IP Multicast constructs shortest-path tree (SPT) and
shared tree distribution paths to forward multicast packets to members
of a group.
After a receiver joins a multicast group, the routers
in the multiaccess network build the routing paths necessary to
send data to each receiver in the group. Each IP datagram sent to
a multicast group is distributed (forwarded) to all members. The
routing paths constitute a type of distribution tree for a multicast
packet. The goal of a multicast distribution tree is for the router
to duplicate a multicast packet when the packet reaches a divergence
of paths and the router must send the packet down multiple paths
to reach all group members, yet the distribution tree must refrain
from sending packets down a path where no interested receivers exist.
The distribution tree is one of the following:
—A path from a multicast source (the
root of the tree) through the network to the receivers in the multicast
group. The source tree is the shortest path that a multicast packet
can take from source to receiver, so it is also known as the
. The sender and receiver are annotated as a source
and multicast group pair, shortened to (S, G); for example, (192.168.1.1,
188.8.131.52). The following figure illustrates three shortest-path
trees from the source to three receivers.
—A path rooted at the RP, not at the
multicast source. A shared tree is also known as an RP tree or RPT.
Routers forward multicast packets from various sources to the RP
and the RP forwards the packets down the shared tree. A shared tree
is annotated as (*, G), using a wildcard as the source because all
sources belonging to the multicast group share the same distribution
tree from the RP. An example shared tree annotation is (*, 184.108.40.206).
The following figure illustrates a shared tree from the root at
the RP to the receivers.
Source-Specific Multicast (SSM)
uses source tree distribution. When you Configure
IP Multicast to use Any Source Multicast (ASM), you can specify
which distribution tree the virtual router on your Palo Alto Networks®
firewall uses to deliver multicast packets to a group by setting
an SPT threshold for the group:
By default the virtual router switches multicast routing
from shared tree to SPT when it receives the first multicast packet
for a group or prefix (the
set to 0).
You can configure the virtual router to switch to SPT when the
total number of kilobits in packets arriving for the specified multicast
group or prefix at any interface over any length of time reaches
a configured number.
You can configure the virtual router to never switch to SPT
for the group or prefix (it continues to use shared tree).
SPT requires more memory, so choose your setting based on your
multicast traffic level to the group. If the virtual router switches
to SPT, then packets will arrive from the source (rather than the
RP) and the virtual router sends a Prune message to the RP. The
source sends subsequent multicast packets for that group down the