Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) Routing Protocol

Online Courses

Modern networks are connected using the Internet Protocol (IP) and the control of how this traffic is handled is managed by a few routing protocols; of these OSPF (Open Path Shortest First) is one of the most widely used protocols inside organizational networks. This LiveLesson focuses on OSPF, specifically version 2, and what makes it one of the most preferred options.

The objective of this LiveLesson is to start from a basic knowledge of IP routing protocols, and then quickly accelerates into a thorough conversation of OSPF theory, operation, and configuration. These concepts are then solidified with several lab demonstrations, showing you how to display, understand, and configure various OSPF features.


Skill Level

  • Beginner to intermediate

Learn How To

  • Establish relationships between OSPF devices
  • Build the OSPF link-state database
  • Configure OSPF on Cisco devices
  • Create hierarchical routing domain designs with OSPF areas
  • Communicate information between the different types of OSPF areas with LSAs
  • Configure OSPF with multiple areas
  • Secure OSPF implementations from attack
  • Enable Secure OSPF Communication and Interaction
  • Increase OSPF performance and optimization including Graceful restart, LSA/SPF scheduling & Throttling, Incremental SPF, and Prefix suppression

Who Should Take This Course


As OSPF is a widely-deployed routing protocol, this course will appeal to almost any networking engineer. Cisco certification candidates at the CCNA and CCNP level will also find this course useful in preparing for their certification exams.


Course Requirements




Lesson descriptions


Lesson 1: OSPF in Context
Routing Protocol Types
 This includes the review of the different types of routing protocol (DV (PV), LS) and a review of the common protocols that are within each of these groups.
The Distance Vector Approach
 This is a quick walk-through of how a distance vector protocol (RIP) determines the best path through the network.
The Link State Approach
 This is an in-depth review of how link state protocols differ from Distance Vector options, specifically reviewing what each of the different devices know when making decisions.
Link State Adjacencies and the Collection of Link State Data
 This is a high-level review of how link state devices connect together and how the information that is exchanged by OSPF is collected and used to determine the best paths.
Dijkstra's SPF–An Introduction
 This is an in depth review of how Dijkstra's SPF determines the best path, specifically reviewing how networks need to be viewed as a graph of different vertices’ and how each of these use the information that is given to them to find the shortest paths.
Dijkstra's SPF–Some Complexities
 This includes a review of some of the more complex cases that come up when calculating the shortest path tree–including equal cost multipath, pseudonodes, and how they are combined.

Lesson 2: OSPF Concepts
The Communication Blocks of OSPF (Packet Types)
 This will be a review of the different OSPF packet types and the basics of how they are used.
Establishing Relationships between OSPF Devices
 A discussion of OSPF neighborships including the different network link types, designated routers (pseudonodes), timers, required parameters, as well as a review of the different neighborship states.
Introducing the Different Types of Link State Information Blocks (LSDB/LSAs)
 A detailed discussion of the different LSAs that are used to exchange information in a single area OSPF network.
Starting to Build the OSPF Link State Database
 A discussion that takes the information that was covered in the previous lesson and details how this information is used to populate the link state database.
Lesson Lab
 This will include the configuration of an OSPF on Cisco equipment and example of how the LSDBs are built.

Lesson 3: OSPF Function and Hierarchy
Introduction to OSPF Areas
 This includes a review of what an OSPF area is and how it can be used to create a hierarchical routing domain design.
OSPF Route Types and the Initial Building of the Routing Table
 This includes a review of the different types of OSPF routes and how they are used by the OSPF process.
Multi-area Link State Information Blocks
 This extends on a previous lesson and reviews the different LSAs that are used when implementing a multi-area OSPF network design.
Discussing the Different Types of OSPF Area
 This includes a review of the different types of the OSPF area, how they differ from each other, and how they affect the types of LSAs that are allowed to be exchanged.
Moving OSPF Concepts to Reality
 This takes the information collected from the previous lessons and shows how it applies in a few different examples.
Lesson Lab
 This will include the configuration of OSPF using multiple areas using a common topology and building onto it and showing how it affects the LSDB.

Lesson 4: OSPF Security Considerations
Discussing the Different Security Threat Vectors and Motivations
 This includes a discussion of the different ways that an OSPF implementation can be attacked and the recommended features or configurations that can be used to secure against them.
Reviewing the Methods that Enable Secure OSPF Communication and Interaction
 This includes a discussion of the different methods of authenticating and encrypting OSPF traffic. as well as preventing unneeded traffic (passive).
Lesson Lab
 This will include the configuration of one or more of the authentication/encryption methods discussed previously.

Lesson 5: Optimizing OSPF Operations
Accelerating OSPF Convergence
 This includes a discussion about two features that can be implemented to accelerate the convergence time of OSPF, including fast hellos and Bi-directional forwarding detection (BFD).
Controlling OSPF LSA Generation and Propagation
 This includes a discussion of four different technologies that can be implemented to control OSPF LSA generation and propagation, including the LSA throttling, flood pacing, group pacing, and retransmission pacing features.
Altering Shortest Path First Behavior
       This includes a discussion very similar to the last but instead of controlling LSAs, this section focuses on how to alter the behavior of the shortest path algorithm.
Reducing the Size of the LSDB
 This includes a review of a number of features that can be used to reduce the overall size of the link state database and how this optimizes the OSPF process overall.
Reducing the Effects of Restarts on OSPF
 This includes a review of the graceful restart feature as used by OSPF and how it reduces the overall downtime of the OSPF process when a restart is required.

Lesson Lab
 This includes the configuration of the features that where covered in the preceding lessons.

Course Detail
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