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9.4. Electing the Designated Router Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
9.4. Electing the Designated Router

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9.4. Electing the Designated Router

9.4. Electing the Designated Router

This section describes the algorithm used for calculating a network's Designated Router and Backup Designated Router. This algorithm is invoked by the Interface state machine. The initial time a router runs the election algorithm for a network, the network's Designated Router and Backup Designated Router are initialized to 0.0.0.0. This indicates the lack of both a Designated Router and a Backup Designated Router.

The Designated Router election algorithm proceeds as follows: Call the router doing the calculation Router X. The list of neighbors attached to the network and having established bidirectional communication with Router X is examined. This list is precisely the collection of Router X's neighbors (on this network) whose state is greater than or equal to 2-Way (see Section 10.1). Router X itself is also considered to be on the list. Discard all routers from the list that are ineligible to become Designated Router. (Routers having Router Priority of 0 are ineligible to become Designated Router.) The following steps are then executed, considering only those routers that remain on the list:

  1. Note the current values for the network's Designated Router and Backup Designated Router. This is used later for comparison purposes.

  2. Calculate the new Backup Designated Router for the network as follows. Only those routers on the list that have not declared themselves to be Designated Router are eligible to become Backup Designated Router. If one or more of these routers have declared themselves Backup Designated Router (i.e., they are currently listing themselves as Backup Designated Router, but not as Designated Router, in their Hello Packets) the one having highest Router Priority is declared to be Backup Designated Router. In case of a tie, the one having the highest Router ID is chosen. If no routers have declared themselves Backup Designated Router, choose the router having highest Router Priority, (again excluding those routers who have declared themselves Designated Router), and again use the Router ID to break ties.

  3. Calculate the new Designated Router for the network as follows. If one or more of the routers have declared themselves Designated Router (i.e., they are currently listing themselves as Designated Router in their Hello Packets) the one having highest Router Priority is declared to be Designated Router. In case of a tie, the one having the highest Router ID is chosen. If no routers have declared themselves Designated Router, assign the Designated Router to be the same as the newly elected Backup Designated Router.

  4. If Router X is now newly the Designated Router or newly the Backup Designated Router, or is now no longer the Designated Router or no longer the Backup Designated Router, repeat steps 2 and 3, and then proceed to step 5. For example, if Router X is now the Designated Router, when step 2 is repeated X will no longer be eligible for Backup Designated Router election. Among other things, this will ensure that no router will declare itself both Backup Designated Router and Designated Router.[5]

  5. As a result of these calculations, the router itself may now be Designated Router or Backup Designated Router. See Sections 7.3 and 7.4 for the additional duties this would entail. The router's interface state should be set accordingly. If the router itself is now Designated Router, the new interface state is DR. If the router itself is now Backup Designated Router, the new interface state is Backup. Otherwise, the new interface state is DR Other.

  6. If the attached network is non-broadcast, and the router itself has just become either Designated Router or Backup Designated Router, it must start sending Hello Packets to those neighbors that are not eligible to become Designated Router (see Section 9.5.1). This is done by invoking the neighbor event Start for each neighbor having a Router Priority of 0.

  7. If the above calculations have caused the identity of either the Designated Router or Backup Designated Router to change, the set of adjacencies associated with this interface will need to be modified. Some adjacencies may need to be formed, and others may need to be broken. To accomplish this, invoke the event AdjOK? on all neighbors whose state is at least 2-Way. This will cause their eligibility for adjacency to be reexamined (see Sections 10.3 and 10.4).

The reason behind the election algorithm's complexity is the desire for an orderly transition from Backup Designated Router to Designated Router, when the current Designated Router fails. This orderly transition is ensured through the introduction of hysteresis: no new Backup Designated Router can be chosen until the old Backup accepts its new Designated Router responsibilities.

The above procedure may elect the same router to be both Designated Router and Backup Designated Router, although that router will never be the calculating router (Router X) itself. The elected Designated Router may not be the router having the highest Router Priority, nor will the Backup Designated Router necessarily have the second highest Router Priority. If Router X is not itself eligible to become Designated Router, it is possible that neither a Backup Designated Router nor a Designated Router will be selected in the above procedure. Note also that if Router X is the only attached router that is eligible to become Designated Router, it will select itself as Designated Router and there will be no Backup Designated Router for the network.


Next: 9.5. Sending Hello packets

Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
9.4. Electing the Designated Router

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