Replacing PIM Register packets with MPLS encapsulation

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Last updated 2011-02-10
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In PIM-SM the designated router (DR) closest to the source keeps sending PIM register packets till it receives an explicit Register- Stop message from the rendezvous point (RP) router. The process of encapsulating multicast data traffic to the RP, and the decapsulation done by RP are relatively expensive operations for a router to perform, depending upon whether or not the router has appropriate hardware support for these tasks. Since the PIM register messages are native IP packets and routed based on IP forwarding tables no resource reservation mechanisms are available. All IP packets will follow common paths that are defined by the traditional IGP's algorithm and customizing the path for multicast applications is impossible. This document proposes using MPLS tunnel(s) to send traffic from the source to the RP till the shortest path tree (SPT) from the RP to the source is established. Processing MPLS packets is easy and is readily supported on most platforms.


Manav Bhatia (

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