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Design and implementation of an offload engine for internet group messaging protocol multicast snooping

Design and implementation of an offload engine for internet group messaging protocol multicast snooping

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As internet protocol (IP) networks in the enterprise space continue to mature, with regards to stability and availability, the desire for these networks to deliver multimedia content will grow. Although IP networks have long had enough bandwidth to support multimedia streams, the deployment of this content seems to have been somewhat limited in the enterprise. The control mechanisms for multicast traffic, both at the IP layer and the data link layer, are still the areas that have not been adopted as widely as their more common unicast counterparts. The authors examine the internet group messaging protocol (IGMP) snooping process that currently runs on enterprise switches and propose an offload hardware engine to accelerate it. Currently, many enterprise switches handle this task with a general-purpose processor within the switch. Although this process adds very little to the overall load of systems currently, as multicast transmissions become more commonplace, the need for this process to be offloaded onto specialised hardware will be a necessity, in order to maintain the stability of the switch and the surrounding network. The proposed hardware model simulations reveal significant increase in the number of packets per second that can be handled compared to software implementations.

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