Multicast Virtual Private Networks

Christopher Lenart

Multicast has long been a popular technology in computer networks for the efficient distribution of data, such as patches or live video, to multiple users simultaneously. The early implementations were always restricted to a single network, and a remote office would need its own multicast distribution system separate from a main office, for example. This report describes Next-Generation Multicast Virtual Private Networks (NG-MVPN). NG-MVPN is a popular technology used by service providers to connect the multicast networks for several locations over their network. The beginning of this report starts by describing the building blocks of NG-MVPN. These are Multicast, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) and BGP/MPLS VPNs. The report assumes the reader already has an understanding of these technologies. For brevity, the essential parts of these technologies required for NG-MVPN are discussed. The service provider multicast technology, MVPN (mVPN), written by Eric Rosen and also called Draft Rosen MVPN also is discussed as background. Lastly, this report also discusses Global Table Multicast (GTM), which is an extension of NG-MVPN that uses the global routing table rather than the segregated routing tables used for BGP Virtual Private Networks. Resources for this report are mainly IETF Request for Comments, but also includes technical books, technical articles, and personal communication. All references are cited and listed at the end of the report.

Key Words: 
IP Multicast
Key Words: 
Virtual Private Networks