Every router has configuration parameters that may need to be set. It SHOULD be possible to update the parameters without rebooting the router; at worst, a restart MAY be required. There may be cases when it is not possible to change parameters without rebooting the router (for instance, changing the IP address of an interface). In these cases, care should be taken to minimize disruption to the router and the surrounding network.
There SHOULD be a way to configure the router over the network either manually or automatically. A router SHOULD be able to upload or download its parameters from a host or another router. A means SHOULD be provided, either as an application program or a router function, to convert between the parameter format and a human- editable format. A router SHOULD have some sort of stable storage for its configuration. A router SHOULD NOT believe protocols such as RARP, ICMP Address Mask Reply, and MAY not believe BOOTP.
It is necessary to note here that in the future RARP, ICMP Address Mask Reply, BOOTP and other mechanisms may be needed to allow a router to auto-configure. Although routers may in the future be able to configure automatically, the intent here is to discourage this practice in a production environment until auto-configuration has been tested more thoroughly. The intent is NOT to discourage auto-configuration all together. In cases where a router is expected to get its configuration automatically it may be wise to allow the router to believe these things as it comes up and then ignore them after it has gotten its configuration.