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(also route aggregation, route summarization)

Supernetting definition

Supernetting is a technique in computer networking for combining multiple smaller network addresses into a single larger network address. Doing it allows more efficient routing and reduces the size of the routing table. The reason for supernetting is to improve the efficiency of routing in large-scale networks. By aggregating multiple smaller networks into a single larger network, the number of routing table entries can be significantly reduced. This reduces the processing and memory requirements for routers, as they need to store and process fewer entries.

See also: routing information protocol, routing table, subnetting

Supernetting use cases

  • Network Address Allocation: Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and large organizations use supernetting to allocate IP addresses to their customers or internal networks. Instead of assigning individual smaller subnets, supernetting allows them to allocate larger address blocks, reducing the administrative overhead.
  • Routing Optimization: In large-scale networks, routing tables can become unwieldy and consume significant memory and processing resources. By aggregating multiple smaller routes into larger supernet routes, the routing table size is reduced, for more efficient routing and improved network performance.
  • Interconnecting Multiple Locations: When an organization has multiple geographically dispersed locations, supernetting can be used to simplify the routing between these locations.
  • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs): Supernetting can be used in VPN deployments to enhance the routing of traffic between different VPN sites. By summarizing the routes within each VPN, the routing information exchanged between sites can be reduced, leading to more efficient VPN connectivity and improved performance.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security