The Reliable Multicast Design Space for Bulk Data Transfer (RFC2887)
Original Publication Date: 2000-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-13
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
M. Handley: AUTHOR [+5]
This document provides an overview of the design space and the ways in which application constraints affect possible solutions. This memo provides information for the Internet community.
Network Working Group M. Handley Request for Comments: 2887 S. Floyd Category: Informational ACIRI B. Whetten Talarian R. Kermode Motorola L. Vicisano Cisco M. Luby Digital Fountain, Inc. August 2000
The Reliable Multicast Design Space for Bulk Data Transfer
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000). All Rights Reserved.
The design space for reliable multicast is rich, with many possible solutions having been devised. However, application requirements serve to constrain this design space to a relatively small solution space. This document provides an overview of the design space and the ways in which application constraints affect possible solutions.
The term "general purpose reliable multicast protocol" is something of an oxymoron. Different applications have different requirements of a reliable multicast protocol, and these requirements constrain the design space in ways that two applications with differing requirements often cannot share a single solution. There are however many successful reliable multicast protocol designs that serve more special purpose requirements well.
In this document we attempt to review the design space for reliable multicast protocols intended for bulk data transfer. The term bulk data transfer should be taken as having broad meaning - the main limitations are that the data stream is continuous and long lived -
Handley, et al. Informational [Page 1]
RFC 2887 Multicast Design Space for Bulk Data Transfer August 2000
constraints necessary for the forms of congestion control we currently understand. The purpose of this review is to gather together an overview of the field and to make explicit the constraints imposed by particular mechanisms. The aim is to provide guidance to the standardization process for protocols and protocol building blocks. In doing this, we cluster potential solutions into a number of loose categories - real protocols may be composed of mechanisms from more than one of these clusters.
The main constraint on solutions is imposed by the need to scale to large receiver sets. For small receiver sets the design space is much less restricted.
2. Application Constraints
Application requirements for reliable multicast (RM) are as broad and varied as the applications themselves. However, there are a set of requirements that significantly affect the design of an RM protocol. A brief list includes:
o Does the application need to know that everyone received the data?
o Does the application need to constrain differences between receivers?
o Does the application need to scale to large numbers of receivers?
o Does the application need to be totally reliable?
o Does the application need ordered data?
o Does the application need to provide low-delay delivery?
o Does the application need to provide t...