How to Enable Multicast Support Cisco Switches


Streaming media usage has increased dramatically in recent years as video conferencing, voice conferencing and other IP video, voice and streaming media applications become easier to use and more reliable. Applications such an IP video and audio tend to utilize large amounts of network bandwidth unless multicast "one to many" technology is employed. However, to reap the benefits of multicast, you must enable a minimal set of network protocols on the network switches.

Things You'll Need

  • Cisco switches with IP services IOS image and telnet enabled
  • Microsoft Windows XP computer
  • IP address of each Cisco switch
  • Privilege Exec password for each Cisco switch
  • Password for telnet access to each Cisco switch
  • Click the "Start" button, then click "Run," type "cmd" and press the "Enter" key. The command line window will appear.

  • Type "telnet x.x.x.x," substituting the "x.x.x.x" with the IP address of a Cisco switch. Press the "Enter" key to connect to the Cisco switch.

  • Type the telnet password when requested in order to access the Cisco command line (CLI), and then press the "Enter" key.

  • Type "enable" and press the "Enter" key, and then type the Privilege Exec password and press the "Enter" key.

  • Type "config term" and press the "Enter" key. Type "ip igmp snooping" and then press the "Enter" key. If the switch is configured for OSI layer 2 forwarding only, then no further multicast configuration is required. However, if the switch has routing services enabled, proceed to step 6.

  • Type "ip multicast-routing" and press the "Enter" key. Type "interface fastethernet 1/1," substituting "fastethernet 1/1" with the name of an interface that interconnects with a switch or router, and then press the "Enter" key. The command prompt is now in the interface mode context.

  • Type "ip pim dense-mode" and press the "Enter" key. Perform this command on each interface that connects to another switch or router. This command must be run after executing the "interface" command to enter interface mode for the specific interface that will have multicast routing enabled.

  • Type "exit" and press the "Enter" key, and then type "exit" and press the "Enter" key again. Type "copy run start" and press the "Enter" key to save the configuration.

  • Perform this procedure on each switch in the network infrastructure that will be forwarding multicast traffic.

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  • Photo Credit 48 Port Switch image by Phil2048 from
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