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NSFNET backbone SPF based Interior Gateway Protocol (RFC1074) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000001883D
Original Publication Date: 1988-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-15
Document File: 5 page(s) / 7K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

J. Rekhter: AUTHOR

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC1074: DOI


This RFC is an implementation description of the standard ANSI IS-IS and ISO ES-IS routing protocols within the NSFNET backbone network.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 32% of the total text.

Network Working Group J. Rekhter Request for Comments 1074 T.J. Watson Research Center IBM Corporation October 1988

The NSFNET Backbone SPF based Interior Gateway Protocol

Status of this Memo

This memo is an implementation description of the standard ANSI IS-IS and ISO ES-IS routing protocols within the NSFNET backbone network. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


I would like to express my thanks to Hans-Werner Braun (MERIT) for his contribution to this document.

1. Overview

This document provides an overview of the NSFNET Backbone routing with specific emphasis on the intra-backbone routing.

By the end of 1987, the American National Standardization Institute (ANSI) forwarded a specification for an Intermediate System to Intermediate System routing protocol to the International Standardization Organizations (ISO) for the adaptation as an international standard. This ANSI IS-IS protocol is used as the interior gateway protocol (IGP) of the NSFNET backbone. Documented here is an implementation description which also includes further definitions that were necessary for the integration into an Internet Protocol (IP) environment. Therefore, it should be viewed as a continuation of the specifications of the ANSI IS-IS protocol [1] and the ISO standard End System to Intermediate System (ES-IS) protocol [2]. While the ANSI IS-IS protocol suffices as an IGP, additional methods are used to orchestrate routing between the backbone and the attached mid-level networks; most notably the Exterior Gateway Protocol (EGP). Further information about the overall NSFNET routing as well as some future aspects can be found in [3], [4], [5] and [6].

2. A brief overview of the NSFNET backbone

The NSFNET backbone is a wide area network which currently connects thirteen sites within the continental United States. All connections are permanent point-to-point links at T1 speed (1.544Mbps). These T1 links may contain multiple logical links at sub-T1 and up to the full T1 speed. The result is a hybrid circuit/packet switching network able to contain a connectivity-richer logical topology than the

Rekhter [Page 1]

RFC 1074 NSFNET Backbone SPF based IGP October 1988

underlying physical topology would allow by itself. Each site has a Nodal Switching Subsystem (NSS) which is responsible for packet switching. Each NSS is a RISC technology based multiprocessor system using IBM RT/PC processors which operate a modified version of a 4.3BSD kernel. For the purpose of routing, each NSS is considered as a single entity which has connections to both other NSS (via the logical network infrastructure) and to regional networks (via local area network attachments; typically an Ethernet).

The routing protocol which is used for the inter-NSS routing within the NSFNET backbone is an adaptation of the ANSI IS-IS routing protocol [1]. The routing protocol which is used between the backbone and the attached mid-level networks is the Exterior Gateway Protocol (EGP) [3]. The...