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Administratively Scoped IP Multicast
RFC 2365

Document type: RFC - Best Current Practice (July 1998; No errata)
Also Known As BCP 23
Document stream: IETF
Last updated: 2013-03-02
Other versions: plain text, pdf, html

IETF State: (None)
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IESG State: RFC 2365 (Best Current Practice)
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Network Working Group                                           D. Meyer
Request for Comments: 2365                          University of Oregon
BCP: 23                                                        July 1998
Category: Best Current Practice

                  Administratively Scoped IP Multicast

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the
   Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1998).  All Rights Reserved.

1. Abstract

   This document defines the "administratively scoped IPv4 multicast
   space" to be the range 239.0.0.0 to 239.255.255.255. In addition, it
   describes a simple set of semantics for the implementation of
   Administratively Scoped IP Multicast. Finally, it provides a mapping
   between the IPv6 multicast address classes [RFC1884] and IPv4
   multicast address classes.

   This memo is a product of the MBONE Deployment Working Group (MBONED)
   in the Operations and Management Area of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force. Submit comments to <mboned@ns.uoregon.edu> or the author.

2. Acknowledgments

   Much of this memo is taken from "Administratively Scoped IP
   Multicast", Van Jacobson and Steve Deering, presented at the 30th
   IETF, Toronto, Canada, 25 July 1994. Steve Casner, Mark Handley and
   Dave Thaler have also provided insightful comments on earlier
   versions of this document.

3. Introduction

   Most current IP multicast implementations achieve some level of
   scoping by using the TTL field in the IP header. Typical MBONE
   (Multicast Backbone) usage has been to engineer TTL thresholds that
   confine traffic to some administratively defined topological region.
   The basic forwarding rule for interfaces with configured TTL
   thresholds is that a packet is not forwarded across the interface
   unless its remaining TTL is greater than the threshold.

Meyer                    Best Current Practice                  [Page 1]
RFC 2365          Administratively Scoped IP Multicast         July 1998

   TTL scoping has been used to control the distribution of multicast
   traffic with the objective of easing stress on scarce resources
   (e.g., bandwidth), or to achieve some kind of improved privacy or
   scaling properties. In addition, the TTL is also used in its
   traditional role to limit datagram lifetime. Given these often
   conflicting roles, TTL scoping has proven difficult to implement
   reliably, and the resulting schemes have often been complex and
   difficult to understand.

   A more serious architectural problem concerns the interaction of TTL
   scoping with broadcast and prune protocols (e.g., DVMRP [DVMRP]). The
   particular problem is that in many common cases, TTL scoping can
   prevent pruning from being effective. Consider the case in which a
   packet has either had its TTL expire or failed a TTL threshold. The
   router which discards the packet will not be capable of pruning any
   upstream sources, and thus will sink all multicast traffic (whether
   or not there are downstream receivers). Note that while it might seem
   possible to send prunes upstream from the point at which a packet is
   discarded, this strategy can result in legitimate traffic being
   discarded, since subsequent packets could take a different path and
   arrive at the same point with a larger TTL.

   On the other hand, administratively scoped IP multicast can provide
   clear and simple semantics for scoped IP multicast. The key
   properties of administratively scoped IP multicast are that (i).
   packets addressed to administratively scoped multicast addresses do
   not cross configured administrative boundaries, and (ii).
   administratively scoped multicast addresses are locally assigned, and
   hence are not required to be unique across administrative boundaries.

4. Definition of the Administratively Scoped IPv4 Multicast Space

   The administratively scoped IPv4 multicast address space is defined
   to be the range 239.0.0.0 to 239.255.255.255.

5. Discussion

   In order to support administratively scoped IP multicast, a router
   should support the configuration of per-interface scoped IP multicast
   boundaries. Such a router, called a boundary router, does not forward
   packets matching an interface's boundary definition in either
   direction (the bi-directional check prevents problems with multi-
   access networks). In addition, a boundary router always prunes the
   boundary for dense-mode groups [PIMDM], and doesn't accept joins for
   sparse-mode groups [PIMSM] in the administratively scoped range.

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