It is popular to tune the update timers between routers, trading currency of the information for optimization of the bandwidth. All routers running the same routing protocol expect to hear these updates with the same frequency that they send out their own. If any of the parameters defining how the routing protocol works are changed, these alterations should be applied consistently throughout the network; otherwise, routers will time out and the routing tables will become unsynchronized.
WARNING Tuning network timers of any type is an extremely advanced task and should be only done under very special circumstances and with the aid of the Cisco Telephone Support team.
Across WAN networks, it may be advantageous to turn off routing updates completely and to manually or statically define the best path to be taken by the router. Note also that sophisticated routing protocols such as EIGRP or OSPF send out only incremental updates; be aware, however, that these are correspondingly more complex to design and implement, although, ironically, the configuration is very simple.
Another method of reducing routing updates is to implement the technology snapshot routing available on Cisco routers and designed for use across WAN links. This allows the routing tables to be frozen and updated either at defined times, such as every two days or whenever the dialup line is raised. For more information on this topic, refer to the Cisco web page.
To optimize the traffic flow throughout a network, you must carefully design and configure the IP network. In a client/server environment, control of the network overhead is even more important. The following section discusses some concerns and strategies.
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