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How to Implement Single Area and Multi Area OSPF


You may have heard of OSPF before, but what is it and how is it different from other networking protocols?

OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) is a routing protocol that helps routers find the best path to a destination network. It’s an open standard that’s been in use since 1992, and it’s one of the most popular routing protocols in use today.

There are two primary types of OSPF: single area and multi area. In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between these two types and how to implement them in your network.

What Is OSPF?

OSPF stands for Open Shortest Path First, and it’s a routing protocol that’s used in data networks. It was designed to be fast, efficient, and scalable, and it’s one of the most popular protocols out there.

Basically, OSPF allows routers to share information with each other, so that they can create a map of the network and figure out the best way to get from point A to point B. It does this by sending hello packets to all of its neighbors, and then choosing the shortest path based on the responses it receives.

OSPF is a complex protocol, but fortunately there are some great online resources that can help you learn how to use it. Start with our tutorial on single area OSPF, and then move on to multi area OSPF when you’re feeling confident. We promise, it’s not as daunting as it sounds!

Difference Between Single Area and Multi Area OSPF?

It’s important to understand the difference between single area and multi area OSPF, because the two protocols work differently.

In a single area OSPF network, every router is in the same area, and all routers share the same LSDB. In a multi area OSPF network, there are multiple areas, and each area has its own LSDB.

One of the benefits of using a multi area OSPF network is that it helps reduce the size of the LSDB. This is because routers only need to know about routes in their own area, rather than having to know about every route in the network.

Another benefit of using a multi area OSPF network is that it allows you to break up your network into smaller, more manageable parts. This makes troubleshooting and maintenance a lot easier.

How to Configure Single Area OSPF

Your single area OSPF network will have a backbone area, which is the area that contains all of your links. This is also known as area 0.

Configuring your links is pretty straightforward—you just need to make sure that you’re using the correct interface and that the status is up/up. You’ll also need to make sure that the hello and dead intervals are the same on all of your routers.

The next step is to configure your network’s OSPF area. To do this, you’ll need to know the router ID of each of your routers. You can find this by running the show ip ospf interface command on each router.

Once you have the router IDs, you’ll need to create a loopback interface and assign it an address from the network. Then, you’ll need to configure the OSPF process for the loopback interface and assign it to the correct area.

How to Configure Multi Area OSPF

In order to configure Multi Area OSPF, you need to make sure you have a basic understanding of how the protocol works. Let’s take a quick look at the basics:

Multi Area OSPF allows you to have multiple Areas within a single Autonomous System. This means that you can break your network up into smaller, more manageable chunks, which is especially useful if you have a large network.

Each Area is represented by a Router ID (RID), and all the routers within that area must share the same RID. You also need to specify a Network Type for each area—this can be either Broadcast or Non-Broadcast.

The Area Border Router (ABR) is responsible for connecting two or more Areas together, and it’s the ABR that determines which routes are redistributed into other Areas.

Tips for Troubleshooting OSPF

One of the things that can trip you up when implementing OSPF is troubleshooting. But if you keep the following tips in mind, you’ll be able to get things back on track in no time.

  • First, make sure you’re well-versed in the protocol and that you understand how it works. This will help you identify any problems when they occur.
  • Second, always check your configuration against a working router. This will help you make sure your settings are correct.
  • Third, use the appropriate debug commands to help pinpoint the source of the issue. And lastly, always check your network topology to see if there’s something wrong there.

FAQs About Single Area and Multi Area OSPF

You might have some questions about implementing single area and multi area OSPF. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones.

Question: What’s the difference between single area and multi area OSPF?

  • Answer: In a single area OSPF network, all routers are in the same area. In a multi area OSPF network, there are multiple areas, and each area is represented by a different router.

Question: How do I configure single area and multi area OSPF?

  • Answer: It’s actually pretty simple. For single area OSPF, you just need to configure one router as the designated router (DR) for the network. For multi area OSPF, you need to configure one router as the DR for each of the different areas.

Question: What’s the benefit of using single area or multi area OSPF?

  • Answer: The main benefit of using single area or multi area OSPF is that it can help improve network performance and reliability.


Multi Area OSPF configuration is more complex than single area, but it is worth the effort because it provides more redundancy and scalability. You should base your decision of which type of OSPF to use on your network topology.

If you have a small network, with limited resources, you should use single area OSPF. If you have a large network with many routers, you should use multi area OSPF.

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