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Convergence of Routing Tables
Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.
In a packet-switched, mesh topology network (with the Internet being one of the biggest), networks are joined by routers, and routers keep track of routes to different parts of the network. Routers hold routing tables that indicate the best route to a particular location. These routing tables are created dynamically by obtaining neighbor and route information from other routers. Routers must be constantly updated to changes in the network topology. Routes may be added or removed, or routes may fail due to a break in the physical link.
Convergence is part of the routing table update process. When a link fails or changes, updates are sent across the network that describe changes in the network topology. Each router then runs a routing algorithm to recompute routes and build new routing tables based on this information. Once all the routers in the network have updated their routing tables, convergence is complete.
Convergence is a dynamic routing process as opposed to static routing. In static routing, an operator programs routes into routers. Static routing is appropriate for small networks or when dedicated links exist between networks.
Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.