Friday, 9 May 2008

Routing Options

When connecting multiple networks using Windows Server 2003 as a router you have a few options:
  • Default Routing
  • Static Routing
  • Routing Information Protocol (RIP)
  • Open Shortest Path First (OSPF)
Default Routing and Static Routing are both a static type of routing, that is, routing tables are manually updated (or not updated at all). RIP and OSPF are Dynamic Routing Protocols, where routers update each other.

Default routing can only be used on directly connected networks (1 router).

Static routing can be used on small networks with 10 or less routers that do not change often. use this solution to eliminate traffic caused by routing updates.

RIP (Routing Information Protocol) should be used on medium sized networks. RIP is very bandwidth intensive, by default a RIP router will broadcast every 60 seconds. RIP v2 allows for multicast which will reduce traffic but generally RIP is only recommended for 10-50 routers. RIP counts the number of hops to determine the fastest route between to hosts. RIP version 1 doesn’t support VLSM (Variable Length Subnet Masks). If a RIP router goes offline, the other RIP routers will remove the networks routes available on the downed router from their routing table automatically.

OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) is a link state protocol that examines throughput and current load. OSPF is recommended for networks with 50 or more routers as OSPF requires more administration than RIP.

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