load balancing


We have discussed that individual routing protocols use metrics to determine the best route to reach remote networks. But what happens when two or more routes to the same destination have identical metric values? How will the router decide which path to use for packet forwarding? In this case, the router does not choose only one route. Instead, the router "load balances" between these equal cost paths. The packets are forwarded using all equal-cost paths.
To see whether load balancing is in effect, check the routing table. Load balancing is in effect if two or more routes are associated with the same destination.
Note: Load balancing can be done either per packet or per destination. How a router actually load balances packets between the equal-cost paths is governed by the switching process.
The show ip route command reveals that the destination network 192.168.6.0 is available through 192.168.2.1 (Serial 0/0/0) and 192.168.4.1 (Serial 0/0/1).
R 192.168.6.0/24 [120/1] via 192.168.2.1, 00:00:24, Serial0/0/0
[120/1] via 192.168.4.1, 00:00:26, Serial0/0/1
All the routing protocols discussed in this course are capable of automatically load balancing traffic for up to four equal-cost routes by default. EIGRP is also capable of load balancing across unequal-cost paths. This feature of EIGRP is discussed in the CCNP.

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