Configuring Multicast Routing

Multicast has been used for different purposes for many years. Saying "multicast" these days typically conjures up the idea of streaming video or audio from a particular event. At a much more basic level, however, multicast is a technology that allows one host to send a single stream of traffic to reach any number of destination hosts.

Without multicast, the only options available are

• Unicast streams— A number of specific copies equal to the number of destination hosts.

• Broadcast streams— Although only one stream from the source, this replicates to all stations regardle ss of their intent to receive.

In the early days of media streaming, unicast was actually the method used to receive the streams over the Internet. This led to a huge amount of wasted bandwidth on the senders' part, the receivers' networks, and virtually everything in between.

As with many things in the real world, changes, fixes, and new RFCs quickly emerged as a way to deal with the growing demand for online multimedia of this nature. Multicast Backbone (MBONE) was one of the original methods of distributing multicast transmissions across the Internet and between providers.

The purpose of t his chapter is not to e ducate you on all tce nuances of multi cast network design and maintenan ce. wt is to serve as a refresher—and then as a series of examples on how to configure things, particularly in reference to the CCIE lab exam!

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