This is a review for the IP Multicast Fundamentals workshop. It delivers a good six hours of multicast training and includes theoretical information along with configuration examples.

The material has a few sections. One section contains seven lessons which contains the actual knowledge. There is another section called Q&A where the author responds to the audience’s questions.

CCNA Training – Resources (Intense)

The video is recorded in front of an audience, and by looking at how easy it was for the author to deliver the training, you can see how good the instructor is in teaching networking concepts. In this case, the instructor is able to deliver a clear, concise training.

Although there is that Q&A section, because this is recorded in front of a live audience, there are questions coming from the students during the lessons. All of them are answered in a clear and simple manner.

As mentioned, the meat of the training is in its seven lessons. Here they are along with a short description of what is discussed in each:

Lesson 1 – Introduction to IP Multicast

The first lesson covers the basics of multicast, what it’s needed for and IPv4 and IPv6 addressing. This lays the foundation for the next lessons.

Lesson 2 – Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP)

The second part discusses how multicast address overlaps at layer 2, and how host to router signalling works. A few details about IGMPv1, v2, v3 and IGMP snooping are covered. Then joining a group, querier election, maintaining a group and leaving a group mechanism in IGMPv2 are discussed in detail. In addition, joining and excluding a specific source in IGMPv3 are covered as well. The lessons then cover IGMP configuration in IOS, IOS XE and NX-OS.

Lesson 3 – Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM)

This lesson covers the types of distribution trees: shortest path and shared, reverse path forwarding (RPF) and reverse path forwarding check. Then it moves to the meat of the lesson: multicast protocols. It covers PIM dense flooding and pruning, PIM sparse, shared tree joins, sender registration, and SPT switchovers. Both PIM modes are configured on IOS, IOS XE and NX-OS. Another topic from this lesson is Bidirectional (BiDir) PIM mode and how it uses the same tree for traffic from sources towards RP and from RP to receivers. BiDir benefits are also discussed. Again, the configuration of BiDir in IOS, IOS XE and NX-OS is covered.

Lesson 4 – Rendezvous Point (RP) Engineering

The next lesson discusses Rendezvous Point overview, RP placement consideration in sparse mode and BiDir mode, RP discovery models: static, auto-RP and bootstrap, each with its benefits and drawbacks. Another topic of the lesson is RP redundancy and anycast RP with its concepts, advantages and disadvantages. Multicast Source Discovery Protocol (MSDP), which is used to implement anycast RP, is covered as well. Other topics of the lesson are how to avoid Anycast RP conflicts related to router-id and Anycast-RP using PIM concepts and advantages. Again, the configuration of BiDir in IOS, IOS XE and NX-OS is covered.

Lesson 5 – Controlling Multicast Traffic

The fifth lesson covers administrative scoping and introduction of 239/8 range used for private multicast address space, and how to control multicast at L2 by using ACL for IGMP to limit receivers joining a group or to prevent the device from snooping a group. It also tackles how to control multicast at L3 by using ACL for PIM to set multicast boundary, control PIM neighbours and control PIM joins and prunes (this last feature is available only on NX-OS). Each of these is covered by configuration examples in IOS, IOS XE and NX-OS.

Lesson 6 – Source Specific Multicast (SSM)

IGMPv3 operation is discussed again: joining a group, joining a specific source, excluding a specific source, and maintaining the state. The benefits of the source specific multicast are shown and then the lesson covers the configuration of SSM in IOS, IOS XE and NX-OS.

Lesson 7 – IPv6 and Multicast

The last lesson starts with IPv6 addressing family, IPv6 address format and IPv6 unicast address types. Then it moves to what is specific to multicast in IPv6: IPv6 multicast addressing, well known multicast addresses, IPv6 multicast tree building and forwarding, IPv6 RP mapping options, embedded RP addressing and multicast listener discover (MLD). Of course, the configuration in IOS, IOS XE and NX-OS for the features discussed throughout the lesson is shown as well.

IP Multicast Fundamentals is good quality material and the content is very useful.

If you want to learn what multicast is, go through this video and multicast shouldn’t be a stranger for you anymore.

The material can be used by engineers who want to learn what multicast is and how to configure it on multiple Cisco OSs, or by those who want a quick refresh of multicast knowledge.