Internet constructed by each node. Each router sends that portion of the routing table (keeps track of routes to particular network destinations) that describes the state of its own links, and it also sends the complete routing structure (topography).

The advantage of shortest path first algorithms is that they results in smaller more frequent updates everywhere. They converge quickly, thus preventing such problems as routing loops and Count-to-Infinity (when routers continuously increment the hop count to a particular network). This makes for a stable network.

The disadvantage of shortest path first algorithms is that they require a lot of CPU power and memory. In the end, the advantages out weigh the disadvantages.

OSPF Version 2 is defined in RFC 1583. It is rapidly replacing RIP on the Internet.

E-mail this definition to a colleague

Sponsored listings

ShoreTel: Business IP Telephony Gateways - Learn about business VoIP with a free 80 page IP Telephony Guide. ShoreTel provides full featured IP phone systems ideal for 50+ phone systems.

For pages about OSPF . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

IETF Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) Charter
Describes the IETF OSPF working group and includes contact and mailing list information and links to Internet draft and Request for Commments documents.

Open Shortest Path First routing protocol paper
Comprehensive student paper on dynamic routing and OSPF. Includes detailed information about the OSPF router, its interface and optimization methods.

OSPF Design Guide
Examines how OSPF works and how it can be used to design and build today's large and complicated networks. This guide was written by Sam Halabi for Cisco Systems.

RFC 2328
Request for Comments document for OSPF Version 2.

Yahoo!'s OSPF page
Yahoo!'s directory of OSPF.

related categories

Network Protocols



related terms


Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol

hot potato routing


Interior Gateway Routing Protocol



Routing Information Protocol

routing protocol

virtual router


Give Us Your

OSPF Products

Shop by Top Models:
Cisco 1721 Router (CISCO1721)
26 store offers from $410 - $956

Cisco 1811 Wireless Router (CISCO1811K9)
14 store offers from $739 - $981

Cisco 871 Wireless Router (CISCO871WGAK9)
14 store offers from $520 - $650

Cisco 871 Router (CISCO871K9)
11 store offers from $381 - $493

3Com 5012 Router (3C13701US)
13 store offers from $677 - $985

JupiterWeb networks:

Search JupiterWeb:

Jupitermedia Corporation has two divisions:
Jupiterimages andJupiterWeb

Legal Notices, Licensing, Reprints, & Permissions, Privacy Policy.

Jupitermedia Corporate Info | Newsletters | Tech Jobs | Shopping | E-mail Offers