Developing IP Multicast Networks, Volume I


The definitive guide to designing and deploying Cisco IP multicast networks

  • Clear explanations of the concepts and underlying mechanisms of IP multicasting, from the fundamentals to advanced design techniques
  • Concepts and techniques are reinforced through real-world network examples, each clearly illustrated in a step-by-step manner with ...
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The definitive guide to designing and deploying Cisco IP multicast networks

  • Clear explanations of the concepts and underlying mechanisms of IP multicasting, from the fundamentals to advanced design techniques
  • Concepts and techniques are reinforced through real-world network examples, each clearly illustrated in a step-by-step manner with detailed drawings
  • Detailed coverage of PIM State Rules that govern Cisco router behavior
  • In-depth information on IP multicast addressing, distribution trees, and multicast routing protocols
  • Discussions of the common multimedia applications and how to deploy them

Developing IP Multicast Networks, Volume I, covers an area of networking that is rapidly being deployed in many enterprise and service provider networks to support applications such as audio and videoconferencing, distance learning, and data replication. The concepts used in IP multicasting are unlike any other network protocol, making this book a critical tool for networking professionals who are implementing this technology.

This book provides a solid foundation of basic IP multicast concepts, as well as the information needed to actually design and deploy IP multicast networks. Using examples of common network topologies, author Beau Williamson discusses the issues that network engineers face when trying to manage traffic flow. Developing IP Multicast Networks, Volume I, includes an in-depth discussion of the PIM protocol used in Cisco routers and detailed coverage of the rules that control the creation and maintenance of Cisco mroute state entries. The result is a comprehensive guide to the development and deployment of IP multicast networks using Cisco routers and switches.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578700776
  • Publisher: Cisco Press
  • Publication date: 10/19/1999
  • Series: Networking Technology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 568
  • Product dimensions: 7.75 (w) x 9.44 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Beau Williamson, CCIE(r) No. 1346, is a consulting engineer in the Office of the CTO at Cisco Systems. His area of expertise is general IP networking, with a special focus on IP multicast. He is frequently called upon by Cisco customers and internal Cisco engineers around the world to consult on the design, implementation, and debugging of IP multicast networks. Beau is also the author and developer of Cisco's internal IP multicast training class, as well as a frequent presenter of IP-related topics at Cisco Networkers and CCIE conferences domestically and abroad.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 3: Internet Group Management Protocol

The Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) grew out of the Host Membership Protocol from Dr. Steve Deering's doctoral thesis, and the first version, IGMPv1, was defined in RFC 1112 (the "IP Multicast Dead Sea Scrolls" referred to in Chapter 2, "Multicast Basics"). The most recent version, IGMPv2, was ratified in November 1997 as a standard by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and is covered in RFC 2236.

IGMP messages are used primarily by multicast hosts to signal their local multicast router when they wish to join a specific multicast group and begin receiving group traffic. Hosts may also (with some extensions defined in IGMPv2) signal to the local multicast router that they wish to leave an IP multicast group and, therefore, are no longer interested in receiving the multicast group traffic.

As you will learn later, IGMP is a rather overloaded protocol. IGMP messages are used for several purposes other than the original Host Membership model defined in RFC 1112. Several multicast routing protocols, such as Distance Vector Multicast Routing Protocol (DVMRP) and Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) version 1, make use of special IGMP message types to transmit their routing control information. Other multicast control and diagnostic functions (such as mtrace), which are totally unrelated to the Host Membership model, also use a special IGMP message type to accomplish their task, and others are being proposed still. All of this activity results in what I call the "YAPIOI" category of protocols, yet another protocol inside of IGMP.

Using the information obtained via IGMP, routers maintain a list of multicast group memberships on a per interface basis. A multicast group membership is active on an interface if at least one host on that interface has signaled its desire, via IGMP, to receive the multicast group traffic. This chapter examines the IGMP protocol[md]versions 1 and 2[md]in great detail so that you can become better acquainted with its operational aspects. This chapter also takes a quick peek at what IGMP version 3 (in draft proposal stage as this book is being written) may someday offer in terms of new capabilities.

IGMP Version 1

Why bother learning IGMPv1 if IGMPv2 is now the standard? The reason is simple: most IP stacks in today's hosts still use IGMPv1. The pervasive Microsoft Windows 95 operating system includes built-in support for IP multicast, but unless you download an upgraded version of Microsoft's Winsock DLL, you will be running IGMPv1. On the other hand, if you have upgraded to Windows 98, it contains full support for IGMPv2. The same is true for many UNIX implementations. Unless you install a patch or are running the very latest version of the UNIX operating system, you very possibly will be using IGMPv1. Because you are likely to be dealing with older versions of these platforms that support only IGMPv1, you need to understand how it works and know its limitations.

This section focuses on the details of IGMPv1, including

  • IGMPv1 Message Format
  • The IGMPv1 Query Process
  • IGMPv1 Report Suppression Mechanism
  • IGMPv1 Query Router
  • The IGMPv1 Join Process
  • The IGMPv1 Leave Process

IGMPv1 Message Format

IGMP messages are transmitted inside IP datagrams and denoted by an IP protocol number of 2. IGMP messages are transmitted with the IP time-to-live (TTL) field set to 1 and, therefore, are local in scope and not forwarded by routers. Figure 3-1 shows the format of an IGMPv1 message....

...The following sections define the fields, as depicted in Figure 3-1, that make up an IGMPv1 message.

Version Field

The Version field contains the IGMP version identification and is therefore set to 1. This field has been eliminated in version 2, as noted in the "IGMP Version 2" section later in this chapter. A predecessor to IGMP version 1, whose version number is 0, is described in RFC 988.

Type Field

In version 1 of IGMP, the following two message types are used between hosts and routers:
  • Membership Query
  • Membership Report

Checksum Field

The Checksum field is a 16-bit, one's complement of the one's complement sum of the IGMP message. The Checksum field is zeroed when making the checksum computation.

Group Address Field

The Group Address field contains the multicast group address when a Membership Report is being sent. This field is zero when used in the Membership Query and should be ignored by hosts.

The IGMPv1 Query-Response Process

IGMP primarily uses a Query-Response model that allows the multicast router to determine which multicast groups are active (that is, have one or more hosts interested in a multicast group) on the local subnet. Figure 3-2 shows the Query-Response process in operation....

...In this example, Hosts H1 and H2 each want to receive multicast traffic for group Furthermore, Host H3 wants to receive multicast traffic for group Router A is the IGMP Querier for the subnet and is responsible for performing the queries. Router B is a non-querier and simply listens and records the hosts' responses.

The IGMPv1 Query-Response mechanism for this example works as follows:

  1. Router A (the IGMP Querier) periodically (the default is every 60 seconds) multicasts an IGMPv1 Membership Query to the All-Hosts multicast group ( on the local subnet. All hosts must listen to this group as long as they have enabled multicast so that these queries can be received.
  2. All hosts receive the IGMPv1 Membership Query, and one host (in this example it's H2) responds first by multicasting an IGMPv1 Membership Report to the multicast group,, of which the host is a member. This report informs the routers on the subnet that a host is interested in receiving multicast traffic for group
  3. Because Host H1 is listening to multicast group, it hears the IGMPv1 Membership Report that was multicast by Host H2. Host H1, therefore, suppresses the sending of its report for group because H2 already has informed the routers on the subnet that there is at least one host interested in receiving multicast traffic for group This Report Suppression mechanism helps reduce the amount of traffic on the local network.
  4. Host H3 has also received the IGMPv1 Membership Query, and it responds by multicasting an IGMPv1 Membership Report to the multicast group, of which it is a member. This report informs the routers on the subnet that a host is interested in receiving multicast traffic for group
As a result of this Query-Response exchange, Router A now knows that there are active receivers for multicast groups and on the local subnet. In addition, Router B has been eavesdropping on the whole process and also knows the same information.
Because of the Report Suppression mechanism, routers cannot keep track of the individual hosts joined to a multicast group on a subnet. Therefore, they only keep track of the multicast groups that are active on a subnet. Furthermore, even if the router could keep track of all active members, doing so would not be desirable because it would prevent IGMP from scaling on subnets with large numbers of hosts. Finally, it is not necessary for the router to keep track of each individual member host because traffic is forwarded on a group address and interface basis.

Report Suppression Mechanism

The IGMP Report Suppression Mechanism helps to reduce the amount of IGMP traffic on a subnet to the minimum necessary to maintain a multicast group state. The following describes this mechanism in more detail:
  1. When a host receives an IGMP Membership Query, the host starts a countdown report-timer for each multicast group it has joined. Each report-timer is initialized to a random value between zero and the maximum response interval. The default is 10 seconds.
  2. If a report-timer expires, the host multicasts an IGMP Membership report for the active multicast group associated with the report-timer.
  3. If the host hears another host send an IGMP Membership Report, it cancels its report-timer associated with the received Membership Report, thereby suppressing the sending of a Membership Report for the group.

IGMPv1 Querier

If multiple multicast routers are on a subnet, having more than one of them send IGMPv1 Queries is a waste of bandwidth. In this case, an IGMPv1 Querier, a router responsible for sending all IGMPv1 Queries on a subnet, becomes essential. Unfortunately, RFC 1112 does not specify how that IGMPv1 Querier is elected. Instead, IGMPv1 relies on the Layer 3 IP Multicast Routing protocol (PIM, DVMRP, and so on) to resolve this conflict by electing a Designated Router for the subnet.
Notice that there is a distinct difference between the IGMP Querier and the Designated Router. The multicast routing protocol selects the Designated Router to handle certain multicast forwarding duties on the subnet. Exactly how the Designated Router is elected depends on the multicast protocol in use. RFC 1112 assumed that this Designated Router would also perform the tasks of sending IGMP Query messages. These two functions were later separated in IGMPv2, which is described later in this chapter.

The IGMPv1 Join Process

To reduce the join latency (particularly when a host is the first to join a multicast group on a subnet), it is not necessary to wait for the next Membership Query before sending a Membership Report to join a multicast group. Therefore, when a host wants to join a multicast group, the host immediately will send one or more unsolicited Membership Reports for the multicast group it desires to join.
It's important to note that a host only uses IGMP to signal to the local multicast router that it wants to start or stop receiving IP multicast traffic. It is not necessary for the host to join the group just to send multicast traffic to the group. Therefore, send-only multicast applications only need to begin sending traffic addressed to the multicast group to trigger the local multicast router to start forwarding the multicast traffic to receivers elsewhere in the network.

Figure 3-3 illustrates this unsolicited join process. Here, Host H3 wants to receive traffic for multicast group

...Instead of waiting for the next Membership Query from Router A, it immediately multicasts an unsolicited IGMPv1 Membership Report to group to inform the routers on the subnet of its desire to join this group.

You occasionally may hear someone use the phrase, "sending an IGMP Join to a router" Although there is no such thing as an IGMP Join packet, the phrase is used frequently in normal multicast conversations to signify that an unsolicited IGMP Membership Report was sent to initiate a Join of a multicast group.

The IGMPv1 Leave Process

Unfortunately, IGMPv1 has a rather simple-minded method for hosts to leave a multicast group; they just quietly go away. There is no Leave Group message in IGMPv1 to notify the routers on the subnet that a host no longer wants to receive the multicast traffic from a specific group. The host simply stops processing traffic for the multicast group and ceases responding to IGMP Queries with IGMP Membership Reports for the group....
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Table of Contents

Volume 1
Introduction xviii
Part I Fundamentals of IP Multicast
Chapter 1 Introduction to IP Multicast 4
A Brief History of IP Multicast 7
The Pros of IP Multicast 8
The Cons of IP Multicast 11
Multicast Applications 15
MBone--The Internet's Multicast Backbone 18
Summary 23
Chapter 2 Multicast Basics 24
Multicast Addresses 25
Multicast MAC Addresses 29
Multicast Distribution Trees 34
Multicast Forwarding 40
Multicast Routing Protocol Categories 47
Summary 54
Chapter 3 Internet Group Management Protocol 56
IGMP Version 1 58
IGMP Version 2 64
IGMPv1--IGMPv2 Interoperability 73
The Possibilities of IGMPv3 76
Summary 77
Chapter 4 Multimedia Multicast Applications 78
Real-Time Protocol 79
Session Announcement Protocol 82
Session Description Protocol 84
MBone Multimedia Conferencing Applications 86
Summary 102
Part II Multicast Routing Protocol Overview
Chapter 5 Distance Vector Multicast Routing Protocol 106
DVMRP Neighbor Discovery 107
DVMRP Route Table 108
Exchanging DVMRP Route Reports 110
DVMRP Truncated Broadcast Trees 113
DVMRP Multicast Forwarding 117
DVMRP Pruning 118
DVMRP Grafting 123
DVMRP Scalability 126
Summary 127
Chapter 6 PIM Dense Mode 128
PIM Neighbor Discovery 130
PIM-DM Multicast Forwarding 133
PIM-DM Pruning 136
PIM-DM Asserts 141
PIM-DM Grafting 143
Future PIM-DM Enhancement--State-Refresh 145
PIM-DM Scalability 146
Summary 147
Chapter 7 PIM Sparse Mode 148
Explicit Join Model 150
PIM-SM Shared Trees 150
PIM-SM Shortest Path Trees 156
PIM Join/Prune Messages 161
PIM-SM State-Refresh 162
Source Registration 163
Shortest Path Tree Switchover 169
PIM-SM Designated Router 174
RP Discovery 176
PIM-SM Suitability/Scalability 176
Summary 177
Chapter 8 Core-Based Trees 178
CBT Overview 179
Joining the Shared Tree 183
CBT State Maintenance 187
Pruning the Shared Tree 188
CBT Designated Router 189
Core Router Discovery 191
CBT Version 3 191
CBT Suitability/Scalability 191
Summary 192
Chapter 9 Multicast Open Shortest Path First 194
MOSPF Intra-Area Multicast Routing 196
MOSPF Interarea Multicast Routing 201
MOSPF Inter-AS Multicast Routing 207
MOSPF Suitability/Scalability 209
Summary 211
Part III Implementing Cisco Multicast Networks
Chapter 10 Using PIM Dense Mode 214
Configuring PIM-DM 215
PIM-DM State Rules 217
PIM-DM State Entries 222
PIM Forwarding 226
PIM-DM Flooding 227
PIM-DM Pruning 229
Dense Mode Grafting 232
New PIM Neighbor Adjacencies 234
Summary 238
Chapter 11 Using PIM Sparse Mode 240
Configuring PIM-SM 241
PIM-SM State Rules 242
PIM-SM State Entries 251
Joining the Shared Tree 255
PIM Register Process 259
SPT-Switchover 279
Pruning 289
PIM-SM Special Cases 300
Summary 312
Chapter 12 PIM Rendezvous Points 314
Auto-RP 315
PIMv2 Bootstrap Router Mechanism 328
RP Placement and Tuning 337
Summary 350
Chapter 13 Connecting to DVMRP Networks 352
Cisco DVMRP Interoperability 353
DVMRP Route Exchanges 367
PIM-DVMRP Boundary Issues 382
DVMRP Network Connection Examples 390
Debugging Tips 397
Summary 404
Part IV Multicast at Layer 2
Chapter 14 Multicast over Campus Networks 408
The Flat Earth Society 409
Characteristics of LAN Switches 410
IGMP Snooping 413
Cisco Group Management Protocol 428
Other LAN Switching Issues 437
Summary 442
Chapter 15 Multicast over NBMA Networks 444
Traditional NBMA Networks 445
Multicast over Traditional NBMA Networks 448
Multicast over ATM NBMA Clouds 461
Classical IP over ATM Networks 468
Summary 470
Part V Advanced Multicast Topics
Chapter 16 Multicast Traffic Engineering 474
Controlling Multicast Bandwidth Usage 475
Controlling Multicast Traffic Paths 489
Multicast Load Splitting with GRE Tunnels 500
Broadcast-Multicast Traffic Conversion 503
Summary 507
Chapter 17 Inter-Domain Multicast Routing 508
Issues in Inter-Domain Multicast Routing 509
Multiprotocol BGP 511
Multicast Source Discovery Protocol 514
Future Protocols 518
Summary 523
Part VI Appendix
Appendix A PIM Packet Formats 526
PIMv2 Packet Headers 527
Address Encoding 528
Hello Message 530
Register Message 531
Register-Stop Message 531
Join/Prune Message 532
Bootstrap Message 534
Assert Message 537
Graft Message (Dense Mode Only) 537
Graft-Ack Message (Dense Mode Only) 538
Candidate-RP-Advertisement 538
Differences Between PIMv1 and PIMv2 Packets 539
Index 542
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