All routers belonging to an area must agree on that area's configuration. Disagreements between two routers will lead to an inability for adjacencies to form between them, with a resulting hindrance to the flow of routing protocol and data traffic. The following items must be configured for an area:
This is a 32-bit number that identifies the area. The Area ID of 0.0.0.0 is reserved for the backbone. If the area represents a subnetted network, the IP network number of the subnetted network may be used for the Area ID.
An OSPF area is defined as a list of address ranges. Each address range consists of the following items:
Describes the collection of IP addresses contained in the address range. Networks and hosts are assigned to an area depending on whether their addresses fall into one of the area's defining address ranges. Routers are viewed as belonging to multiple areas, depending on their attached networks' area membership.
Set to either Advertise or DoNotAdvertise. Routing information is condensed at area boundaries. External to the area, at most a single route is advertised (via a summary link advertisement) for each address range. The route is advertised if and only if the address range's Status is set to Advertise. Unadvertised ranges allow the existence of certain networks to be intentionally hidden from other areas. Status is set to Advertise by default.
As an example, suppose an IP subnetted network is to be its own OSPF area. The area would be configured as a single address range, whose IP address is the address of the subnetted network, and whose mask is the natural class A, B, or C address mask. A single route would be advertised external to the area, describing the entire subnetted network.
Each area can be configured for a separate type of authentication. See Appendix D for a discussion of the defined authentication types.
Whether AS external advertisements will be flooded into/throughout the area. If AS external advertisements are excluded from the area, the area is called a "stub". Internal to stub areas, routing to external destinations will be based solely on a default summary route. The backbone cannot be configured as a stub area. Also, virtual links cannot be configured through stub areas. For more information, see Section 3.6.
If the area has been configured as a stub area, and the router itself is an area border router, then the StubDefaultCost indicates the cost of the default summary link that the router should advertise into the area. There can be a separate cost configured for each IP TOS. See Section 12.4.3 for more information.