MBONE: Multicasting Tomorrow's Internet

Appendix C: The MBONE FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions on the Multicast Backbone

By Steve Casner, with modifications by Henning Schulzrinne and David M. Kristol. Used with permission.


What is the MBONE?

The MBONE is an outgrowth of the first two IETF "audiocast" experiments in which live audio and video were multicast from the IETF meeting site to destinations around the world. The idea is to construct a semi-permanent IP multicast testbed to carry the IETF transmissions and support continued experimentation between meetings. This is a cooperative, volunteer effort.

The MBONE is a virtual network. It is layered on top of portions of the physical Internet to support routing of IP multicast packets since that function has not yet been integrated into many production routers. The network is composed of islands that can directly support IP multicast, such as multicast LANs like Ethernet, linked by virtual point-to-point links called "tunnels". The tunnel endpoints are typically workstation-class machines having operating system support for IP multicast and running the "mrouted" multicast routing daemon.

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