Summarizing routes in RIP Version 2 improves scalability and efficiency in large networks. Summarizing IP addresses means that there is no entry for child routes (routes that are created for any combination of the individual IP addresses contained within a summary address) in the RIP routing table, reducing the size of the table and allowing the router to handle more routes.
Summary IP address functions more efficiently than multiple individually advertised IP routes for the following reasons:
The summarized routes in the RIP database are processed first.
Any associated child routes that are included in a summarized route are skipped as RIP looks through the routing database, reducing the processing time required.
Cisco routers can summarize routes in two ways:
Automatically, by summarizing subprefixes to the classful network boundary when crossing classful network boundaries (automatic summary).
Automatic summary is enabled by default.
As specifically configured, advertising a summarized local IP address pool on the specified interface (on a network access server) so that the address pool can be provided to dialup clients.
When RIP determines that a summary address is required in the RIP database, a summary entry is created in the RIP routing database. As long as there are child routes for a summary address, the address remains in the routing database. When the last child route is removed, the summary entry also is removed from the database. This method of handling database entries reduces the number of entries in the database because each child route is not listed in an entry, and the aggregate entry itself is removed when there are no longer any valid child routes for it.
RIP Version 2 route summarization requires that the lowest metric of the "best route" of an aggregated entry, or the lowest metric of all current child routes, be advertised. The best metric for aggregated summarized routes is calculated at route initialization or when there are metric modifications of specific routes at advertisement time, and not at the time the aggregated routes are advertised.
The ip summary-address rip routerconfiguration command causes the router to summarize a given set of routes learned via RIP Version 2 or redistributed into RIP Version 2. Host routes are especially applicable for summarization.
You can verify which routes are summarized for an interface using the show ip protocols EXEC command. You can check summary address entries in the RIP database. These entries will appear in the database only if relevant child routes are being summarized. To display summary address entries in the RIP routing database entries if there are relevant routes being summarized based upon a summary address, use the show ip rip database command in EXEC mode. When the last child route for a summary address becomes invalid, the summary address is also removed from the routing table.