Multicast PIM Dense mode vs PIM Sparse mode is one of the most important things for every Network Engineer who deploys IP Multicast on their networks. Because these two design option is completely different and the resulting impact can be very high. In this post, we will look at, which situation, which one should be used, and why.
Although we will not explain PIM Dense or PIM Sparse mode in detail in this post, very briefly we will look at them and then compare them fo clarity. First of all, you should just know both PIM Dense and PIM Sparse are the PIM Deployment models.
Because when you push, you don't build a shared tree, you don't need to deal with the RP - Rendezvous Point, because Multicast Source is learned automatically. Thus, PIM Dense Mode is considered a push-based control plane and it is suitable if the Multicast receiver is distributed in most of the paces if not all, in the network. Otherwise, it can be bad from a resource consumption point of view, bandwidth, sender, and receivers process the packets unnecessarily.
Then, we can say that, if there are few receivers, PIM Sparse mode can be more efficient from a resource usage point of view, but if there are receivers everywhere in the network, there is no problem using PIM Dense mode from a resource usage point of view.
Orhan Ergun, CCIE/CCDE Trainer, Author of Many Networking Books, Network Design Advisor, and Cisco Champion 2019/2020/2021
He created OrhanErgun.Net 10 years ago and has been serving the IT industry with his renowned and awarded training.
Wrote many books, mostly on Network Design, joined many IETF RFCs, gave Public talks at many Forums, and mentored thousands of his students.
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