The switches covered in this guide provide support for advanced routing capabilities. Security is extremely important as complex networks and the internet grow and become a part of our daily life and business. This fact forces protocol developers to improve security mechanisms employed by their protocols, which in turn becomes an extra burden for system administrators who have to set up and maintain them. One solution to this is centralizing the mechanisms used to configure and maintain security information for all routing protocols. The Key Management System (KMS) can carry this burden.

KMS is designed to configure and maintain key chains. A key chain is a set of keys with a timing mechanism for activating and deactivating individual keys. KMS provides specific instances of routing protocols with one or more Send or Accept keys that must be active at the time of a request. A protocol instance is usually an interface on which the protocol is running.