While the traditional IP network supports unicast datagram service, Deering, in his seminal SIGCOMM'88 paper, advocated extending the IP service model and router functionalities to support multicast. In the decade that followed, hundreds of technical papers and tens of Ph.D dissertations were written on various aspects of IP multicast. In addition, IP Multicast was incorporated into both IPv4 and IPv6 by the IETF, the standard organization for the Internet. However, despite significant amount of efforts by research, standard, application, router vendor, and service provider communities in the last decade, IP multicast service is still not offered on the Internet today.
In this talk, I will present the End System Multicast (ESM)
project, which was among the first to take the position
that IP Multicast is the wrong approach for supporting
multipoint applications in the Internet. In the ESM
architecture, end systems or hosts, instead of routers,
implement all multicast related functionality including
membership management and packet replication. To validate
the approach, we have developed and deployed an Internet
video broadcasting system based on ESM. I will report our
experiences and reflect on the lessons we learned.