blank.gif (43 bytes)

Church Of The
Swimming Elephant

15. Virtual Links Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
15. Virtual Links

Up: Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
Up: Requests For Comments
Up: RFC 1583
Prev: 14.1. Premature aging of advertisements
Next: 16. Calculation Of The Routing Table

15. Virtual Links

15. Virtual Links

The single backbone area (Area ID = cannot be disconnected, or some areas of the Autonomous System will become unreachable. To establish/maintain connectivity of the backbone, virtual links can be configured through non-backbone areas. Virtual links serve to connect physically separate components of the backbone. The two endpoints of a virtual link are area border routers. The virtual link must be configured in both routers. The configuration information in each router consists of the other virtual endpoint (the other area border router), and the non-backbone area the two routers have in common (called the transit area). Virtual links cannot be configured through stub areas (see Section 3.6).

The virtual link is treated as if it were an unnumbered point-to- point network (belonging to the backbone) joining the two area border routers. An attempt is made to establish an adjacency over the virtual link. When this adjacency is established, the virtual link will be included in backbone router links advertisements, and OSPF packets pertaining to the backbone area will flow over the adjacency. Such an adjacency has been referred to in this document as a "virtual adjacency".

In each endpoint router, the cost and viability of the virtual link is discovered by examining the routing table entry for the other endpoint router. (The entry's associated area must be the configured transit area). Actually, there may be a separate routing table entry for each Type of Service. These are called the virtual link's corresponding routing table entries. The InterfaceUp event occurs for a virtual link when its corresponding TOS 0 routing table entry becomes reachable. Conversely, the InterfaceDown event occurs when its TOS 0 routing table entry becomes unreachable.[19] In other words, the virtual link's viability is determined by the existence of an intra-area path, through the transit area, between the two endpoints. Note that a virtual link whose underlying path has cost greater than hexadecimal 0xffff (the maximum size of an interface cost in a router links advertisement) should be considered inoperational (i.e., treated the same as if the path did not exist).

The other details concerning virtual links are as follows:

  • AS external links are NEVER flooded over virtual adjacencies. This would be duplication of effort, since the same AS external links are already flooded throughout the virtual link's transit area. For this same reason, AS external link advertisements are not summarized over virtual adjacencies during the Database Exchange process.

  • The cost of a virtual link is NOT configured. It is defined to be the cost of the intra-area path between the two defining area border routers. This cost appears in the virtual link's corresponding routing table entry. When the cost of a virtual link changes, a new router links advertisement should be originated for the backbone area.

  • Just as the virtual link's cost and viability are determined by the routing table build process (through construction of the routing table entry for the other endpoint), so are the IP interface address for the virtual interface and the virtual neighbor's IP address. These are used when sending OSPF protocol packets over the virtual link. Note that when one (or both) of the virtual link endpoints connect to the transit area via an unnumbered point-to-point link, it may be impossible to calculate either the virtual interface's IP address and/or the virtual neighbor's IP address, thereby causing the virtual link to fail.

  • In each endpoint's router links advertisement for the backbone, the virtual link is represented as a Type 4 link whose Link ID is set to the virtual neighbor's OSPF Router ID and whose Link Data is set to the virtual interface's IP address. See Section 12.4.1 for more information. Note that it may be the case that there is a TOS 0 path, but no non-zero TOS paths, between the two endpoint routers. In this case, both routers must revert to being non-TOS-capable, clearing the T-bit in the Options field of their backbone router links advertisements.

  • When virtual links are configured for the backbone, information concerning backbone networks should not be condensed before being summarized for the transit areas. In other words, each backbone network should be advertised into the transit areas in a separate summary link advertisement, regardless of the backbone's configured area address ranges. See Section 12.4.3 for more information.

  • The time between link state retransmissions, RxmtInterval, is configured for a virtual link. This should be well over the expected round-trip delay between the two routers. This may be hard to estimate for a virtual link; it is better to err on the side of making it too large.

Next: 16. Calculation Of The Routing Table

Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
15. Virtual Links


Protect yourself from cyberstalkers, identity thieves, and those who would snoop on you.
Stop spam from invading your inbox without losing the mail you want. We give you more control over your e-mail than any other service.
Block popups, ads, and malicious scripts while you surf the net through our anonymous proxies.
Participate in Usenet, host your web files, easily send anonymous messages, and more, much more.
All private, all encrypted, all secure, all in an easy to use service, and all for only $5.95 a month!

Service Details

Have you gone to church today?
All pages ©1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 Church of the Swimming Elephant unless otherwise stated
Church of the Swimming Elephant©1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 is a wholly owned subsidiary of Packetderm, LLC.

Packetderm, LLC
210 Park Ave #308
Worcester, MA 01609