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APPENDIX II. HOST GROUP ADDRESS ISSUES Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
APPENDIX II. HOST GROUP ADDRESS ISSUES

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APPENDIX II. HOST GROUP ADDRESS ISSUES

APPENDIX II. HOST GROUP ADDRESS ISSUES

This appendix is not part of the IP multicasting specification, but provides background discussion of several issues related to IP host group addresses.

Group Address Binding

The binding of IP host group addresses to physical hosts may be considered a generalization of the binding of IP unicast addresses. An IP unicast address is statically bound to a single local network interface on a single IP network. An IP host group address is dynamically bound to a set of local network interfaces on a set of IP networks.

It is important to understand that an IP host group address is NOT bound to a set of IP unicast addresses. The multicast routers do not need to maintain a list of individual members of each host group. For example, a multicast router attached to an Ethernet need associate only a single Ethernet multicast address with each host group having local members, rather than a list of the members' individual IP or Ethernet addresses.

Allocation of Transient Host Group Addresses

This memo does not specify how transient group address are allocated. It is anticipated that different portions of the IP transient host group address space will be allocated using different techniques. For example, there may be a number of servers that can be contacted to acquire a new transient group address. Some higher-level protocols (such as VMTP, specified in RFC-1045) may generate higher- level transient "process group" or "entity group" addresses which are then algorithmically mapped to a subset of the IP transient host group addresses, similarly to the way that IP host group addresses are mapped to Ethernet multicast addresses. A portion of the IP group address space may be set aside for random allocation by applications that can tolerate occasional collisions with other multicast users, perhaps generating new addresses until a suitably "quiet" one is found.

In general, a host cannot assume that datagrams sent to any host group address will reach only the intended hosts, or that datagrams received as a member of a transient host group are intended for the recipient. Misdelivery must be detected at a level above IP, using higher-level identifiers or authentication tokens. Information transmitted to a host group address should be encrypted or governed by administrative routing controls if the sender is concerned about unwanted listeners.


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Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
APPENDIX II. HOST GROUP ADDRESS ISSUES

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