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.
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