Route Summarization and Route Flapping
Another positive aspect of route summarization has to do with route flapping. Route flapping is when a network, for whatever reason (such as interface hardware failure or misconfiguration), goes up and down on a router, causing that router to constantly advertise changes about that network. Route summarization can help insulate upstream neighbors from these problems.
Consider router Edmonton from Figure 4-1. Suppose that network 172.16.74.0/24 goes down. Without route summarization, Edmonton would advertise Vancouver to remove that network. Vancouver would forward that same message upstream to Calgary, Winnipeg, Seattle, and so on. Now assume the network comes back online a few seconds later. Edmonton would have to send another update informing Vancouver of the change. Each time a change needs to be advertised, the router must use CPU resources. If that route were to flap, the routers would constantly have to update their own tables, as well as advertise changes to their neighbors. In a CPU-intensive protocol such as OSPF, the constant hit on the CPU might make a noticeable change to the speed at which network traffic reaches its destination.
Route summarization enables you to avoid this problem. Even though Edmonton would still have to deal with the route constantly going up and down, no one else would notice. Edmonton advertises a single summarized route, 172.16.72.0/21, to Vancouver. Even though one of the networks is going up and down, this does not invalidate the route to the other networks that were summarized. Edmonton will deal with its own route flap, but Vancouver will be unaware of the problem downstream in Edmonton. Summarization can effectively protect or insulate other routers from route flaps.