But, since I had two CCDE bootcamps in one month, I didn’t have time to answer the question on this platform.
By the way I have seen this mis understanding in the recent popular design books as well, so writing about it was necessary anymore.
Okay, let me give you the answer – an answer specially dedicated to those who started to say, what are you really comparing!
They are the same thing.
In order to understand why, let’s define PIM Sparse Mode and PIM Dense Mode.
In multicast network, there is a multicast sender and receiver. If the sender sends the multicast stream everywhere (which mean each multicast-enabled interface is on the network without waiting for other interface), it is a PIM Dense Mode. In fact, that’s why it is called push based multicast mechanism.
When multicast stream is sent to each link and if there is no intended receiver from that sender to the multicast group, the routers will send prune message to stop the stream for a while.
On the other hand, if the receivers signal their intent to receive multicast stream to the centralized node, it is called PIM Sparse Mode. So, multicast stream is not sent everywhere in PIM Sparse Mode. That’s why it is known as pull based multicast mechanism.
The centralized node in PIM ASM and PIM Bidir, both of which are used by the receiver to send their intent for multicast traffic, is called PIM Rendezvous Point (PIM RP)
In PIM SSM, centralized node – which is used by multicast receiver to signal their intent for multicast traffic – is called multicast sender or multicast source. So, there is no rendezvous point in PIM SSM (Source Specific Multicast)
That’s why the difference between PIM Dense and PIM Sparse is this: In PIM Dense Mode, the receiver doesn’t signal its intention for multicast traffic, but in PIM Sparse mode the receiver initiates the operation. Put simply, the receiver signals whether or not it is interested in multicast traffic.
Since the multicast receivers start the whole operation by sending their intent to either the RP or the multicast source, PIM ASM, PIM SSM, PIM Bidir are called PIM Sparse Mode as well.
I compared PIM SSM, PIM ASM and PIM Bidir in a comprehensive comparison table which helps network engineers to decide which solution is best for their network.