MPLS and VPN Architectures, Volume II
Chapter 7: Multicast VPN
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Multicast is a popular feature used mainly by IP networks in the enterprise. Multicast allows the efficient distribution of information between a single multicast source and multiple receivers. An example of a multicast source in a corporate network would be a financial information server provided by a third-party company such as Bloomberg's or Reuters. The receivers would be individual PCs scattered around the network all receiving the same financial information from the server.
The multicast feature allows a single stream of information to be transmitted from a source device, regardless of how many receivers are active for the information from that source device. The routers automatically replicate a single copy of the stream to each interface where multicast receivers can be reached. Therefore, multicast significantly reduces the amount of traffic required to distribute information to many interested parties.
This chapter describes in detail how an MPLS VPN service provider can provide multicast services between multiple sites of a customer VPN that has an existing multicast network or is intending to deploy the multicast feature within their network. This feature is known as multicast VPN (mVPN) and is available from Cisco IOS 12.2(13)T onward. This chapter includes an introduction to general IP Multicast concepts, an overall description of the mVPN feature and architecture, a detailed description of each IP Multicast component modified to support the mVPN feature, and a case study that shows how you can implement mVPN in an MPLS VPN backbone.
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