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Is Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) really Protocol Independent?

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Is Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) really Protocol Independent? What is that dependency? Does PIM require an IP or can it work with non-IP?

If you don’t know about PIM, please have a look at here and here.

One of my students asked, is PIM require an IP (Internet Protocol), which triggered me to share the answer with you.

PIM uses unicast routing for loop prevention,  creating Tree (Shared or Source Based Tree), and send Join and Prune messages towards to Source of the Tree (Either Sender or RP), as you will understand when you read the above blog posts on the website.

In terms of routing protocol, any unicast routing protocol can be used by PIM. In contrast to early successor of PIM, which is DVMRP (Distance Vector Multicast Routing Protocol), PIM can use link state, path vector or distance vector routing protocol for all of the above protocol functions.

Thus, to be precise, PIM is “unicast routing protocol independent,” as compared to DVMRP.

But on the other side, PIM is very much bound up with the IP  (Internet Protocol)—it is not protocol independent in terms of network-layer protocols.

As a summary, PIM (Protocol Independent Multicast) requires IP in Layer 3, but can use any unicast routing protocol (Not like Multicast OSPF or DVMRP) for the tree formation, loop prevention, join and prune messages to receive or not to receive multicast packet.

Thanks for Naresh Kumar Pendem to send a message for the typo mistake correction ‘ Loop preservation > Loop Prevention ‘.If you liked this post and would like to see more, please let me know in the comment section below. Share your thoughts so I can continue to write similar ones. 

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