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Local Area High Speed Networks by Dr. Sidnie Feit

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Chapter 14. Switches and Multicast Traffic

One of the core functions performed by a bridge is to protect the bandwidth available within a collision domain by blocking off traffic that is not addressed to a station in that domain. Chapter 12, "Ethernet Bridges and Layer 2 Switches," showed that bridges do a good job of channeling unicast frames to their destinations.

Controlling multicast traffic is a more difficult challenge. Multicasting was designed in the days of broadcast-style LANs, and the original assumption was that multicast frames would be visible to every station on a LAN. For today's large and geographically extended LANs, it makes no sense to glut the whole LAN with traffic to deliver a stream of multicasts to one or two stations. ...

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