Multicast Networking and Applications

C. Kenneth Miller

Addison-Wesley 1998
A book review by Danny Yee © 1998
Aimed at administrators and managers rather than developers or protocol designers, Multicast Networking and Applications is an approachable general introduction to Internet multicast. It is a book one can sit down and read, rather than a reference work or a technical guide. For those with a solid networking background it may in places be frustratingly superficial, but it does provide plenty of references to technical sources.

Miller begins with a brief look at link-layer multicast, but otherwise concentrates on multicast IP. He explains its basic operation — addressing, IGMP, and multicast routing — and its implementation over different network infrastructures — LANs, satellite links, ATM, and so on. Four chapters then survey different kinds of multicast applications: replication, mirroring, and caching (with a good survey of issues surrounding web traffic); "push" applications; multimedia streaming; and reliable multicast. As well as outlining the various protocols and standards involved, these chapters also consider practical issues and include business case studies (though some of these read a bit too much like press releases for my liking). Other chapters cover schemes for group creation, security issues (very shallowly, assuming no prior knowledge of cryptography), and barriers to the deployment of multicast technology (social and economic as well as technical). In the final chapter Miller gazes into his crystal ball and tries to predict the future of multicast in an evolving Internet.

October 1998

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%T Multicast Networking and Applications
%A Miller, C. Kenneth
%I Addison-Wesley
%D 1998
%O hardcover, glossary, index
%G ISBN 0201309793
%P xii,282pp