A routing protocol is a set of processes, algorithms, and messages that are used to exchange routing information and populate the routing table with the routing protocol’s choice of best paths. The purpose of a routing protocol includes
■ Discovering remote networks
■ Maintaining up-to-date routing information
■ Choosing the best path to destination networks
■ Having the ability to find a new best path if the current path is no longer available
The components of a routing protocol are as follows:
■ Data structures: Some routing protocols use tables or databases for their operations. This information is kept in RAM.
■ Algorithm: An algorithm is a finite list of steps used in accomplishing a task. Routing protocols use algorithms for processing routing information and for best-path determination.
■ Routing protocol messages: Routing protocols use various types of messages to discover neighbouring routers, exchange routing information, and do other tasks to learn and maintain accurate information about the network.