Network Working Group Internet Architecture Board
Request for Comments: 1370 Lyman Chapin, Chair
Applicability Statement for OSPF
Status of this Memo
This memo is an IAB standards track Applicability Statement for the
Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
improvements. Please refer to the current edition of the "IAB
Official Protocol Standards" for the standardization state and status
of this specification. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
Users and vendors have expressed a strong need for IP routers from
different vendors that can interoperate using a common Interior
Gateway Protocol (IGP). There is therefore an urgent requirement for
a high-functionality non-proprietary 'open' IGP that will be
ubiquitously available from all IP router vendors.
The Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) routing protocol  was
developed by the IETF to fill this need. This Applicability
Statement specifies the circumstances under which OSPF must be
implemented by router vendors. The history of OSPF development and
the reasoning behind this Applicability Statement will be found in
This Applicability Statement places a requirement on vendors claiming
conformance to this standard, in order to assure that users will have
the option of deploying OSPF when they need a multivendor,
interoperable IGP in their environment. Users are of course free to
use whatever routing protocol best meets their requirements.
2. APPLICABILITY OF OSPF
An IP router that implements any routing protocol (other than static
routes) is required to implement OSPF  and the OSPF MIB .
Within OSPF, implementation of all features except TOS (Type-of-
Service) routing is required; implementation of TOS routing is
This requirement does not prevent a router from implementing other
routing protocols in addition to OSPF. Complete and definitive
requirements on all aspects of an IP router will be found in a
forthcoming Applicability Statement: "Requirements for IP Routers"
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RFC 1370 Applicability Statement: OSPF October 1992
, currently in preparation in the IETF. "Requirements for IP
Routers", when it becomes a Standard, will take precedence if its
requirements for OSPF should conflict with this present RFC.
It should be noted that OSPF is intended for use by routers for
exchanging dynamic routing information, and not for use by hosts. As
discussed in Section 126.96.36.199 of STD-2, "Requirements for Internet
Hosts -- Communication Layers" , 'wiretapping' of routing
protocols by hosts is not recommended. Recommended mechanisms for a
host to use for discovering local routers and detecting dead routers
will be found in . In particular, the ICMP Router Discovery
messages, under development, will provide a standard way for a host
to learn the addresses of local routers .
 Moy, J., "OSPF Version 2", RFC 1247, Proteon, Inc., July 1991.
 Baker, F., and R. Coltun, "OSPF Version 2 Management Information
Base", RFC 1253, ACC, Computer Science Center, August 1991.
 Braden, R., Editor, "Requirements for Internet Hosts --
Communication Layers", IETF, STD 3, RFC 1122, October 1989.
 Almquist, P., Editor, "Requirements for IP Routers", Work in
 Gross, P., Editor, "Choosing a "Common IGP" for the IP Internet
(The IESG's Recommendation to the IAB)", RFC 1371, IESG, October
 Deering, S., Editor, "ICMP Router Discovery Messages", RFC 1256,
Xerox PARC, September 1991.
Security issues are not discussed in this memo.
A. Lyman Chapin
BBN Communications Corporation
150 Cambridge Park Drive
Cambridge, MA 02140
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