| OSI model |
Intermediate System to Intermediate System (IS-IS, also written ISIS) is a routing protocol designed to move information efficiently within a computer network, a group of physically connected computers or similar devices. It accomplishes this by determining the best route for data through a packet switching network.
The IS-IS protocol is defined in ISO/IEC 10589:2002   as an international standard within the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference design. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) republished IS-IS in RFC 1142, but that RFC was later marked as historic by RFC 7142 because it republished a draft rather than a final version of the (International Organization for Standardization) ISO standard, causing confusion.
IS-IS has been called "the de facto standard for large service provider network backbones." 
IS-IS is an interior gateway protocol, designed for use within an administrative domain or network. This is in contrast to exterior gateway protocols, primarily Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), which is used for routing between autonomous systems (RFC 1930).
IS-IS is a link-state routing protocol, operating by reliably flooding link state information throughout a network of routers. Each IS-IS router independently builds a database of the network's topology, aggregating the flooded network information. Like the OSPF protocol, IS-IS uses Dijkstra's algorithm for computing the best path through the network. Packets (datagrams) are then forwarded, based on the computed ideal path, through the network to the destination.
The IS-IS protocol was developed by a team of people working at Digital Equipment Corporation as part of DECnet Phase V. It was standardized by the ISO in 1992 as ISO 10589 for communication between network devices that are termed Intermediate Systems (as opposed to end systems or hosts) by the ISO. The purpose of IS-IS was to make possible the routing of datagrams using the ISO-developed OSI protocol stack called CLNS.
IS-IS was developed at roughly the same time that the Internet Engineering Task Force IETF was developing a similar protocol called OSPF. IS-IS was later extended to support routing of datagrams in the Internet Protocol (IP), the Network Layer protocol of the global Internet. This version of the IS-IS routing protocol was then called Integrated IS-IS (RFC 1195)
IS-IS adjacency can be either broadcast or point-to-point.
Both IS-IS and Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) are link-state protocols, and both use the same Dijkstra algorithm for computing the best path through the network. As a result, they are conceptually similar. Both support Classless Inter-Domain Routing, can use multicast to discover neighboring routers using hello packets, and can support authentication of routing updates.
OSPF was natively built to route IP and is itself a protocol that runs on top of IP, and OSPFv2 is only able to build IPv4 routing tables. IS-IS is an OSI Layer 3 protocol  initially defined for routing CLNS. However, IS-IS is neutral regarding the type of network addresses for which it can route, and was easily extended to support IPv4 routing, using mechanisms described in RFC 1195, and later IPv6 as specified in RFC 5308. To operate with IPv6 networks, the OSPF protocol was rewritten in OSPF v3 (as specified in RFC 5340).
Both OSPF and IS-IS routers build a topological representation of the network. This map indicates the subnets which each IS-IS router can reach, and the lowest-cost (shortest) path to a subnet is used to forward traffic.
IS-IS differs from OSPF in the way that "areas" are defined and routed between. IS-IS routers are designated as being: Level 1 (intra-area); Level 2 (inter area); or Level 1–2 (both). Routing information is exchanged between Level 1 routers and other Level 1 routers of the same area, and Level 2 routers can only form relationships and exchange information with other Level 2 routers. Level 1–2 routers exchange information with both levels and are used to connect the inter area routers with the intra area routers.
In OSPF, areas are delineated on the interface such that an area border router (ABR) is actually in two or more areas at once, effectively creating the borders between areas inside the ABR, whereas in IS-IS area borders are in between routers, designated as Level 2 or Level 1–2. The result is that an IS-IS router is only ever a part of a single area.
IS-IS also does not require Area 0 (Area Zero) to be the backbone area through which all inter-area traffic must pass. The logical view is that OSPF creates something of a spider web or star topology of many areas all attached directly to Area Zero and IS-IS, by contrast, creates a logical topology of a backbone of Level 2 routers with branches of Level 1–2 and Level 1 routers forming the individual areas.
IS-IS also differs from OSPF in the methods by which it reliably floods topology and topology change information through the network. However, the basic concepts are similar.[ citation needed ]
OSPF has a larger set of extensions and optional features specified in the protocol standards. However, IS-IS is easier to expand: its use of TLV data allows engineers to implement support for new techniques without redesigning the protocol. For example, in order to support IPv6, the IS-IS protocol was extended to support a few additional TLVs, whereas OSPF required a new protocol draft (OSPFv3). In addition to that, IS-IS is less "chatty" and can scale to support larger networks. Given the same set of resources, IS-IS can support more routers in an area than OSPF. This has contributed to IS-IS as an ISP-scale protocol.[ citation needed ]
The TCP/IP implementation, known as "Integrated IS-IS" or "Dual IS-IS", is described in RFC 1195.
IS-IS is also used as the control plane for IEEE 802.1aq Shortest Path Bridging (SPB). SPB allows for shortest-path forwarding in an Ethernet mesh network context utilizing multiple equal cost paths. This permits SPB to support large Layer 2 topologies, with fast convergence, and improved use of the mesh topology.  Combined with this is single point provisioning for logical connectivity membership. IS-IS is therefore augmented with a small number of TLVs and sub-TLVs, and supports two Ethernet encapsulating data paths, 802.1ad Provider Bridges and 802.1ah Provider Backbone Bridges. SPB requires no state machine or other substantive changes to IS-IS, and simply requires a new Network Layer Protocol Identifier (NLPID) and set of TLVs. This extension to IS-IS is defined in the IETF proposed standard RFC 6329.
IEEE 802.2 is the original name of the ISO/IEC 8802-2 standard which defines logical link control (LLC) as the upper portion of the data link layer of the OSI Model. The original standard developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in collaboration with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) was adopted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1998, but it remains an integral part of the family of IEEE 802 standards for local and metropolitan networks.
The Internet protocol suite, commonly known as TCP/IP, is a framework for organizing the set of communication protocols used in the Internet and similar computer networks according to functional criteria. The foundational protocols in the suite are the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), the User Datagram Protocol (UDP), and the Internet Protocol (IP). In the development of this networking model, early versions of it were known as the Department of Defense (DoD) model because the research and development were funded by the United States Department of Defense through DARPA.
Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a routing technique in telecommunications networks that directs data from one node to the next based on labels rather than network addresses. Whereas network addresses identify endpoints the labels identify established paths between endpoints. MPLS can encapsulate packets of various network protocols, hence the multiprotocol component of the name. MPLS supports a range of access technologies, including T1/E1, ATM, Frame Relay, and DSL.
Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is a standardized exterior gateway protocol designed to exchange routing and reachability information among autonomous systems (AS) on the Internet. BGP is classified as a path-vector routing protocol, and it makes routing decisions based on paths, network policies, or rule-sets configured by a network administrator.
In computing, Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) is a secure network protocol suite that authenticates and encrypts packets of data to provide secure encrypted communication between two computers over an Internet Protocol network. It is used in virtual private networks (VPNs).
Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) is a routing protocol for Internet Protocol (IP) networks. It uses a link state routing (LSR) algorithm and falls into the group of interior gateway protocols (IGPs), operating within a single autonomous system (AS).
In the seven-layer OSI model of computer networking, the network layer is layer 3. The network layer is responsible for packet forwarding including routing through intermediate routers.
A distance-vector routing protocol in data networks determines the best route for data packets based on distance. Distance-vector routing protocols measure the distance by the number of routers a packet has to pass; one router counts as one hop. Some distance-vector protocols also take into account network latency and other factors that influence traffic on a given route. To determine the best route across a network, routers using a distance-vector protocol exchange information with one another, usually routing tables plus hop counts for destination networks and possibly other traffic information. Distance-vector routing protocols also require that a router inform its neighbours of network topology changes periodically.
Link-state routing protocols are one of the two main classes of routing protocols used in packet switching networks for computer communications, the others being distance-vector routing protocols. Examples of link-state routing protocols include Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) and Intermediate System to Intermediate System (IS-IS).
Anycast is a network addressing and routing methodology in which a single destination IP address is shared by devices in multiple locations. Routers direct packets addressed to this destination to the location nearest the sender, using their normal decision-making algorithms, typically the lowest number of BGP network hops. Anycast routing is widely used by content delivery networks such as web and DNS hosts, to bring their content closer to end users.
The Optimized Link State Routing Protocol (OLSR) is an IP routing protocol optimized for mobile ad hoc networks, which can also be used on other wireless ad hoc networks. OLSR is a proactive link-state routing protocol, which uses hello and topology control (TC) messages to discover and then disseminate link state information throughout the mobile ad hoc network. Individual nodes use this topology information to compute next hop destinations for all nodes in the network using shortest hop forwarding paths.
The Open Systems Interconnection protocols are a family of information exchange standards developed jointly by the ISO and the ITU-T. The standardization process began in 1977.
Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) is a network protocol that is used to detect faults between two routers or switches connected by a link. It provides low-overhead detection of faults even on physical media that doesn't support failure detection of any kind, such as Ethernet, virtual circuits, tunnels and MPLS Label Switched Paths.
The link-state advertisement (LSA) is a basic communication means of the OSPF routing protocol for the Internet Protocol (IP). It communicates the router's local routing topology to all other local routers in the same OSPF area. OSPF is designed for scalability, so some LSAs are not flooded out on all interfaces, but only on those that belong to the appropriate area. In this way detailed information can be kept localized, while summary information is flooded to the rest of the network. The original IPv4-only OSPFv2 and the newer IPv6-compatible OSPFv3 have broadly similar LSA types.
Link State Packet (LSP) is a packet of information generated by a network router in a link state routing protocol that lists the router's neighbors. Link state packet can also be further defined as special datagrams that determine the names of and the cost or distance to any neighboring routers and associated networks. They are used to efficiently determine what the new neighbor is, if a link failure occurs, and the cost of changing a link if the need arises. LSPs are queued for transmission, and must time out at about the same time. They must be acknowledged, and can be distributed throughout the network, but cannot use the routing database.
A routing protocol specifies how routers communicate with each other to distribute information that enables them to select routes between nodes on a computer network. Routers perform the traffic directing functions on the Internet; data packets are forwarded through the networks of the internet from router to router until they reach their destination computer. Routing algorithms determine the specific choice of route. Each router has a prior knowledge only of networks attached to it directly. A routing protocol shares this information first among immediate neighbors, and then throughout the network. This way, routers gain knowledge of the topology of the network. The ability of routing protocols to dynamically adjust to changing conditions such as disabled connections and components and route data around obstructions is what gives the Internet its fault tolerance and high availability.
Shortest Path Bridging (SPB), specified in the IEEE 802.1aq standard, is a computer networking technology intended to simplify the creation and configuration of Ethernet networks while enabling multipath routing.
An IPv6 packet is the smallest message entity exchanged using Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). Packets consist of control information for addressing and routing and a payload of user data. The control information in IPv6 packets is subdivided into a mandatory fixed header and optional extension headers. The payload of an IPv6 packet is typically a datagram or segment of the higher-level transport layer protocol, but may be data for an internet layer or link layer instead.
An interior gateway protocol (IGP) or Interior routing protocol is a type of routing protocol used for exchanging routing table information between gateways within an autonomous system. This routing information can then be used to route network-layer protocols like IP.
Generalized Multi-Protocol Label Switching (GMPLS) is a protocol suite extending MPLS to manage further classes of interfaces and switching technologies other than packet interfaces and switching, such as time-division multiplexing, layer-2 switching, wavelength switching and fiber-switching.