January 23, 2009

Incremental SPF is more efficient than the full SPF algorithm, thereby allowing OSPF to converge faster on a new routing topology in reaction to a network event.

So how does this work?
OSPF uses Dijkstra’s SPF algorithm to compute the shortest path tree (SPT). During the computation of the SPT, the shortest path to each node is discovered. The topology tree is used to populate the routing table with routes to IP networks. When changes to a Type-1 or Type-2 link-state advertisement (LSA) occur in an area, the entire SPT is recomputed. In many cases, the entire SPT need not be recomputed because most of the tree remains unchanged.

Incremental SPF allows the system to recompute only the affected part of the tree. Recomputing only a portion of the tree rather than the entire tree results in faster OSPF convergence and saves CPU resources. Note that if the change to a Type-1 or Type-2 LSA occurs in the calculating router itself, then the full SPT is performed.

Incremental SPF is scheduled in the same way as the full SPF. Routers enabled with incremental SPF and routers not enabled with incremental SPF can function in the same internetwork.

How do you enable it?
R1(config)#router ospf 1

How to verify its is enabled?
R1#sh ip ospf
Routing Process "ospf 1" with ID
Start time: 2d09h, Time elapsed: 00:07:52.356
Supports only single TOS(TOS0) routes
Supports opaque LSA
Supports Link-local Signaling (LLS)
Supports area transit capability
Router is not originating router-LSAs with maximum metric
Initial SPF schedule delay 5000 msecs
Minimum hold time between two consecutive SPFs 10000 msecs
Maximum wait time between two consecutive SPFs 10000 msecs
Incremental-SPF enabled <<----
--output omitted----


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