3.6.d [ii] LSA types, area type: backbone, normal, transit, stub, NSSA, totally stub
that old ospf design guide is great…
OSPF has special restrictions when multiple areas are involved. If more than one area is configured, one of these areas has be to be area 0. This is called the backbone. When designing networks it is good practice to start with area 0 and then expand into other areas later on.
The backbone has to be at the center of all other areas, i.e. all areas have to be physically connected to the backbone. The reasoning behind this is that OSPF expects all areas to inject routing information into the backbone and in turn the backbone will disseminate that information into other areas.
contrast this with what jeff doyle wrote…
Why does OSPF require all traffic between non-backbone areas to pass through a backbone area (area 0)?
Because inter-area OSPF is distance vector, it is vulnerable to routing loops. It avoids loops by mandating a loop-free inter-area topology, in which traffic from one area can only reach another area through area 0.