Sunday, July 8, 2007

IP multicasting

IP multicasting is a very interesting thing .... many protocalls to handle the Multicast traffic at different segments of the network ...but all the traffic is sent as UDP ( RTP ) ..

typical IP ulticasting environemnt with IGMP and PIM protocalls will look like this ,

PIM - is used by Router to communicate with eachother about which multicast traffic to forward and which not to.

IGMP - For Video clients to join to their local multicast server to watch videos

in my environment I already simulated the IGMP part , for that I used following equipment :

Local Multicast router : L3 DLINK swithc / PANEX SF-0420G - both are swicthes with Multicast routing feature for IGMP

L2 switch for IGMP snooping : BAS-8124 Hitron DSLAM / DLINK DES-3516/ Dray Tek A24M DSLAM

Multicast server / Multicast client : - VLC media player

VLC media player is one cool software , easy to configure and works perfectly ...

VLC player - server configuration :

File - Open ->

Streaming setting - select RTP and set the Multicast address :

Multticast address range is :
IP : through

these IP addresses are mapped to MAC address of the form : 01:00:5E :xx:xx:xx

to lean about multicast address range and MAC to IP mapping of Multciast addresses :

*** some multicast addreses are used for special purposes therefore ,to be in the safe side , I notmally use :,,

now if u want to see wheter ur Video server is working ..... its very simple , just connect another PC with the VLC media player to the same hub ( do not use a switch for this simple test cos IGMP snooping fatures in the switch will bloc the multicast traffic )
Video client settings : just enter the same multicast address ...
File -> Open Network Stream (ctrl+N)

...yha you can watch the video stream you are sending from the Server now !!! ..pretty easy ha ..
to set up the IGMP environment :

Local Multicast router - configure the quarry interval

L2 switch - enable IGMP snooping

*** procedure depend on the particular device but the setting names are common ,it should not be difficult to configure .

*** when u join a video stream you can watch video but after some time like 5minutes the video time out - this happens when the Multicast router is not sending Periodic membership query , check ur local multicast router configuration .

Testing PIM - I am working on this now , the device I am trying to test only support PIM-DM , and its WAN interface is a Cable modem - therefore I observed the PIM table of CMTS and the Device :
CMTS : Cable modem termination system

CMTS is a router , it can send PIM hello message to it neighbours - The device I am testing (Cable modem Residential gateway ) also send PIM hello to its neighbours - therefore I could observe that CMTS and the Residential gateway can learn that they are neighbours, but so far I was not able to make the CMTS flood multicast traffic to the Cable modem RG ( according to PIM-DM) , I can see the (Source, Group) entry in the CMTS but it does not forward the multicast traffic to the cable interface.