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OSPF
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.

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For internet.com 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

Networks

Routing

related terms

DDR

Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol

hot potato routing

IGP

Interior Gateway Routing Protocol

router

routing

Routing Information Protocol

routing protocol

virtual router

VRRP


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