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Hans Eriksson

: The Multicast
Backbone
Tbt' first thing many researchers the cause of severe problems in the network and one for' thf host, lo dif-
like me do when they come to NSFnet backbone, saturation of ferentiate between the classes, start
work is read their email. The sec- major international links rendering with 0, 1 or 2 Ijits that are set followed
ond thing on my list is to check them irseless as well as sites being by a zero bit, C:lass A addresses start
what is (Jn the MBone—the completely fli,sfonii('( ted due to with binary "0" and are in the range
Mitlticast Backbone, which is a Internet Connection Management O.O.O.O to 127.255.255.255, class B
virtual network on "lop" of the Protocol (ICMP) responses flooding starts with " 10" with a range of
Interrrct providing a multicasting the networks. We will expand on this 128,0.0.0 to 191.255.255.2.'jri. and
facility to the Internet. There might laler" in this article. class (; starts with "110" with a range
be video from the Space Sbtrttle, a of 192.0.0.0 to 223.255.255.255. Not
seminar from Xerox, a plenary se.s- Multicasting Background all addresses are available fbr host
sion from an interesting conference When we talk about MBone we some- addresses, however, as some ar^e de-
or a software deinorrstration for the times mean the virtual network that fined for" specific uses (e.g., broadcast
Swettisb prime minister. implements triulticasting. sometimes addresses). Class I) is indicaled by
It all started in March 1992 when we refer to the applications that run "II10" at the start, giving an ad-
tbe fir.st audiocast on the Internet on top of MBone (vat. nv, ivs, for ex- dress range of 224.0.0.0 to
look place from the Internet Engi- ample), and often we mean every- 2:i9.2ri3.25.f>.23.'j. This class has been
neering Task Force (IETF) meeting thing. We will conre back to tbe appli- reserved for nrulticast addiesses.
in San Diego. At that event 20 sites cations that are in use on MBone later Wherr a host wishes to join a mirlti-
listened to the audiocast. Two years in this article, but for now we will con- cast group, that is, get packets with a
later, at the IETF meeting in .Seattle centrate on the MBone proper, the specific multicast address, the host
about biM hosts in 15 countr ies trined multicasting virtual network. issues an Internet (iroup Manage-
Ml to the two parallel broadcasting First let us define what is meant by nrent Protocol (KiMP) reqiiesl. I he
channels (audi<j and video) and also the different types of "casting." The nruiticast router for that subnet will
talked back (audio) and joined tbe tistial way packets are sent on the tben inform the other routers so that
discussions! The networking coiritriti- Internet is unicasting. that is, one such packets will get to this subnet
nity now takes it for granted thai ilie host is sending to airollrer specific sin- and eventually be placed on tbe local-
Ipn F meeiiugs will be distributed via gle lH>st. Broadcasting is when one ar"ea network (IAN) where the host is
MBone. MBone has also been used to host sends to all hosts on the same connected, Freqrrently, the local
distribute experimental data from a suhnet. Normally, the routers be- router will poll the hosts orr the IAN
rohot at the bottom o! llic .Sea of ("or-
tween one stibnet and another subnet if they are still listening to the mrilti-
te/ (as will be descr ibct! later) as well
will not let broacUast packets pass cast group. If not, no more sucb
as a late Satui day night feature movie through. Multicasting is when one packets will be placed onto the IAN.
WAX or the Discoveri of Television host sends to a group of bosts. When doing multicasting irtilizing
.4mong the Bees by David Blaii\ On the link level (e.g., Ethernet) MBoue. tbe sender does not know
.As soou as some cnrcial loots ex- mrdticastirrg has beeir defined lor* who will receive the packets. Ihe
isted, the usage just exploded. Many some lime. On the iieiwork level (In- sender just setrds to an address and it
people started using MBone for con- terface Protocol or IP) it started with is up to the receivers to join ihai
ferences, weather maps, research the work of Steve Deer ing of Xerox group (i.e., multicast address). .-\n-
experiments, to follow the Space PARC when he developed multicast oihfr- style of nrulticasting is wlrere
Shuttle, for example, .At the Swedish at the IP level |:5|. Ihe IP address the sender" specifres who should re-
Institute of Comptiter Science (SI(;S) space is divided into dillcrent classes. ceive the multicast. I his gives more
we saw our contribution to the Swed- An IP address is four bytes and the control over the distribution, hut one
ish University Network SUNET. in- address classes A, B and C divide the drawback is that it does rrot scale well.
crease from 2(if;B per month in Eeh- addresses into a network part and a Having thousands of receivers is al-
riiarv 199:i to (i9(lB per mr)nth in host part. The difference between tbe most inrpossihie io handle this way.
March 199;i. 1 his was mainly due to classes is the balance between bits des- Ibis second style of multicasting has
multicast traffic as SICS at that time ignating network and bosts. Class A been rrsed in ST-2 [6, 81,
was the major connection point be- addresses bave one byte for llie net-
tween the U.S. and Eirrope in work and three tni" host, Ei addresses MBone Today
MBone. have two bytes for each, and class C As previously mentioned, MBone is a
e has also (in)directly heerr addresses bave three bytes for the virttial network running on "top" of
llu' Ititcniet. MBotic is composed of The teceiving niiouted will strip mented in the MBone today works
iK'tworks (islatuis) that support tiuilti- oil the encapsulation and forward the roughly iikc tbis: If a mrouted gets a
cast. On each of these i.slands, there is datagi"am apptopriately. Both these muiticast packet ftir which it has no
a im.st that is running' tlic Diniiilt'd method.s are available iu (he (uirent receiving ciients or tutnieis to fot-
niultitast routing tlfiiioti. 1 he implementations. ward it to, it wili drop the patket luit
mt'outed's are cotitiectecl uitli otic Kach tunnel has a tnetric and a aiso send a signai upstteam that it
another via ttnirast tunnels. threshold. The tnetric is used fbr does not want packets witii that ad-
Ill Figure I. we have three islands routing anti the threshold to litiiit the dress. Tile upstream nirt)Uted wiii
of Ml^oiie. V.MU isiaiifl loiisists ol' a distribution scope for nniiticast notice tiiis aiui slop seiiditig packets
local tictwork connecting a nuniher ol packets. that way. If tiie (iowtistream mttiuted
rlienl hosts ("C") and one host rttn- The metric specifies a touting cost gets a ciient that joins that pruned
ning nn'outed ("M"). The mroiited- that is ttsed in the Distance Vector muiticast gtotip. it will sigtial its up-
hosts arc linked with poitit-to-poini Multicasting Rot it ing Protocol stream neighbtus that it wants tbese
ttiniiel.s. llie lliick luntiels ate the (DVMRP). lo itnplemetit the pri- pa( kets again. Rtgtilarh ibr inlbi nta-
piitnaiy lecds with the ihin tunnel as tnary and backup tunnels in Figtire 1, tioti will be flusbetl .tiitl pat kets will
a backup. the tneti ics could have been specified flow to every corner of MBt)ne utitil
Basically, a nitilticast packet will he as I (or ihe thick tutincis and !^ for the pushed back again.
sent from one client who pins ihe tliin tunnel. When Ml gels a miiUt-
cast packet hom one of its clients, it Management
packet on the !(Kal suhnet. The
will compute the cheapest path to r i u t e is no "neiwork |)rovider" of
packet will he picked up by the
each of the other M's. The tunnel ibe MBtMie. In ibe spiril til tbe Ititer-
nuouted (or that stilinet. The
Ml-M:t has a tost of .'i, whereas the net, MBt)ne is lt)oseiy cotirditialetl via
nnouted will c<tnsiilt its toiititig tables
cost via the other tunnels is (I -I- 1)2. a mailing list. When end usets want
and decide oiilo which tunnels the
Hence, the tunnel Ml-M;i is nt)rnially tt> t:t)nntxt tt) MBone. tiiey are en-
packet ought t() he pla(ed. At the
not used. However, ifany of the other couiagetl lo contact their tietwork
other end of the nintiel is another
tunnels breaks, the backup Ml-M;i provider. If tbat netwt)ik jirovitier is
inrotited that will teceivc the nuttti-
wili be usetl. Howevet, siiue DV'MRP not participating in MBtine and Ibr
cast packet. It will also examine its
is slow on propagating cbaiiges iti st)me reason does nt)t want tti, a tiin-
routing tahles atui decide il the
network topology, rapid changes will tiei (an be arrangeci tt) another poitit
packet shonld be foi warded otiio any
be a prol)letn. iti MBtdie.
otiui tuiniels. The mrotut-d will also
(lu(k il ilicre is any client oti its sub- From time tt> time, there have been
"!lie llin:\lii)ht is ibe minimum time-
tiet that ha.s subscribed to that grotip major overhatiis of the ttipology as
to-iive (TII.) tiiat a tnuiticast tiata-
(tnulticast address) and if so, put it ^ilione has grown. Usually this has
gratn needs to be torwartietl onto a
onto the subnet to be picked up by beeti protiipled l)\ ati upcoming
given tuiinei. When sent to the net-
tbe (lieiil. l K I F meeting, i iiese tneettngs put a
work by a ciient, eacii muiticast
big strain on MBotie. T b e IETF mul-
|>acket is assigned a specific ITl.. l"or
ticast tralTic lias been about 100 to
Tunnels each mitiuted the packets pass, the
llOOKi) per second with spikes up to
When .sctiding tbe multicast patket '!T1. will be decremented by 1. If a
fjOOKii per secotid.
ihiough the ttmnel. tbe multicast |)a( ket's remaining TTL is itjwer tban
p.K kets nitist be repacked. I l u t e are die tiiiesiiold of tbe tutinrf tbat Applications
two methods ol cloitig tins, adding DVMRP wants to sentl the [)acket ,Siu( (• M iiotie was set up. a number of
the Loose Source and Record Route onto, the packet is dropped. With wide-ranging appiicatit)ns have sur-
(I.SRR) IP option and encapsulation. that tnechanism we can litiiit tlie facetl. We have seen the astronauts
The Ihst inipleineiitaiiotis (il scope ibr a mtiiticast transmission. repairing the Huiibie telescope, iis-
mrouted used the I.SRR II' o|»tion. In ihe beginning I here was no tened to semiuLU s aud st-t n tars tome
Mrouted modified the mtilticast data- prtintug t)f the multicast tree. Ihat is, and gt) at the Btjit. Beranek, anti
gram coming frotn a client by ap- every multicast datagram is sent to Newman parking iot in Boston. I will
pending ati II* KSRR oplioti where every mrouletl in MBone if it passes give an t)veiview of stime t>f tiie
llie inulti(,ist adthess was placed. 1 he the diicsiiold limit. Ihe otily pruning events thai have used MBone in some
II' (U-siination addiess was set to the is tlone at tbe leaf stibtiets. wbeie ibe way. But first I wili mention some oi
(luii(ast) addiess ol the mtouted on iocai mrouted wiii put a datagram the iiKJst popuiar ttjtiis ft)r usitig the
ibe other side of the tunnel. I here onto the iocal tietwork tjniy if there is MBone. This list is by no tneans com-
have heen some problettis witb this a (iieiit host tiial iias joined a particu- plete as new applications ap|}ear
approach (as will be dt s< t ibed later) lar muiti<:ast group/adtiress. This is regularly,
that pr(nii|)ted the iinplemetitation of cailed truncateti ijtoaticast. As the For atidit) we have vnl (visuai autlit)
etuapstilation. In tbis mctbod the MBone giew, problems surfaced tooi) hy Steve McCanne and Van Ja-
oiigitial nniltiiast datagram will be wiiicii we wiii discuss later. "I'hese cobsen of Lawrence Berkeiey Labora-
pur iiilo ihe data part of a tiortiial II* ptoblems protnpted work on proper tory. The tuiH)! (netwink voice tertni-
datagram thai is addressed to the priming oi'the tnulticast tree as weii nai) i>y Henning St iiul/rinne t)f
tn routed on the other side oi the as work t)n other techniques for mni- AT^-T/Beii Labt>ratt)ries is another
tunnel. licasting [i, 5, 9j. Pruning as imple- autlio tool.

56
Video tools are ius (Inria videocon-
ferencing system) by Ihieri y Tluirle-
iti of INRIA in Sophia Antipoli.s.
Krance and nv (network video) by
Ron Krederifk of Xerox PARCi.
IVh (wbile board) by McC^anne and
c
Jacobsc'ii piovides a shared thawing
space and is especially useful for pre- c
sentations over the MBone. Wb tan
import slides in PostScript and the c
speaker (an make small annotations
(hiring the lectuif.
Kigure 2 depicts tbe sd (session di-
recloiy) by McClanne and [acobsen.
Sd oilers a convenient way of an-
nouncing "sessions" tbat will take
place on the MBonc. Wben creating
a session, you specify the multicast
address (an umiserl address is sug-
gested by sd) and the various tools
that are used. Other people can then LBL Session Directory v1.19
just click "Open" and sd will start all
lhe necessary tools with appropriate hans@hydra.sics.se
parameters.
When this snapshot was taken, lhe
SlCiC'RAPH conference was taking
** Please don't start a radio session •
place. As a special event at tbat con- Bellcore WindowNet
ference, children were invited lo lalk
with pe()pl<' on lhe MBone. Ihis GMS-4 Composite
e\ent is bighliglited in the sd .snap-
shot, tiding up in the list we ha\c
GMS-4 IR
Radio Free Vat. This is the MBcmc GMS-4 VIS
"laclio" station where anyone on tlu-
MBone can be the "disk jockey." MBone Audio
Next up is MBone Audio, which is thr
common chat channel of the MBonc Radio Free Vat
Kveryone is free To join and siari .1 SIGkids @ SIGgraph T
discussion about any subjec t, Becau>f
MBone spans about 16 time zones,
no! everyone is at tbeir workstation
wben you ask "Is tbere anybody oui
Live feed from SIGkids area at •
tliere?" [71, but tbere is always some- SIGgraph 93.
one out tbeie! lhe (ilobal Mapping
Satellite (GMS) sessions are pictures ©224.2.176.182, ttl 127
hnm a satellite above Hawaii. The Lifetime: from 01:00 MET DST until Tue
pictures {composite, inhared or \i
sual spectra) are sent oul tising iwtii Aug 10 01:00 MET DST T
(Image Multica.st Client) by Winston
Dang of tbe University of Hawaii,
Second to the top is the Bellcore Win-
dowNet. It yon tuned in to tliis ses- Open Edit Delete Quit
sic)n, you would see the outlook from
New
a window from Bellcore. At the top
we have not a session, but a plea. As Not sbowri in ihis particular snap- Figure 1. MBone topology—
audio and video consumes a fair shot, but a frequent and \ery popular islands, tunnels, mrouted
amount of bandwidth and MBone is guest on MBone are the Space Shut-
global, tebroadcasting your favcmte tle missions. The NASA select cable Figurea. sd—session directory
local radio station onto MBone will cbanne! is broadcast onto the MBone
[)tu .\ hard strain on many networks. during tlie Iliglits. 1 he pictures of the
\\V will come back to this problem astionauts travel a long wav and tra-
later in tbis article. verse many dillerent leclinologies

57
bt'lnie appearing on the screen ol' able, whereas tbe delay for retrans- iess permanent sessions going on in
your workstation. But it works! mission (when tising TCP) is not ac- MBone. There is one audio and video
A different type of event was men- ceptable in a interactive conference. channel for free-for-aii use and there
tioned earlier, the lOOI^JASON Proj- .Also, TCP does not easily lenfl itsell to is Ratiio Free Vat. in adfiition to the
eel [4]. Woods Hole Oceaiiogiaplik inuititasting. One problem thai nnist IIVIF meetings, whitli are transmit-
Institulton provided software for Sun be lesolved is that UDP packets may ted three times per year, several
and Silicon Ciraphics workstations so be duplicated and reordered (beside major conferences and workshops
anyone on ihe MBone could follow being diopped) when transmitted are being iransmitteti onto the net.
three luiflerwaler \ehicle.s on their over the Internet. such as )ENC-93 and some IETF
tours in the Sea of C.o'te/. Position On top of U [)P most MBone appli- working group meetings. We have
data and some pictut es were continu- cations use the Real-Time Protocol also seen President Clinton and Vice-
ouslv disiTibiiied over the MBone. (R rP) developed by the Audio-Video president Core on MBone, and we
Bt sidi' l)eiiig interesting for scientists Transport Working Croup within the have already mentioned the jASON
in other fields, it wa.s very valuable lor IKTF. Kach RIP packet is stamped pr()ject and tlie Space Shtittle.
occanographic researchers to follow with timing and ,sec|uencing infbrma- MBone in its present form should
the experiments in real time and give tion, Witli appropriate buffering at be viewed as one singie resource.
feedback immediately. the receiving hosts, this allows the Oniy in a few piaces can it handle
The multimedia conference con- applications to achieve continuous more tban one video channei to-
trol (mmcr) by Eve Schooler of Uni- playha(k in sj:ite of varying network gether with andio. The IETF tries to
versity of Sotithern C^alifornia (USCl)/ delays. make two video and fbur audio chan-
InlbriiiHtioii Sciences Institute (ISI) Each lorin of media can he en- nels but does not always accomplish
goes beyond this simple support coded and compressed in several this, even if the best "networkers'" iti
given by sd. We will include more ways. Audio is usually encoded in ibe Internet put in tbeir best efforts.
about this when discussing the PCM (Ptilse Code Modulation) at So far, we have not had any niajor
M M U S K ; protocol. HKH/ wilh 8-bit resolution giving collisions of major events. The coHi-
The popular Mosaic package from ()4Kb per second bandwidth for sions that iia\e occurred have heen
ihe National C^enter Ibr Superrom- audio. Induding packet o\eil!ead it resolved after some biief discussions,
piitcr Applications (N(^SA) is being laises to about 73Kb per second. By Essentiaiiy it is a first-annotince-fhsi-
enhanced by people at University of using (Jroupe Special Mobile (CiSM), serve scheduiing. .As MBone increases
Oslo, Ihe idea is to use Mosai< for a cellular phone standard, one can in popularity, one can expect more
lectiu'es atid let the speaker nuilticast get down to ahoui lHKb per second coiiisions and tiie pressute fbr a par-
control inlbrmation to the Mosaic including oveibead. ticular slot wiil increase.
programs used by (he student.s. Video is more demanding, I be ivs Some of the success of MBone is
We also have tbe media-on- tool uses the CC^ITF (Consultative dependent on the "courtesy" of TC.P.
demand server created by Anders Committee of Internationai Tele- When someitne siarts sending audio
Klemets of Royal Institute of Tech- phone and Telegraph) standard onto a fully loaded Internet link, it
nology in Stockholm, Sweden, which H,26I [2] whereas the nv tool uses a wiii cause packet iosses for many of
offers imicasted replays of sessions tinique compression scheme. It is the connections that are rtuining on
ihat have heen niulticasted on the possible lo limit the amount {)f hand- that iink. liiey are ustiatly TCP con-
MBone. width that shotild be pioduted in nections and tliey wiil back offvvben
I his is merely a snapshot of some both toois. The usual baiidwithh set- packet iosses occur. L'DP-based audio
<jf the developments taking place in ting is 128Kh per second. How this does not have any such mechanism
the MBone commtuiity. New ideas translates into qnalily depends on the and wiii effectively take tiie band-
surface often and implementations kind of scene thai is captured. width it neecis.
follow close behind. On severai otcasiotis end it.sers
Experiences have started a video session with a
Protocols During tlu- litciirne of MBone, a fair high time-to-iive (TTL) and subse-
All lialfic in MBone uses User Data- number ol problems have been en- quentiy swamped the network with a
gram Protocol (IDP) rather than the countered. Some are inherent to continuous stream of :U)() to ,"i()()Kb
usual IVansport Control Protocol nuiiticasting in general, and some are per second. Tbese tisers have not
( rCP). "i'C.P provides a point-to-point more specilic to the current imple- been maiicious. Sometimes the pro-
connection-oriented reliable byte mentation of MBone, gram has jitst been started with "-tti I
streatn protocol, whereas I'DP is jitst A numher of prohlems that iiave 16" itistead of "-tti ifi" with tiie effect
a transport-level envelope around an surfaced duringoperations of MBone that it reaciies most parts of tlie
IP packet witb almost no control wili be discussed in this section. Some MBone instead of just the focai part.
whatsoever. One reas<}n for not using prohiems iiave a (iiiect hearing on tiie At other times, the tisers have not
T("P is tbat the reliability and flow MBone implementation, other ptoh- reaiiy been aware of what "2.5fiKb per
control mechanisms are not suitable lems have been discovered recently second" reafiy is netwise. Very few
for live audiotasting, fbr example. dm ing the use of MBone. iinks in the Internet can handle that
Occasional lo.ss of an audio packet (as Bandwidtfi load withotit severely disturbing nor-
when using liOP) is usually accept- tiurrentlv there are three more-or- mal traffic, I'sualiy after the mistake

58 l<J94/Vnl.:i7, Nr, H .
has been pointed out. the users have Table 1. Time-to-live (TTL) and thresholds from the Ihternet
stopped their transmissions. Tile Engineering Task Force
problem is that with ihe new video
and audio appluatiotis the mistakes
Traffic type TTL =:kb per second thifshold
have severe consequences and with
iiiiiliicasting in MBone, the consc- GSM audiu 1 255 15 224
(|iien(es are spread glohally. It will C.SM ;)iidio '2 223 15 192
take some time befbre tbe user com- PCM audio 1 f91 75 160
munity gets a tee! fbr bow much PCM audio 2 159 75 12S
t)andwidth video and audio takes, Video 1 127 130 96
Video 2 95 130 64
Kxisting applications like ttp can .^ilso locat event audio 63 2:250 32
use a lot oi bandwidth, but ifie back- local event video ^250 1
off mecbanism of TCP ensures a fair
:n
split of resources, wbicb a L'DP-based
application does not.
Lacking a tbic-grained resource Wben trne pruning gels widely de- tban 1.000 packets onto tbe net,
allocation mecbanism, a way to put a ployed in MBone it will be possible to probably much less. This is a danger-
limit on tbe bandwidtb usage of a get only what you ask for. ous practice unless you are the only
tunnel could be very belpful. Tbat entry point to a part of Mfione. As
would maki' many network providers Tunnel Fan-Out stated previously, wlieti your luniiel
a lot less nervous aboui letting multi- Some mrouted bosts bave a fair ninn- gets declared dead, MBone will
cast traflk loose. ber of tunnels. Tbe top ones bad 1 f choose another route if possible utilil
tunnels (early June 1993). However, your mrouted gets its breatb ba<k.
Thresholds on Tunnels not all of tbem are primary tutmels. Tbis rcsnits in beavy route flapping,
l..ukiiig mullitiisl iree pruning, tbe For example, liydia.sics.se (a SPARO wbicb becomes a global problem. U
only wiiy to limit tbe scope of a multi- 1+) bas 10 tunnels, but only 5 of you are tbe only patb to take, traffic
cast datagram is by using tbresbolds. ihem are primary. The aggregate will just stop for a wbile. wbicli is a
If a datagiam bas a TH. greater than traflic from an IETF tneeting roughly lo<al problem only.
tbe tbieshold. ii will be ioiwarded generates one packet every 4tns.
onto tbe umnel. Ibresholds range Looking at how much time it takes to MBone Tunnels vs. internet Links
between 0 and 255. The tbresbold forward a multicast packet we find Tunnels are set up along tbe links of
levels cbosen on tbe tunnel tries le- that a SPARC 1 -I- needs = 1.0ms and a the underlying real tietwork. Bul
llect boih a gfograpbic partitioning SPARC: IO needs ==0.6ms. This sug- wben a link fails and tbe underlying
(e.g., keeping a local conlerence local) gests tbat hydra.sics.se is saturated network does a rerouting, tbe tnnnels
and a cboice of traffic (e.g.. testricting diuing lEFF sessions. I bis will sbow stay and become less optimally
video more than audio). But express- up not only as dropped packets, but placed. As an example, traffic from
ing two dimensions of cboices in one also as dropped timnels. As hydra will Sweden to the United Kingdom (I IK)
inelric always introduces some trade- be busy, in kernel forwarding of niul- would normally go via tbe tunnel
offs. ritasi packets, tbe mrouted will not from Stockholm lo Wasbington over
'f be guidelines establisb tbat traffic get any cycles to rim its business. a Tl link and tlien take the ttitinel
witliiTi (me site should be sent witb a Eventually, tbe peers at tbe other Wasbington to London over ariotber
itl **i' H). witbin one "loinmunity" !i2, ends of tbe tiumels will tbink tbat Ll link. When tbe first link malfunc-
ami global traffic sliouki bave 127. bydra is dead and bence tbey will re- tioned, traffic was rerouted via Am-
n~lie IETF transmission plan is sbown ioi;ie tbeir packets. Soon after tbe sterdam and London and tben to tbe
in Table 1. load bas gone down on bydra, U.S. 'Lhe multicasi traffic fVotii Swe-
Hie table says tbat if you only want mrouted will get some cpu cycles and den to tbe UK ended up going Stock-
to get audio channel t witb tbe (iSM talk to its peers and the overloading holm to London to Washington and
(onipression. your tunnel sbould will start again. tlien back to London. Eventually, we
bave a tbresbold of 224. A related problem is saturation of made a manual reroute of tunnels.
The tbresbolil mecbanism is a very the local p:thernets. FlX-West bad 15 Putting multicast routing into tbe
coar.se method to limit (ralfic. Wilh lunnels diuing tbe IF.IK meeting in ronters enables the mtilticast louiing
the current W'VV plan, tbere is no Marcb 1994. With an IFTF load of lo follow the unicast rotiting. 1 heie is
way y<jn can use your 256Kb per sec- =5()0Kb per second it results in a proposal for an extensioti to the
ond link to join tbe session tbat is = B.5Mb per second pusbed over tbe OSPF (Open Shortest Patb First)
broadcast on (baiinel 1. To get P(1M FIX West Ftbernet. Fven witbout tbe routing protocol to also incorporate
audio I you will open up for botb MBone traflit, tbat Ethernet is al- mnlticasting [51.
CSM andio t hannels, giving a total of ready busy. Some mrouted operators
= i{)5Kb per second, To get Video I use the cpu overload as a means to MBone as a Bug Trigger
you will also get tbe PCM audio 2 limit tbe impact on tbe hx'al network. During the lEl F meeting in Wasb-
summing it up to ~.'^10Kb pei- second That is. if yon have a SPARC I + as a ington, D.C. in November 19*12.
Ibr virleo and audio from (bannei 1. nni)uted bost. it will nol push more tbere were prolilems with tbe NSFnet

imijx l9<H'V.il.:i7. Nr.H 59


were due t<t the niiilritast traf- cordance witb tbe IP specifications. encryption) but there is st) far no
I'u t(»miiij>; iidin the I1-V["K ineeting. At I bis is usually not a problem until we ((»mmon architecture for this.
ihai time ilu- iiiniu'ls were all using liave several sue b liosis reading with Wben tbe going gets riiugb and a
ihf Icjse soiutc route option (LSRR). ICMPs to a ntunber of audio streams lot of pac kets are droppect. some ap-
In modern router technology, park- of about 50 packets per second. Then plications would be belped by some
els are handled hy the interface cards any network tends to gel Hooded witb feedback on tbe actual perlorinancf
as muth as possible. Packets with 11' ICMPs. It has happened that a site of tbe network, A video applicalion
options, however, are usually for- was disconnected from MBone due to conid for example, stop sending raw
w;n ded to the main cpu tor handling. a "screaming" router. Over time, this HD rV data when only 2''/< make it to
A\ that time, the IETF meeting was problem bas diminished as router the receivers and instead start send-
gene I at ing two audio thaimels of vendors update llu'ir software. Also. ing slow-scan, heavily compressed
=7r)KI) per second and two video wiih the new encapsulation tunnels, pictures.
channels of = 130Kh per second. This the KlMPs will be sent to tbe last tun- We look forward to the next round
was about 400 packets per second nel endpoint, not the entire route of flevelopments as ihe MBone con-
ibat was sent Irom tlie IETF site to back to tbe original sender. tinues to evolve. Q
ihc mroult'd at (iornell. That
inioutc'd in turn, ted a inunber ol Conclusions References
lunnels so the traffic from Cornell Multicasting ciu\ be a dangerous 1. Ballai'dic, A., Krancis, P., (lixmcroft. ),
-into FNSSI3^ at Ilhaca was above beast, but it also carries tbe promise (^orc-baseti tret'S—An itirhilft tiirc lin
1,(100 packets per second that bad to scalable inter-domain multicast rout-
(if very useful applications. As an in-
be bandied by tbe main cpu. Adding ing. ACM SKkomm 9?. pp. 8,5-9,T.
dication of tins MBone usage is in-
to tbat, a great number ol' ICIMP- 2. tConsultative (Committee of Interna-
creasing very rapidly. As a probabl)' tional 'Vclephnnf and IVIegraph
unrea( bable messages were gener- unintentional side effect, it has also (CCriT) Rccomnicndalioii H.^^tiK
ated. T h e cpu was ha\ing a diHicult biougbt out some bugs in some rout- 3. DecTinj;;, S. (Insl I'xlensiims lor IP iiuil-
time when regular routing updates ers and hosts in tbe Internet. Before ticiiMing. k l - ( ; i l l 2 . Any- HW).
were added. Ibi.s lead to routing MBone can be provided as a regular 4. Mallei, A. Rcnnut- scit'iuc ovfi tlit*
limeouts wben other networks batl widespread service, some issues bave MBimc cUiiiiig ihr lWVi J,\.S()N proj-
prol)lems due to excessive MBone to be afldressed. ect. \V(K>ds Hole Oceanographif Insti-
naflii. A number ol actions were tiition. Woods Hole, Mass.
Some of tbese issues are still rlifli-
taken lo lix tbese problems. One ol 5. Moy, J. MiiUicasl routing extensions
cuit researcb issues, like resource
tbe immediate actions was tbe disa- fill O,SP1-. Commun. ACM 77. H (Aug.
control and real-time traffic control, ] 904),
bling of one video cbannel to lessen
(^tber work is directed toward better 6. Parliktge, C. and Pink, S, An liiiple-
ibe load. In tbe alteiniatb, some inel-
management hooks and tools and nientalion of ilic Revised [nleinet
I'lciencies ol routing updates were
incorporating multicasting in the Stream Prciiocol SI-'.*. In/fnifhi'. Rfs.
lixed, for example, ECiP (External
Internet routers. Maybe there are Exp. (March 1!)9'2). p p . 21-'A.
(Gateway Protocol)-derived routes will
better technologies for multicasting 7. Pink,F. Dmit Side of Ihf Mnoti.
now be aggregated into a single B(il'
than those currently used in tbe 8. Tnpolcic, C. Kxperiniental 1 nternet
(Border (Gateway Protocol) update
MBoue? Tbe IDMR (Inter-Domain slieam proKKol. Version 1 S I - I I . RFC
uiessage. I be most important change 1190, O n , !W)0.
Mullicasl Routing) working group in
ill MBone was the use of true encap- 9. Zlunig, L., Deering, S.. Kstrin, D.,
IETF is working im this.
sulation Instead of LSRR option for Slu-nker, S. and /iippala, I). RS\'I': A
ibe tunneling, MBone has enabled a lot of appli- new rfsoiiire Kc'ScTV.ilion Pronxol.
cations. One problem wben siariing IFAA: NHumk (St-pt, lO'tS)-
lluring the packet x'nko workshop the a[J|)lications is tbe cjuestion ol
al M C ; N ( ^ Van |ac(>bsc)n observed a what addresses should be used, Pi(k- About the Author:
pbenomenon in wbifb It ,seemed that ing one randomly will be Hne for HANS ERIKSSON is H rt-scanher al ihe
routing updates severely impacted quite a while, but eventually when Swedish Instiuitc of Computer Science
the audio transmissions. The conges- MBone gets more c rowded .some (SIC,S), localed in Kisla. outside Stock-
live loss rate was about 0.5% bui met hanism has to be put in place for holm. Current rescaicli interests iTuhifie
I'ompuier nehvnikiiiK .uid (list lilin led
every !10 seconds he observed buge allocation of multicast addres,ses and
multimedia a[)})lr(:itions. Author's Pres-
losses {509, to 8ri9f) for about 3 sec- port ntimbers.
en( Address: Swedish Institute ot (iom-
onds, Jatobson (oncluded that it was As MBone is today, the .sender has [jiitct Stteiut:, Box I2(W. Ifi4 28, Kista,
due to tbe I.SRR ojjiion protessing no control, or implicit knowlerlge of Sweden: email: hans(S'sics.se
(ompeting witb routing updates. Not wbo is listening otit there. A receiver
only does this afVect MBone trafHc, can just "tune in." like a tadio. Some I'crmis.sLon [ii <'O|)y M'iiliniir It'i' ,ill o r piiii of iliis
but also otber traffic stich as pings apjjlications would want some kind of m;iteri;il is ^riinit'il piiividt-d ilcii \\\f lopit-^ :ir't.'
iKii IDLKIC III' (listijlnired l o r d i i f t t ciiinnicicuil
and traceroutes. inforinaiion about wlio is listening, [i<Kai)[ag('. ilie A C M c o p y r i ^ l t i iioiict' a n d ilii'
tirif o l ' l l i f |)iLl>iircilion ^Liiil ils ILLIC iipfx-iir. ^iiiil
Many hosts and routers do not for example by asking MBone which iiiiliK' l\ given dial l o p y i i i g i.*' liy pt'iiliissiiiii iil
handle multicast trafiic properly, hosts are ctirrently in a particular ilif \ssoi iaiion lin (iiiiii|iiiiing M;KliiiU'iy. I n
("jften they respond by sending an multicast group. Tbere are mecha- ciipy oilicMvisc, i)T I " icpiililish. i f t | i i i i f s w It-t-
;iii(l/(ir s])f(iti( piTiTiissifui,
K'MP redirect or network unreach- nisms in some applications for end-
.iblc. I be,se responses are not in ac- to-end control oiWho is listening (i.e., ©ACM t)002-0782/94/0800 $3.50

60 i<)'t+/v<il.:)J.