Storms in the network backbone

By Jeffrey Fritz, |  Networking

One way to minimize the potential for OSPF storms is to divide the network into separate, hierarchical domains, called areas. Instead of having one very large OSPF area or zone, the backbone is made up of a number of adjacent OSPF zones. The common rule of thumb is that there should be no more than 50 routers per area, but this is often reduced depending on the number of interfaces per router and the network backbone size. For example, West Virginia University's backbone network consists of five OSPF areas with no more than two routers per area. That may be conservative, but it has helped to keep us relatively storm free.

With multiple OSPF areas, a storm is less likely to occur because there are only a few devices chatting in the area. If it does, it is more likely to be confined to a specific area -- although this is by no means a guarantee. So proceed with caution. Although they are inevitable, you will want to do whatever you can to prevent and minimize storms in the backbone.

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