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Multicast Forwarding and Routing Overview

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Multicast forwarding and routing overview

Unicasting is the sending of network traffic to a specific endpoint. Multicasting is the sending of network traffic to a group of endpoints. Only those members in the group of endpoints that are listening for the multicast traffic (the multicast group) process the multicast traffic. All other nodes ignore the multicast traffic.

You can use multicast traffic to:

  • Discover resources on the internetwork.

  • Support datacasting applications such as file distribution or database synchronization.

  • Support multicasting multimedia applications such as digitized audio and video.

Multicast forwarding is the intelligent forwarding of multicast traffic. Multicast routing is the propagation of multicast group listening information. Routing and Remote Access supports multicast forwarding and limited multicast routing.

This section covers:

For more detailed information about multicasting, see Understanding Multicasting.

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