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Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) is a routing protocol for IP. It is a link-state protocol, as opposed to a distance-vector protocol. A link-state protocol makes routing decisions based on the states of the links that connect source and destination machines. The state of a link is a description of that interface and the relationship to its neighboring networking devices. The interface information includes the IPv6 prefix of the interface, the network mask, the type of network it is connected to, the routers connected to that network, and so forth. This information is propagated in various type of link-state advertisements (LSAs).
OSPF version 3, which is described in RFC 2740, supports IPv6.
How OSPFv3 Works
OSPFv3 is a routing protocol for IPv4 and IPv6. It is a link-state protocol, as opposed to a distance-vector protocol. Think of a link as being an interface on a networking device. A link-state protocol makes its routing decisions based on the states of the links that connect source and destination machines. The state of a link is a description of that interface and its relationship to its neighboring networking devices. The interface information includes the IPv6 prefix of the interface, the network mask, the type of network it is connected to, the devices connected to that network, and so on. This information is propagated in various type of link-state advertisements (LSAs).
A device’s collection of LSA data is stored in a link-state database. The contents of the database, when subjected to the Dijkstra algorithm, result in the creation of the OSPF routing table. The difference between the database and the routing table is that the database contains a complete collection of raw data; the routing table contains a list of shortest paths to known destinations via specific device interface ports.
OSPFv3, which is described in RFC 5340, supports IPv6 and IPv4 unicast AFs.
Comparison of OSPFv3 and OSPF Version 2
Much of OSPF version 3 is the same as in OSPF version 2. OSPFv3, which is described in RFC 5340, expands on OSPF version 2 to provide support for IPv6 routing prefixes and the larger size of IPv6 addresses.
In OSPFv3, a routing process does not need to be explicitly created. Enabling OSPFv3 on an interface will cause a routing process, and its associated configuration, to be created.
In OSPFv3, each interface must be enabled using commands in interface configuration mode. This feature is different from OSPF version 2, in which interfaces are indirectly enabled using the device configuration mode.
When using a nonbroadcast multiaccess (NBMA) interface in OSPFv3, you must manually configure the device with the list of neighbors. Neighboring devices are identified by their device ID.
In IPv6, you can configure many address prefixes on an interface. In OSPFv3, all address prefixes on an interface are included by default. You cannot select some address prefixes to be imported into OSPFv3; either all address prefixes on an interface are imported, or no address prefixes on an interface are imported.
Unlike OSPF version 2, multiple instances of OSPFv3 can be run on a link.
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 device is chosen. You cannot tell OSPF to use any particular interface.