From the topology map, a routing database is constructed. This database will be unique to each router, which creates a routing database by running the shortest path first (SPF) algorithm called the Dijkstra algorithm. Each router uses this algorithm to determine the best path to each network and creates an SPF tree on which it places itself at the top or root. If there are equal metrics for a remote network, OSPF includes all the paths and load balances the routed data traffic among them.
Occasionally a link may flap, go up and down. This is more usual on a serial line. If this happens, it could cause many LSAs to be generated in updating the network. To prevent this from happening, OSPF introduced timers. These timers forced OSPF to wait before recalculating SPF. These timers are configurable.
NOTE Although RFC 2328 does not state the number of multiple, equal-cost paths that can be used at the same time, Cisco has defined a maximum of six paths that can be used simultaneously for load balancing.
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