Distance-Vector Routing Protocols – RIP Versions

This paper discusses the distance-vector routing protocols with more emphasis on RIP versions.  Routing protocols basically entails network protocols used to advertise and learn connected networks and available network paths or routes. The main purpose of a routing protocol is to learn routes for Routed protocols (RP) and Internet Protocols (IP). A routed protocol is a network protocol used to transfer data to different networks. A routing protocol differs from a routed protocol in the sense that it has the capacity to learn about a network when a new one is added while at the same time detecting when the existing network is unavailable (Ross & Kurose, 2016). The other difference is that routed protocols are normally available in any device that participates in network communication, for example computers, routers and switches. A routing protocol on the other hand is only available in routers, network serves with Network Operating Systems (NOP) and Layer 3 switches. They are not available in printers and computers.

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Distance vector routing protocol utilizes distance to decide the most effective forwarding path. It is a simple distributing routing protocol. It also allows routers to spontaneously discover reachable destinations within a network as well as determining the shortest paths to these destinations. The shortest path is normally computed upon considering the costs associated to each link. Regarding its advantages, this type of routing protocol is very simple, entails less management and is suitable for small networks (Denton, 2016). It also does not require advanced skills and knowledge to implement. It does not require high levels of bandwidth so as to send its periodic updates. Tagging to that is that it does not require a larger memory or more CPU resources so as store its routing data.

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Its disadvantage is that it has very poor convergence properties and that it does not scale well. It has very limited scalability mostly due to slow convergence time, routing loops and bandwidth consumption (Denton, 2016). This limits its usability in large networks that needs small propagation delays. Routing loops occur when more routers have wrong information to intended network. This can lead to development of count-to infinity problem, which occurs when a router is not able to reach the adjoining network. It can also lead to jamming in WAN links.

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A Link State Routing protocol learns the entire network through the exchange of messages. This type of protocol receives firsthand information from all its routers therefore it cannot be misled into making wrong routing decisions. They are built from the shortest path algorithm and at times it is called distributed database protocols. The concept behind this protocol is that it has nodes that form a connectivity map to the network; this shows how the nodes are connected in form of a graph (Rivas, 2014). Each node then independently calculates efficient path from the node to the desired destination in the network.

One of the advantages of using Link State routing protocols is its quick response to network changes. Its network convergence is very fast. The other one is that occurrence of routing loops is very minimal since each router has its own complete and well synchronized depiction of the entire network. Since each router has a clear map of its network area, it is very easy to troubleshoot any problem that might arise. The size of its database can be minimized, an attribute that increases the rate of convergence. The disadvantage is that it requires more processing powers and memory compared to distance vector protocol (Rivas, 2014). This is relatively expensive especially in companies with small budgets.  It is also very complex to implement therefore it will require a personnel in the organization with good understanding of the protocols. During the initial implementation, it can flood the network hence reducing the network’s ability to transport data efficiently. This might degrade network performances.

Routing Information Protocol (RIP) is one of the ancient types of distance vector protocol. It employs the use of hop calculation as a course-plotting metric. By limiting the amount of hops in a path from the source to intended destination, RIP is able to prevent occurrence of routing loops. It comes in two varieties, Version 1 and Version 2. Version 1 makes use of broadcast when updating routing table. It is vulnerable to attacks since it does not support router authentication (Ross & Kurose, 2016). Version 2 is classless protocol and uses multicast. It was developed to solve the deficiencies exhibited in Version. It has the ability to carry subnet data. RIP is employed when identifying a single route to a given destination and in smaller networks. OSPF is one of the Link State routing and it is recognized by its ability to send information when certain changes network changes have occurred (Denton, 2016). Since it supports multiple routes to a single destination, it can be employed in larger networks. A router ID is necessary when enabling OSPF routing, this is the number that is assigned to each router. The other component is neighbor routers, which are two routers with a common link that can communicate to each other. Finally is the area, which limits LSA and encourages aggregate routes. Adjacency also needs to be considered, this is the connection between two neighbor routers.

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