IP Multicast all over Interop

Novell last week became the last big operating system vendor to make a commitment to IP Multicast. The company announced at NetWorld+Interop 97 that it would support the technology in NetWare 3.1, 4.X and its IntranetWare networking platform.

Novell last week became the last big operating system vendor to make a commitment to IP Multicast. The company announced at NetWorld+Interop 97 that it would support the technology in NetWare 3.1, 4.X and its IntranetWare networking platform.

The company joins Microsoft, IBM, Sun Microsystems and Netscape in integrating IP Multicast into its operating system.

Novell has also announced it has joined the IP Multicast Initiative (IPMI), a multivendor consortium formed last September to campaign for widespread deployment of the technology.

IP Multicast is an IETF standard that sends a single stream of data to multiple recipients. Proponents of IP Multicast say it uses less bandwidth than traditional "unicast", which sends a point-to-point datastream to each individual user.

Judy Estrin, president of IP Multicast vendor Precept Software, and one of the founders of the IPMI, says the next big step toward full deployment of IP Multicast is convincing more Internet service providers to offer the service to customers.

Among the other IP Multicast announcements at Interop were:

-- Newbridge Networks announced it now offers server-initiated IP Multicast as part of its VIVID switched routing product. Newbridge officials say the server is ATM-attached, while clients can be attached using existing Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, FDDI or ATM interfaces.

-- StarBurst Communications announced a deal with software vendor Platinum Technology that would allow users to automate large-scale software distribution.

Platinum will develop an adapter for its AutoXfer software distribution that will enable companies to use StarBurst's multicast file transfer application.

The AutoXfer/Adapter for StarBurst Multicast is expected to ship in the third quarter. Pricing information was not available. Platinum is located in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois.

-- Lucent Technologies announced it will release a beta version of its file transfer IP Multicast software next month that will include a graphical user interface.

Currently a beta version of Lucent's e-cast RMFTP (Reliable Multicast File Transport Protocol), with a command-line interface, is available for Sun's Solaris operating system.

Prices for e-cast RMFTP will range from US$50 to US$200 per client. Lucent is located in Murray Hill, New Jersey.

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