You have the choice of configuring your OSPF network type as either broadcast or NBMA, regardless of the default media type. Using this feature, you can configure broadcast networks as NBMA networks when, for example, you have routers in your network that do not support multicast addressing. You also can configure NBMA networks (such as X.25, Frame Relay, and SMDS) as broadcast networks. This feature saves you from needing to configure neighbors, as described in the section "Configuring OSPF for Nonbroadcast Networks" later in this module.
Configuring NBMA networks as either broadcast or nonbroadcast assumes that there are virtual circuits (VCs) from every router to every router or fully meshed network. This is not true for some cases, for example, because of cost constraints, or when you have only a partially meshed network. In these cases, you can configure the OSPF network type as a point-to-multipoint network. Routing between two routers not directly connected will go through the router that has VCs to both routers. Note that you need not configure neighbors when using this feature.
An OSPF point-to-multipoint interface is defined as a numbered point-to-point interface having one or more neighbors. It creates multiple host routes. An OSPF point-to-multipoint network has the following benefits compared to NBMA and point-to-point networks:
Point-to-multipoint is easier to configure because it requires no configuration of neighbor commands, it consumes only one IP subnet, and it requires no designated router election.
It costs less because it does not require a fully meshed topology.
It is more reliable because it maintains connectivity in the event of VC failure.
On point-to-multipoint, broadcast networks, there is no need to specify neighbors. However, you can specify neighbors with the neighbor router configuration command, in which case you should specify a cost to that neighbor.
Before the point-to-multipoint keyword was added to the ip ospf network interface configuration command, some OSPF point-to-multipoint protocol traffic was treated as multicast traffic. Therefore, the neighbor router configuration command was not needed for point-to-multipoint interfaces because multicast took care of the traffic. Hello, update, and acknowledgment messages were sent using multicast. In particular, multicast hello messages discovered all neighbors dynamically.
On any point-to-multipoint interface (broadcast or not), the Cisco IOS software assumed that the cost to each neighbor was equal. The cost was configured with the ip ospf cost interface confutation command. In reality, the bandwidth to each neighbor is different, so the cost should differ. With this feature, you can configure a separate cost to each neighbor. This feature applies to point-to-multipoint interfaces only.
Because many routers might be attached to an OSPF network, a designated router is selected for the network. Special configuration parameters are needed in the designated router selection if broadcast capability is not configured.
These parameters need only be configured in those devices that are themselves eligible to become the designated router or backup designated router (in other words, routers with a nonzero router priority value).
You can specify the following neighbor parameters, as required:
Priority for a neighboring router
Nonbroadcast poll interval
On point-to-multipoint, nonbroadcast networks, use the neighbor router configuration command to identify neighbors. Assigning a cost to a neighbor is optional.
Prior to Cisco IOS Release 12.0, some customers were using point-to-multipoint on nonbroadcast media (such as classic IP over ATM), so their routers could not dynamically discover their neighbors. This feature allows the neighbor router configuration command to be used on point-to-multipoint interfaces.
On any point-to-multipoint interface (broadcast or not), the Cisco IOS software assumed the cost to each neighbor was equal. The cost was configured with the ip ospf cost interface configuration command. In reality, the bandwidth to each neighbor is different, so the cost should differ. With this feature, you can configure a separate cost to each neighbor. This feature applies to point-to-multipoint interfaces only.
Our OSPF software allows you to configure several area parameters. These area parameters, shown in the following task table, include authentication, defining stub areas, and assigning specific costs to the default summary route. Authentication allows password-based protection against unauthorized access to an area.
Stub areas are areas into which information on external routes is not sent. Instead, there is a default external route generated by the ABR, into the stub area for destinations outside the autonomous system. To take advantage of the OSPF stub area support, default routing must be used in the stub area. To further reduce the number of LSAs sent into a stub area, you can configure the no-summary keyword of the area stub router configuration command on the ABR to prevent it from sending summary link advertisement (LSAs Type 3) into the stub area.
The OSPF NSSA feature is described by RFC 3101. In Cisco IOS Release 15.1(2)S and later releases, RFC 3101 replaces RFC 1587. RFC 3101 is backward compatible with RFC 1587. For a detailed list of differences between them, see Appendix F of RFC 3101. NSSA support was first integrated into Cisco IOS Release 11.2. OSPF NSSA is a nonproprietary extension of the existing OSPF stub area feature.
RFC 3101 support enhances both the Type 7 autonomous-system external routing calculation and the translation of Type 7 LSAs into Type 5 LSAs. For more information, see RFC 3101.
Use NSSA to simplify administration if you are an Internet service provider (ISP) or a network administrator that must connect a central site that is using OSPF to a remote site that is using a different routing protocol.
Prior to NSSA, the connection between the corporate site border router and the remote router could not be run as an OSPF stub area because routes for the remote site could not be redistributed into the stub area, and two routing protocols needed to be maintained. A simple protocol such as RIP was usually run and handled the redistribution. With NSSA, you can extend OSPF to cover the remote connection by defining the area between the corporate router and the remote router as an NSSA.
As with OSPF stub areas, NSSA areas cannot be injected with distributed routes via Type 5 LSAs. Route redistribution into an NSSA area is possible only with a special type of LSA that is known as Type 7 that can exist only in an NSSA area. An NSSA ASBR generates the Type 7 LSA so that the routes can be redistributed, and an NSSA ABR translates the Type 7 LSA into a Type 5 LSA, which can be flooded throughout the whole OSPF routing domain. Summarization and filtering are supported during the translation.
Cisco IOS Release 15.1(2)S and later releases support RFC 3101, which allows you to configure an NSSA ABR router as a forced NSSA LSA translator. This means that the NSSA ABR router will unconditionally assume the role of LSA translator, preempting the default behavior, which would only include it among the candidates to be elected as translator.
Even a forced translator might not translate all LSAs; translation depends on the contents of each LSA.
The figure below shows a network diagram in which OSPF Area 1 is defined as the stub area. The Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP) routes cannot be propagated into the OSPF domain because routing redistribution is not allowed in the stub area. However, once OSPF Area 1 is defined as an NSSA, an NSSA ASBR can inject the EIGRP routes into the OSPF NSSA by creating Type 7 LSAs.
The redistributed routes from the RIP router will not be allowed into OSPF Area 1 because NSSA is an extension to the stub area. The stub area characteristics will still exist, including the exclusion of Type 5 LSAs.
Route summarization is the consolidation of advertised addresses. This feature causes a single summary route to be advertised to other areas by an ABR. In OSPF, an ABR will advertise networks in one area into another area. If the network numbers in an area are assigned in a way such that they are contiguous, you can configure the ABR to advertise a summary route that covers all the individual networks within the area that fall into the specified range.
When routes from other protocols are redistributed into OSPF (as described in the module "Configuring IP Routing Protocol-Independent Features"), each route is advertised individually in an external LSA. However, you can configure the Cisco IOS software to advertise a single route for all the redistributed routes that are covered by a specified network address and mask. Doing so helps decrease the size of the OSPF link-state database.
In OSPF, all areas must be connected to a backbone area. If there is a break in backbone continuity, or the backbone is purposefully partitioned, you can establish a virtual link. The two endpoints of a virtual link are ABRs. The virtual link must be configured in both routers. The configuration information in each router consists of the other virtual endpoint (the other ABR) and the nonbackbone area that the two routers have in common (called the transit area). Note that virtual links cannot be configured through stub areas.
You can force an ASBR to generate a default route into an OSPF routing domain. Whenever you specifically configure redistribution of routes into an OSPF routing domain, the router automatically becomes an ASBR. However, an ASBR does not, by default, generate a default route into the OSPF routing domain.
You can configure OSPF to look up Domain Naming System (DNS) names for use in all OSPF show EXEC command displays. You can use this feature to more easily identify a router, because the router is displayed by name rather than by its router ID or neighbor ID.
OSPF uses the largest IP address configured on the interfaces as its router ID. If the interface associated with this IP address is ever brought down, or if the address is removed, the OSPF process must recalculate a new router ID and resend all its routing information out its interfaces.
If a loopback interface is configured with an IP address, the Cisco IOS software will use this IP address as its router ID, even if other interfaces have larger IP addresses. Because loopback interfaces never go down, greater stability in the routing table is achieved.
OSPF automatically prefers a loopback interface over any other kind, and it chooses the highest IP address among all loopback interfaces. If no loopback interfaces are present, the highest IP address in the router is chosen. You cannot tell OSPF to use any particular interface.
In Cisco IOS Release 10.3 and later releases, by default OSPF calculates the OSPF metric for an interface according to the bandwidth of the interface. For example, a 64-kbps link gets a metric of 1562, and a T1 link gets a metric of 64.
The OSPF metric is calculated as the ref-bw value divided by the bandwidth value, with the ref-bw value equal to 108 by default, and the bandwidth value determined by the bandwidth interface configuration command. The calculation gives FDDI a metric of 1. If you have multiple links with high bandwidth, you might want to specify a larger number to differentiate the cost on those links.
An administrative distance is a rating of the trustworthiness of a routing information source, such as an individual router or a group of routers. Numerically, an administrative distance is an integer from 0 to 255. In general, the higher the value, the lower the trust rating. An administrative distance of 255 means the routing information source cannot be trusted at all and should be ignored.
OSPF uses three different administrative distances: intra-area, interarea, and external. Routes within an area are intra-area; routes to another area are interarea; and routes from another routing domain learned via redistribution are external. The default distance for each type of route is 110.
Because simplex interfaces between two devices on an Ethernet represent only one network segment, for OSPF you must configure the sending interface to be a passive interface. This configuration prevents OSPF from sending hello packets for the sending interface. Both devices are able to see each other via the hello packet generated for the receiving interface.
You can configure the delay time between when OSPF receives a topology change and when it starts a shortest path first (SPF) calculation. You can also configure the hold time between two consecutive SPF calculations.
The OSPF on-demand circuit is an enhancement to the OSPF protocol that allows efficient operation over on-demand circuits such as ISDN, X.25 switched virtual circuits (SVCs), and dialup lines. This feature supports RFC 1793, Extending OSPF to Support Demand Circuits.
Prior to this feature, OSPF periodic hello and LSA updates would be exchanged between routers that connected the on-demand link, even when no changes occurred in the hello or LSA information.
With this feature, periodic hellos are suppressed and the periodic refreshes of LSAs are not flooded over the demand circuit. These packets bring up the link only when they are exchanged for the first time, or when a change occurs in the information they contain. This operation allows the underlying data link layer to be closed when the network topology is stable.
This feature is useful when you want to connect telecommuters or branch offices to an OSPF backbone at a central site. In this case, OSPF for on-demand circuits allows the benefits of OSPF over the entire domain, without excess connection costs. Periodic refreshes of hello updates, LSA updates, and other protocol overhead are prevented from enabling the on-demand circuit when there is no "real" data to send.
Overhead protocols such as hellos and LSAs are transferred over the on-demand circuit only upon initial setup and when they reflect a change in the topology. This means that critical changes to the topology that require new SPF calculations are sent in order to maintain network topology integrity. Periodic refreshes that do not include changes, however, are not sent across the link.
The OSPF LSA group pacing feature allows the router to group OSPF LSAs and pace the refreshing, checksumming, and aging functions. The group pacing results in more efficient use of the router.
The router groups OSPF LSAs and paces the refreshing, checksumming, and aging functions so that sudden increases in CPU usage and network resources are avoided. This feature is most beneficial to large OSPF networks.
OSPF LSA group pacing is enabled by default. For typical customers, the default group pacing interval for refreshing, checksumming, and aging is appropriate and you need not configure this feature.