Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) N. Sheth
Request for Comments: 6845 Contrail Systems
Updates: 2328, 5340 L. Wang
Category: Standards Track J. Zhang
ISSN: 2070-1721 Juniper Networks
January 2013 OSPF Hybrid Broadcast and Point-to-Multipoint Interface Type
This document describes a mechanism to model a broadcast network as a
hybrid of broadcast and point-to-multipoint networks for purposes of
OSPF operation. Neighbor discovery and maintenance as well as Link
State Advertisement (LSA) database synchronization are performed
using the broadcast model, but the network is represented using the
point-to-multipoint model in the router-LSAs of the routers connected
to it. This allows an accurate representation of the cost of
communication between different routers on the network, while
maintaining the network efficiency of broadcast operation. This
approach is relatively simple and requires minimal changes to OSPF.
This document updates both OSPFv2 (RFC 2328) and OSPFv3 (RFC 5340).
Status of This Memo
This is an Internet Standards Track document.
This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
(IETF). It represents the consensus of the IETF community. It has
received public review and has been approved for publication by the
Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Further information on
Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741.
Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
OSPF [RFC2328] operation on broadcast interfaces takes advantage of
the broadcast capabilities of the underlying medium for doing
neighbor discovery and maintenance. Further, it uses a Designated
Router (DR) and Backup Designated Router (BDR) to keep the Link State
Advertisement (LSA) databases of the routers on the network
synchronized in an efficient manner. However, it has the limitation
that a router cannot advertise different costs to each of the
neighboring routers on the network in its router-LSA.
Consider a radio network that supports true broadcast, yet the
metrics between different pairs of terminals could be different for
various reasons (e.g., different signal strength due to placement).
When running OSPF over the radio network, for a router to advertise
different costs to different neighbors, the interface must be treated
as point-to-multipoint (P2MP), even though the network has true
Operation on point-to-multipoint interfaces could require explicit
configuration of the identity of neighboring routers. It also
requires the router to send separate Hellos to each neighbor on the
network. Further, it mandates establishment of adjacencies to all
configured or discovered neighbors on the network. However, it gives
the routers the flexibility to advertise different costs to each of
the neighboring routers in their router-LSAs.
This document proposes a new interface type that can be used on
networks that have broadcast capability. In this mode, neighbor
discovery and maintenance, as well as database synchronization are
performed using existing procedures for broadcast mode. The network
is modeled as a collection of point-to-point links in the router-LSA,
just as it would be in point-to-multipoint mode. This new interface
type is referred to as hybrid-broadcast-and-P2MP in the rest of this
2. Requirements Language
The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
"SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].
There are some networks that are broadcast capable but have a
potentially different cost associated with communication between any
given pair of nodes. The cost could be based on the underlying
topology as well as various link quality metrics such as bandwidth,
delay, and jitter, among others.
It is not accurate to treat such networks as OSPF broadcast networks
since that does not allow a router to advertise a different cost to
each of the other routers. Using OSPF point-to-multipoint mode would
satisfy the requirement to correctly describe the cost to reach each
router. However, it would be inefficient in the sense that it would
require forming O(N^2) adjacencies when there are N routers on the
It is advantageous to use the hybrid-broadcast-and-P2MP type for such
networks. This combines the flexibility of point-to-multipoint type
with the advantages and efficiencies of broadcast interface type.
OSPF routers supporting the capabilities described herein should have
support for an additional hybrid-broadcast-and-P2MP type for the Type
data item described in Section 9 of [RFC2328].
The following sub-sections describe salient aspects of OSPF operation
on routers configured with a hybrid-broadcast-and-P2MP interface.
4.1. Interface Parameters
The "Router Priority" interface parameter as specified in OSPFv2
[RFC2328] and OSPFv3 [RFC5340] applies to a hybrid-broadcast-and-P2MP
The "LinkLSASuppression" interface parameter as specified in OSPFv3
[RFC5340] applies to a hybrid-broadcast-and-P2MP interface. The
default value is "disabled". It may be set to "enabled" via
4.2. Neighbor Data Structure
An additional field called the Neighbor Output Cost is added to the
neighbor data structure. This is the cost of sending a data packet
to the neighbor, expressed in the link state metric. The default
value of this field is the Interface output cost. It may be set to a
different value using mechanisms that are outside the scope of this
document, like static per-neighbor configuration, or any dynamic
discovery mechanism that is supported by the underlying network.
4.3. Neighbor Discovery and Maintenance
Routers send and receive Hellos so as to perform neighbor discovery
and maintenance on the interface using the procedures specified for
broadcast interfaces in [RFC2328] and [RFC5340].
4.4. Database Synchronization
Routers elect a DR and BDR for the interface and use them for initial
and ongoing database synchronization using the procedures specified
for broadcast interfaces in [RFC2328] and [RFC5340].
4.5. Generating Network-LSAs
Since a hybrid-broadcast-and-P2MP interface is described in router-
LSAs using a collection of point-to-point links, the DR MUST NOT
generate a network-LSA for the interface.
4.6. Generating Router and Intra-Area-Prefix-LSAs
Routers describe the interface in their router-LSA as specified for a
point-to-multipoint interface in Section 18.104.22.168 of [RFC2328] and
Section 22.214.171.124 of [RFC5340], with the following modifications for
Type 1 links:
o If a router is not the DR and does not have a full adjacency to
the DR, it MUST NOT add any Type 1 links.
o If a router is not the DR and has a full adjacency to the DR, and
both the DR and this router agree on the DR role, it MUST add a
Type 1 link corresponding to each neighbor that is in state 2-Way
or higher and to which the DR's router-LSA includes a link.
o The cost for a Type 1 link corresponding to a neighbor SHOULD be
set to the value of the Neighbor Output Cost field as defined in
4.6.1. Stub Links in OSPFv2 Router-LSA
Routers MUST add a Type 3 link for their own IP address to the
router-LSA as described in Section 126.96.36.199 of [RFC2328]. Further,
they MUST also add a Type 3 link with the Link ID set to the IP
subnet address, Link Data set to the IP subnet mask, and cost equal
to the configured output cost of the interface.
4.6.2. OSPFv3 Intra-Area-Prefix-LSA
Routers MUST add globally scoped IPv6 addresses on the interface to
the intra-area-prefix-LSA as described for point-to-multipoint
interfaces in Section 188.8.131.52 of [RFC5340]. In addition, they MUST
also add all globally scoped IPv6 prefixes on the interface to the
LSA by specifying the PrefixLength, PrefixOptions, and Address Prefix
fields. The Metric field for each of these prefixes is set to the
configured output cost of the interface.
The DR MUST NOT generate an intra-area-prefix-LSA for the transit
network for this interface since it does not generate a network-LSA
for the interface. Note that the global prefixes associated with the
interface are advertised in the intra-area-prefix-LSA for the router
as described above.
4.7. Next-Hop Calculation
Next-hops to destinations that are directly connected to a router via
the interface are calculated as specified for a point-to-multipoint
interface in Section 16.1.1 of [RFC2328].
4.8. Graceful Restart
The following modifications to the procedures defined in Section 2.2,
item 1, of [RFC3623] are required in order to ensure that the router
correctly exits graceful restart.
o If a router is the DR on the interface, the pre-restart network-
LSA for the interface MUST NOT be used to determine the previous
set of adjacencies.
o If a router is in state DROther on the interface, an adjacency to
a non-DR or non-BDR neighbor is considered as reestablished when
the neighbor state reaches 2-Way.
5. Compatibility Considerations
All routers on the network must support the hybrid-broadcast-and-P2MP
interface type for successful operation. Otherwise, the interface
should be configured as a standard broadcast interface.
If some routers on the network treat the interface as broadcast and
others as hybrid-broadcast-and-P2MP, neighbors and adjacencies will
still get formed as for a broadcast interface. However, due to the
differences in how router and network-LSAs are built for these two
interface types, there will be no traffic traversing certain pairs of
routers. Note that this will not cause any persistent loops or
black-holing of traffic.
To detect and flag possible mismatched configurations, an
implementation of this specification SHOULD log a message if a
network-LSA is received for a locally configured hybrid interface.
6. Scalability and Deployment Considerations
Treating a broadcast interface as hybrid-broadcast-and-P2MP results
in O(N^2) links to represent the network instead of O(N), when there
are N routers on the network. This will increase memory usage and
have a negative impact on route calculation performance on all the
routers in the area. Network designers should carefully weigh the
benefits of using the new interface type against the disadvantages
7. Management Considerations
The following MIB variable/value should be added to the appropriate
OSPFv2 and OSPFv3 MIBs ([RFC4750], [RFC5643]).
o For ospfIfType/ospfv3IfType, a new value broadcast-P2MP-hybrid (X)
for the hybrid interface type (X to be defined when the revised
MIB documents are approved).
o For ospfNbrEntry/ospfv3NbrEntry, an ospfNbrMetricValue/
ospfv3NbrMetricValue attribute for per-neighbor metrics. In case
of non-hybrid interfaces, the value is the same as the interface
This section is not normative.
8. Security Considerations
This document raises no new security issues for OSPF. Security
considerations for the base OSPF protocol are covered in [RFC2328],
[RFC5340], and [RFC6506].
The authors would like to thank Acee Lindem and Richard Ogier for
their comments and suggestions.
10. Normative References
[RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.
[RFC2328] Moy, J., "OSPF Version 2", STD 54, RFC 2328, April 1998.
[RFC3623] Moy, J., Pillay-Esnault, P., and A. Lindem, "Graceful OSPF
Restart", RFC 3623, November 2003.
[RFC4750] Joyal, D., Galecki, P., Giacalone, S., Coltun, R., and F.
Baker, "OSPF Version 2 Management Information Base",
RFC 4750, December 2006.
[RFC5340] Coltun, R., Ferguson, D., Moy, J., and A. Lindem, "OSPF
for IPv6", RFC 5340, July 2008.
[RFC5643] Joyal, D. and V. Manral, "Management Information Base for
OSPFv3", RFC 5643, August 2009.
[RFC6506] Bhatia, M., Manral, V., and A. Lindem, "Supporting
Authentication Trailer for OSPFv3", RFC 6506,
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