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Lesson 6Internet multicasting
ObjectiveDescribe internet multicasting.

Internet Multicasting

Internet multicasting is an IP-based networking technique used to broadcast various media types from a single source to multiple end-points. In recent years, Internet multicasting has exploded in popularity. Multicasting has become a key tool for an architect as this technology supports:
  1. Video streaming
  2. Radio simulation
  3. Webcasts

IP Multicast Initiative
Multicasting does not consume bandwidth like classic internetworking, which really is a peer-to-peer (many-to-many) form of networking.
Multicasting supports a one-to-many, unidirectional paradigm over the Internet (or VPNs of Internet technology, such as Extranets and Intranets). Despite advances in bandwidth production due to ADSL[1], cable modems, ATM[2], and Gigabit Ethernet[3], many believe that without multicasting, bandwidth production will not keep up with bandwidth demand (that is, without multicasting, the Internet could be really slow).

Routers and Switches

Cisco now supports multicasting capabilities in its routers and switches. Therefore, e-Commerce architects should remain aware of opportunities to use multicasting in their solutions.

Internet Multicasting Considerations

Mbone Multicasting
Consider ways multicasting can be used
Multicasting introduces entirely new concepts into the Internet experience. Multicast challenges the architect to bring richer, unidirectional application delivery to e-Commerce through:
  1. Streaming video/audio
  2. One-way presentations, such as auditorium simulations
  3. Web radio
  4. Webcasts
Internet Multicasting Vendors
It has been posited that eventually multicasting will draw together television and the Web. If you think about it, TV is based on multicasting as well. The architect should look for opportunities to take advantage of multicasting in e-Commerce solutions.

[1] Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL): Allows more data to be sent over existing copper telephone lines
[2] Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM): A network technology that transfers data at very high speeds in cells or packets of a fixed size. This enables ATM equipment to transmit video, audio, and computer data over the same network, assuring that a single type of data does not hog the line.
[3] Gigabit Ethernet: Provides increased network bandwidth and interoperability among existing Ethernets at operating speeds from 10 Mbps to 1000 Mbps.