The convergence of voice and data over existing data circuits has led enterprise network managers to consider whether to continue the deployment of hub-and-spoke circuit-switched services supported in-house, or to opt for a service-provider-managed Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) IP VPN-based solution. Many enterprises are adopting the latter, only to find that where they hand off support of a network management infrastructure through managed customer edge devices, they must manage complex generic routing encapsulation (GRE) tunnels required to provide support for enterprise multicast (MCAST) traffic across non-MCAST-aware MPLS networks. This paper concentrates on one MCAST application-voice over IP (VoIP) music on hold (MOH). It compares a typical Frame Relay deployment of centralized Cisco® CallManager MCAST MOH against that of MCAST MOH through GRE tunnels traversing non-MCAST-aware MPLS service provider networks. It then highlights some current research into providing direct MCAST support over MPLS.
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