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Multicast Networking and Applications

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Multicast Networking and Applications


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  • Copyright 1999
  • Dimensions: 7-3/8x9-1/4
  • Pages: 304
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-201-30979-3
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-201-30979-9

Seen as the next great leap in Internet technology, multicast is a set of Internet protocols and related technologies that enable the distribution of data to multiple individual hosts--without causing network overload. Multicast is at the heart of many new networking applications being developed today, such as multimedia conferencing, software and critical data distribution through networks, and distance learning.

Geared for network managers, administrators, and developers, Multicast Networking and Applications provides a practical overview of multicast technology, its promises and pitfalls, and its implications for business. This book explores real-world applications that demonstrate key concepts and illustrate how multicast applications can be used to improve business processes and information distribution.

This book features a tutorial on multicast technologies that discusses:

  • link layer versus network layer multicast
  • multicast IP addressing, IGMP, and multicast routing protocols
  • network infrastructures, including frame relay, virtual private networks, satellite networking, high-speed permanent links, switched links, and how each can support multicast
  • replication, mirroring, and caching of Web sites today and how multicast technology can make improvements

In addition, this book explains "push," or Webcasting applications, and the newly proposed push standards. It offers an in-depth look at multimedia streaming applications--focusing on real-time protocols and format--and provides a fascinating look at reliable multicast applications and technology, the creation of multicast groups, and the critical topic of security.

Multicast Networking and Applications offers real-world case studies from companies that are now implementing and using multicast technology, including Microsoft, 3Com, Smith Barney, General Motors, and Toys "R" Us.

You will also find a revealing look at the future of multicast and the business trends that are driving the development of this powerful technology.



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Sample Content

Table of Contents


1. Introduction.

Multicast Applications.

Real-Time Multimedia Applications.

Real-Time (Streaming) Data Applications.

Non-Real-Time Multimedia Applications.

Non-Real-Time Data Applications.

Organization and Target Audience.

2. Link-Layer Multicast Versus Network-Layer Multicast.

Link-Layer Multicast.

Frame Relay Multicast.

Switched Multimegabit Data Service (SMDS).

Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM).

Link-Layer Multicast Issues.

Network-Layer Multicast (IP Multicast).

3. Multicast IP.

Multicast IP Addressing.

Scoped Multicast Addresses.

Binding to LAN MAC Addresses.

Multicast Ipv6.

Multicast Address Allocation.

IGMP and Joining Multicast Groups.




Multicast Routing Protocols.

Distance Vector Multicast Routing Protocol (DVMRP).

Protocol Independent Multicast—Dense Mode (PIM-DM).

Multicast Open Shortest Path First (MOSPF).

Shared-Tree (Sparse-Mode) Multicast Routing Protocols.

Protocol Independent Multicast—Sparse Mode (PIM-SM).

Core-Based Trees (CBT).

Interdomain Multicast Routing.

4. Network Infrastructures and Ease of Implementation of Multicast IP.

LANs and Campus Networks.

Shared LANs.

LANs Segmented by Bridges.

Switched LANs.

Campus Networks.

Wide Area Networks (WANs).

Frame Relay.


Switched Multimegabit Data Service (SMDS).

Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM).

Virtual Private Networking (VPN).

Two-Way Satellite (VSAT).

Hybrid One-Way Satellite Overlay to Land-Line Routed Networks.

Future High-Speed Satellite Data Infrastructures.

Coping with the “Last Mile”.

High-Speed Permanent Links.

Switched Links.

Summary and Conclusions.

5. Replication, Mirroring, and Caching.

Caching and Replication: What are they?

Network Caching Systems.

The Web.

Today’s Network Caching Systems.

Stale Content.

“Flushing” Algorithms (The “Garbage Collection” Problem).

“Hit” Statistics.

Security Issues.

Copyright Issues.

Commercial Network Proxy Cache Products.

Treatment of Clusters.


Summary and Conclusions.

6. “Push” Applications (“Webcasting.”)

The Content Aggregator.


Other Content Aggregators.

Platform Providers.

Proposed “Push” Standards.

Channel Definition Format (CDF).

Meta Content Framework (MCF) and Resource Description Format (RDF).

Open Software Description (OSD).

HTTP Distribution and Replication Protocol (DRP).

E-mail as “Push” Technology.

The Future of “Push”?

7. Multimedia Streaming Applications and Technology.

Business Case Studies.


Smith Barney.

National Institutes of Health.



Multimedia Protocols and Formats.

Multimedia Codecs.

Real-Time Protocol and Real-Time-Control Protocol (RTP and RTCP).

Quality of Service, Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP), and Flows.

Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP).

Multimedia File Formats.

Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL).


8. Reliable Multicast Applications and Technology.

Data-Only Real-Time Applications.

Non-Real-Time Applications.

Case Studies.

A Major Telephone Carrier.


Toys “R” Us.

The Ohio Company.


General Motors.

Reliable Multicast Protocols — Requirements and Examples.

Brief Review of TCP.

Existing Reliable Multicast Protocols and Design Philosophies.

Generalized Reliable Multicast Protocols.

Scalable Reliable Multicast (SRM).

Reliable Multicast Transport Protocol (RMTP/RMTP1).

Pretty Good Multicast (PGM).

Specialized Reliable Multicast Protocols.

Reliable Adaptive Multicast Protocol (RAMP).


Multicast File Transfer Protocol (MFTP).

Research Activities and Topics in Reliable Multicast.

Forward Error Correction (FEC) Techniques.

Erasure Correction.

Layering Using FEC for Congestion Control.

Bulk Feedback.

Optimized Local Repair.

Summary and Conclusions.

9. The Creation of Groups.

The IETF MMUSIC Group Conferencing Architecture.

Session Announcement Protocol (SAP) and Session Description Protocol (SDP).

Session Invitation Protocol (SIP).

MFTP Group Creation.

MFTP Announce/Registration and Completion Phases.

Closed Groups.

Open Limited and Unlimited Groups.

TIBCO’s Publish/Subscribe and Subject-Based Addressing.


10. Security Systems Applied to Multicast Applications.

Multicast Applications Needing Security.

Collaborative Applications.

Multimedia Streaming Applications.

Data Streaming Applications.

Bulk Data Transfer Applications.

Malicious Attacks Using Multicast.

Brief Review of Security Technology.

Message Digests and Hash Functions.

Key Management.


Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).


The Group Key Management Problem.


11. Barriers to Deployment.

Reluctance to Change Today’s Networks.

Private Network Barriers.

Public Network Barriers.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

The Internet.


12. Musings and Prognostications — What Does the Future Hold?

Short-Term Trends.

Relative Costs of Storage and Bandwidth.

The Conversion of the Broadcast Industry from Analog to Digital.

Diminishing Costs for Remote Equipment for Wireless Transmission.

The Continuing Explosion of the Internet.

Greater Distribution for Organizations.

Outsourcing of WAN Network Services.

Long-Term Trends.

Huge Projects to Add High-Speed Wireless Data Infrastructures.

Continued Internet Growth Fueled by Voice Traffic.

What Are the Implications for Multicast?


Index. 0201309793T04062001


When I was approached in the summer of 1997 by Addison-Wesley to write a book on multicast networking and applications, I thought long and hard about whether to accept the offer. Although I had written a number of technical articles, I had never written a book before. Also, I was founder of a new company, StarBurst Communications, and had a high commitment to making it a success. This would mean I would need to write the book on personal time--nights, early mornings, and weekends.

As is obvious, I decided to take the plunge and make the commitment. The whole area of multicast networking and applications is an emerging market, and no books have been written on the subject by a non-academic or corporate researcher. I have been told that I am a clear writer on technology subjects, having spent some time as a columnist for Data Communications magazine in the early 1990s. I have targeted this book to IS staff members in commercial organizations who need to get a total view of this new technology, its pitfalls and promises, and its potential for helping the reader's specific company.

The process of writing this book has been a gratifying learning experience. Although I had knowledge of all of the topics in the book, I needed to gain more detailed information on some of them. I cannot explain a subject clearly to a reader if I do not understand it thoroughly myself. This process has thus helped me have a complete understanding of all of the issues in this emerging area in much greater detail.


Many people have given me help and encouragement in the writing of this book. My colleagues at StarBurst have been unstinting in their support. The reviewers have been helpful in giving critiques that prompted the addition of new subjects and changes in the organization of the book, which I think has greatly strengthened the final result. I wish to single out for thanks Ted Hanss from Internet2, who encouraged me to add case studies, and Don Brutzman of the Naval Postgraduate School and Matt Naugle of ZIPCOM, Inc., who provided useful suggestions for organization. Ray Patch from Microsoft and Bob Quinn, a consultant to the IP Multicast Initiative, provided suggestions on Chapters 7-9. Markus Hofmann from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, gave me much encouragement and made many helpful suggestions relating to Chapter 8. Special thanks go to my brother, Don Miller, who was a former English teacher, English Department Chairman, and finally Headmaster at a number of private high schools. He reviewed the book for grammar and content and proved to be a good test to see if the material was easily understood, given that he is not a "techie."

I also wish to acknowledge my editors at Addison-Wesley, Karen Gettman and Mary Hart, who provided me encouragement and guidance in the writing of this, my first book.

Finally, a special thanks to my wife Dorcas, who provided support and encouragement as I used our personal time to complete this project.




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