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When to configure Multicast

Posted on 2014-04-24
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Last Modified: 2014-05-14
I have done some reading about IP Multicast protocol. I would like to know whether in the network where IP Multicast protocol is not configured , whether users will not be able to use video or audio conferencing , assuming there is a software that can do that (net meeting,etc..)

Thank you
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Question by:jskfan
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Expert Comment

by:Hassan Besher
ID: 40021117
it will work in Unicast mode but now you have to know the differences between Unicast VS Multicast Mode:

Unicast

Unicast is a one-to one connection between the client and the server. Unicast uses IP delivery methods such as Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP), which are session-based protocols. When a Windows Media Player client connects using unicast to a Windows Media server, that client has a direct relationship to the server. Each unicast client that connects to the server takes up additional bandwidth. For example, if you have 10 clients all playing 100-kilobits per second (Kbps) streams, those clients as a group are taking up 1,000 Kbps. If you have only one client playing the 100 Kbps stream, only 100 Kbps is being used.


Multicast

Multicast is a true broadcast. The multicast source relies on multicast-enabled routers to forward the packets to all client subnets that have clients listening. There is no direct relationship between the clients and Windows Media server. The Windows Media server generates an .nsc (NetShow channel) file when the multicast station is first created. Typically, the .nsc file is delivered to the client from a Web server. This file contains information that the Windows Media Player needs to listen for the multicast. This is similar to tuning into a station on a radio. Each client that listens to the multicast adds no additional overhead on the server. In fact, the server sends out only one stream per multicast station. The same load is experienced on the server whether only one client or 1,000 clients are listening
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Accepted Solution

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jskfan earned 0 total points
ID: 40021138
I gave wrong example (Netmeeting), it runs over internet.

I meant to say , if there is an application that is used for media conferencing inside the LAN, do we need to configure Multicast, or the computer that the application runs on will take care of the Multicasting
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Assisted Solution

by:Hassan Besher
Hassan Besher earned 250 total points
ID: 40021147
if it's in the same LAN then it's OK but if you have to across multiple sites it's better to enable multicast on routers otherwise it will operate in Unicast mode
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by:skullnobrains
skullnobrains earned 250 total points
ID: 40028875
multicast is only useful when you want many people to listen to the same flow at once. even then, it is hardly useful on a lan unless you really have lots of users.

given your other questions, i don't believe you'll ever need multicast. note that any conferencing software will work without multicast, and some of them don't even support multicast.

basically, unless your boss gives a speech to everyone on a regular basis, or you use specialised software that centralise connections on a single server and have lots of conferencing with more than 2 users, you wont need to bother with multicast.

what do you expect to use ? maybe produce a few use cases...
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Author Closing Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 40064016
Thank you Guys!
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