OSPF Database Exchange Summary List Optimization
RFC 5243

Document Type RFC - Informational (May 2008; Errata)
Last updated 2015-10-14
Stream IETF
Formats plain text pdf html bibtex
Stream WG state (None)
Document shepherd No shepherd assigned
IESG IESG state RFC 5243 (Informational)
Consensus Boilerplate Unknown
Telechat date
Responsible AD David Ward
Send notices to (None)
Network Working Group                                         R. Ogier
Request for Comments: 5243                           SRI International
Category: Informational                                       May 2008

            OSPF Database Exchange Summary List Optimization

Status of This Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.


   This document describes a backward-compatible optimization for the
   Database Exchange process in OSPFv2 and OSPFv3.  In this
   optimization, a router does not list a Link State Advertisement (LSA)
   in Database Description packets sent to a neighbor, if the same or a
   more recent instance of the LSA was listed in a Database Description
   packet already received from the neighbor.  This optimization reduces
   Database Description overhead by about 50% in large networks.  This
   optimization does not affect synchronization, since it only omits
   unnecessary information from Database Description packets.

1.  Introduction

   In OSPFv2 [RFC2328] and OSPFv3 [RFC2740], when two neighboring
   routers become adjacent, they synchronize their link-state databases
   via the Database Exchange process.  Each router sends the other
   router a set of Database Description (DD) packets that describes the
   router's link-state database.  This is done by listing each LSA
   (i.e., including the header of each LSA) in one of the sent DD
   packets.  This procedure allows each router to determine whether the
   other router has newer LSA instances that should be requested via
   Link State Request packets.

   The optimization simply observes that it is not necessary for a
   router (master or slave) to list an LSA in a DD packet if it knows
   the neighbor already has an instance of the LSA that is the same or
   more recent (and therefore will not request the LSA).  To avoid
   listing such LSAs in DD packets, when an LSA is listed in a DD packet
   received from the neighbor, and the Database summary list for the
   neighbor has an instance of the LSA that is the same as or less
   recent than the one received, the LSA is removed from the summary

Ogier                        Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 5243        OSPF Database Summary List Optimization         May 2008

   The optimization, called the Database Exchange summary list
   optimization, does not affect synchronization, since the LSAs that
   are omitted from DD packets are unnecessary.  The optimization is
   fully backward compatible with OSPF.  The optimization reduces
   Database Description overhead by about 50% in large networks in which
   routers are usually already nearly synchronized when they become
   adjacent, since it reduces the total number of LSA headers exchanged
   by about one-half in such networks.  The optimization is especially
   beneficial in large networks with limited bandwidth, such as large
   mobile ad hoc networks.

2.  Specification of Optimization

   The Database Exchange summary list optimization is defined by
   modifying Section 10.6 "Receiving Database Description Packets" of
   RFC 2328 as follows.  The second-to-last paragraph of Section 10.6 is
   replaced with the following augmented paragraph:

   When the router accepts a received Database Description Packet as the
   next in sequence, the packet contents are processed as follows.  For
   each LSA listed, the LSA's LS type is checked for validity.  If the
   LS type is unknown (e.g., not one of the LS types 1-5 defined by this
   specification), or if this is an AS-external-LSA (LS type = 5) and
   the neighbor is associated with a stub area, generate the neighbor
   event SeqNumberMismatch and stop processing the packet.  Otherwise,
   the router looks up the LSA in its database to see whether it also
   has an instance of the LSA.  If it does not, or if the database copy
   is less recent, the LSA is put on the Link state request list so that
   it can be requested (immediately or at some later time) in Link State
   Request Packets.  In addition, if the Database summary list contains
   an instance of the LSA that is the same as or less recent than the
   listed LSA, the LSA is removed from the Database summary list.

   The above additional step (which updates the Database summary list)
   may be performed either before or after the router looks up the
   listed LSA in its database and possibly adds the LSA to the Link
   state request list.  However, to implement the optimization, the
   additional step must be performed for each LSA listed in the received
   DD packet (to fully update the Database summary list) before the next
   DD packet is sent in response.

Ogier                        Informational                      [Page 2]
Show full document text