OSPF is a standardized protocol for routing IPv4, developed in 1988 by the Internet Engineering Task Force to replace RIP in larger, more diverse media networks. In 1998, minor changes in OSPF version 2 (OSPFv2) addressed some of OSPF version 1's problems while maintaining full backward compatibility.

NOTE OSPFv2 is described in RFC 2328, OSPF Version 2.

OSPF was developed for use in large scalable networks in which RIP's inherent limitations failed to satisfy requirements. OSPF is superior to RIP in all aspects, including the following:

■ It converges much faster.

■ It supports VLSM, manual summarization, and hierarchical structures.

■ It has improved metric calculation for best path selection.

■ It does not have hop-count limitations.

At its inception, OSPF supported the largest networks.

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