Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) is a routing protocol developed for Internet Protocol (IP) networks by the interior gateway protocol (IGP) working group of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The working group was formed in 1988 to design an IGP based on the shortest path first (SPF) algorithm for use in the Internet. Similar to the Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (IGRP), OSPF was created because in the mid-1980s, the Routing Information Protocol (RIP) was increasingly unable to serve large, heterogeneous internetworks.
OSPF is a classless routing protocol, which means that in its updates, it includes the subnet of each route it knows about, thus, enabling variable-length subnet masks. With variable-length subnet masks, an IP network can be broken into many subnets of various sizes. This provides network administrators with extra network-configuration flexibility.These updates are multicasts at specific addresses (220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168).
For more information on OSPF visit our OSPF Routing Protocol section
The diagram below shows us the information that each field of an OSPF packet contains: