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Routers also combine various methods for learning routes. These methods should be designed to work together to establish the most efficient routing throughout the network. In addition to the technical considerations, designers should also consider cost in defining efficiency.
The router may obtain route information from any or all of the following sources:
Designers should also consider what methods are available to trigger failure updates. Local interfaces can be detected via keepalives, including ATM OAM (operation, administration, and maintenance) cells, and the carrier-detect lead.
Before presenting the dynamic routing protocols, it is appropriate to provide an overview of static routes. Static routes refer in the generic to those routes that are manually entered by the network administrator into the routers configuration file. These routes may be used in at least one of three typical situations.
There are a couple of deficits with static routes, however. First, the routes are staticas the name suggests. This means that failures in the network topology cannot be detected and circumvented automatically. Second, the administrator must manually populate the routing table and maintain the entries whenever a change to the network is made.
Cisco routers automatically support proxy ARP on most interfaces. The proxy ARP function will spoof off-network resources with the routers MAC (Media Access Control) address, and the router will take the responsibility of forwarding packets to the final end node. This behavior permits the establishment of routes based on interfaces as opposed to the IP address. For example, the route may be through router 192.168.5.1, but the administrator can reference the route as being out interface Ethernet 0/0.
Because of security, diagnostic, and performance concerns, it is recommended that administrators not use the proxy ARP function and that it be disabled on all interfaces. While it is possible to find network administrators with little or no experience with one of the more advanced dynamic routing protocols, it is very unlikely that an administrator will not have experience with static routes. This static route experience may be to define a default route off the network or to define routes in areas where a dynamic routing protocol would be undesirable, including those in secure arenas and between companies.
Static routes offer the administrator a high degree of control over the network and consume no bandwidth for routing updates, making them advantageous on limited-bandwidth or low-reliability links. So, given the benefits of static routesfamiliarity, controllability, and efficiencywhy would a designer choose to not use static routes?
The answer typically is that designers do use static routes and, in fact, may use them quite often in the overall network design. However, the scalability of the network is greatly limited if the entire network is designed using static routes. This chapter will address the benefits of the dynamic routing protocols later, but for now will define these benefits as load balancing, redundancy, and scalability.
Network Design in the Real World: A Production Design Consideration
Before addressing the details of each routing protocol, it is important to establish a context that brings us back to design. The specifics of each routing protocol could easily consume an entire text on their own, and there are many solid treatments on each. However, for the exam objectives, it is only necessary to have a cursory understanding of each protocola level of detail that would be insufficient in production networks.
Therefore, this sidebar includes a scenario to illustrate a simple design challenge related to the selection of a routing protocol. The deployed solution is provided, so do not consider this to be a test. Rather, review this at a high levelthe specific details of each protocol are provided only as a matrix for this solution set. In your network designs, you will likely add much more detail in terms of cost, complexity, supportability, and availability.
A large financial institution recently deployed a 70+-router network using all static routes. Clearly, it is possible to route a large number of networks using static routes; however, the design is severely limited, particularly in terms of administrative overhead. The network is a hub-and-spoke design with limited bandwidth and single routes throughout. The institution also desired that the network support different subnet masks, although the initial design was based on two hosts per subnet (a /30 mask). Given these conditions, consider the choices available to the designers and whether you would agree with the solution deployed. The routing options for a hub-and-spoke network are as follows:
Following a review of the above material, the only viable choices were RIP v2 and static routes. RIP v2 was considered, but the number of remote configuration steps and the bandwidth consumption issues were sufficient to put it in second place.
Notice some of the themes used in selecting a routing protocol: link bandwidth, router CPU utilization, router memory, support for VLSM, redundant paths, load balancing, availability, and support staff familiarity. These will be important factors in your designs.
The Routing Information Protocol (RIP) is an amazing protocol. Few things in computing have lasted as longand with as few changes (not counting RIP v2). However, IP RIP is a very limited (by todays standards) distance-vector protocol capable of serving networks with up to 15 hops. It is classful, which means that the protocol does not include subnet mask informationtherefore, route summarization and VLSM functions are not available.
|In actuality, RIP and the other classful routing protocols do summarize unfortunately, it is on the classful boundary, which was discussed in Chapter 3. Therefore, summarization with a classful protocol is typically a deterent.|
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