Updated: March 28, 2003
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2
In static routing, a network administrator enters static routes in the routing table manually by indicating:
The network ID, consisting of a destination IP address and a subnet mask.
The IP address of a neighboring router (the next hop).
The router interface through which to forward the packets to the destination.
Static routing has significant drawbacks. Because a network administrator defines a static route, errors are more likely than with a dynamically assigned route. A simple typographical error can create chaos on the network. An even greater problem is the inability of a static route to adapt to topology changes. When the topology changes, the administrator might have to make changes to the routing tables on every static router. This does not scale well on a large internetwork.
However, static routing can be effective when used in combination with dynamic routing. Instead of using static routing exclusively, you can use a static route as the redundant backup for a dynamically configured route. In addition, you might use dynamic routing for most paths but configure a few static paths where you want the network traffic to follow a particular route. For example, you might configure routers to force traffic over a given path to a high-bandwidth link.