NSFNET backbone SPF based Interior Gateway Protocol
RFC 1074

Document Type RFC - Unknown (October 1988; No errata)
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                        J. Rekhter
Request for Comments 1074                    T.J. Watson Research Center
                                             IBM Corporation
                                             October 1988

        The NSFNET Backbone SPF based Interior Gateway Protocol

Status of this Memo

   This memo is an implementation description of the standard ANSI IS-IS
   and ISO ES-IS routing protocols within the NSFNET backbone network.
   Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


   I would like to express my thanks to Hans-Werner Braun (MERIT) for
   his contribution to this document.

1.  Overview

   This document provides an overview of the NSFNET Backbone routing
   with specific emphasis on the intra-backbone routing.

   By the end of 1987, the American National Standardization Institute
   (ANSI) forwarded a specification for an Intermediate System to
   Intermediate System routing protocol to the International
   Standardization Organizations (ISO) for the adaptation as an
   international standard.  This ANSI IS-IS protocol is used as the
   interior gateway protocol (IGP) of the NSFNET backbone.  Documented
   here is an implementation description which also includes further
   definitions that were necessary for the integration into an Internet
   Protocol (IP) environment.  Therefore, it should be viewed as a
   continuation of the specifications of the ANSI IS-IS protocol [1] and
   the ISO standard End System to Intermediate System (ES-IS) protocol
   [2].  While the ANSI IS-IS protocol suffices as an IGP, additional
   methods are used to orchestrate routing between the backbone and the
   attached mid-level networks; most notably the Exterior Gateway
   Protocol (EGP).  Further information about the overall NSFNET routing
   as well as some future aspects can be found in [3], [4], [5] and [6].

2.  A brief overview of the NSFNET backbone

   The NSFNET backbone is a wide area network which currently connects
   thirteen sites within the continental United States.  All connections
   are permanent point-to-point links at T1 speed (1.544Mbps).  These T1
   links may contain multiple logical links at sub-T1 and up to the full
   T1 speed.  The result is a hybrid circuit/packet switching network
   able to contain a connectivity-richer logical topology than the

Rekhter                                                         [Page 1]
RFC 1074             NSFNET Backbone SPF based IGP          October 1988

   underlying physical topology would allow by itself.  Each site has a
   Nodal Switching Subsystem (NSS) which is responsible for packet
   switching.  Each NSS is a RISC technology based multiprocessor system
   using IBM RT/PC processors which operate a modified version of a
   4.3BSD kernel.  For the purpose of routing, each NSS is considered as
   a single entity which has connections to both other NSS (via the
   logical network infrastructure) and to regional networks (via local
   area network attachments; typically an Ethernet).

   The routing protocol which is used for the inter-NSS routing within
   the NSFNET backbone is an adaptation of the ANSI IS-IS routing
   protocol [1].  The routing protocol which is used between the
   backbone and the attached mid-level networks is the Exterior Gateway
   Protocol (EGP) [3].  The information exchange between the backbone
   and its connected EGP peers is subject to policy based routing
   restrictions which are maintained in the Policy Based Routing
   Database [4,5].

3.  An overview of the ANSI IS-IS routing document

   The ANSI IS-IS routing protocol specifies a two level hierarchical
   routing where Level 1 routing deals with routing within an area,
   while Level 2 routing deals with routing between different areas.

   This routing protocol belongs to a class of so called "Link State"
   protocols where each node maintains a complete topology of the whole
   network.  The route computation is based on a modified version of
   Dijkstra's Shortest Path First (SPF) algorithm.

   Both Level 1 and Level 2 routing use two types of Protocol Data Units

        The Level 1 Router Link PDU lists IS neighbors.  The Level 1 End
        System PDU lists ES neighbors.

        The Level 2 Router Link PDU lists neighbor Level 2 routes.  The
        Level 2 End System PDU lists address prefixes for systems in
        other Routing Domains.

   The ANSI IS-IS document separates subnetwork independent functions
   from the subnetwork dependent functions.  Subnetwork independent
   functions include dissemination of Router Link and End System Link
   PDU's and the Routing Algorithm.  The subnetwork dependent functions
   cover different types of subnets such as X.25, permanent point-to-
   point links and LANs.

   The IS-IS Protocol is designed to interoperate with the End System to
   Intermediate System (ES-IS) routing exchange protocol [2].  The ES-IS

Rekhter                                                         [Page 2]
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