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IBM Networking BroadBand Services (NBBS) is a comprehensive networking architecture designed for high-speed networks. To meet the demands of multicast communication applications, e.g., video on demand, software distribution, and video conferencing, NBBS multicast services provide support for efficient best-effort and guaranteed quality-of-service (QOS) multipoint network connections. The NBBS multicast services consist of set management services and multicast network connection services. Set management services provide the ability to create and manage groups of users who are interested in participating in multicast activities. Multicast network connection services use the group membership information provided by set management services to support multiple network connections per group and to provide supporting services such as nondisruptive path switching, path preemption, and bandwidth management. The multicast network connection services support the multicast signaling requirements defined by the asynchronous transfer mode user-to-network interface (ATM UNI) specifications. This paper gives an overview of the NBBS multicast connection services. Set concepts are introduced, an overview of set management protocols is given, and the value of set management services in establishing multicast network connections is explained. Finally, multicast network connection protocols that establish, maintain, and terminate multicast network connections are described.
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