URD is a Cisco-developed transitional solution that allows existing IP multicast receiver applications to be used with SSM without the need to modify the application and change or add any software on the receiver host running the application. URD is a content provider solution in which the receiver applications can be started or controlled through a web browser.
URD operates by passing a special URL from the web browser to the last hop router. This URL is called a URD intercept URL. A URD intercept URL is encoded with the (S, G) channel subscription and has a format that allows the last hop router to easily intercept it.
As soon as the last hop router intercepts both an (S, G) channel subscription encoded in a URD intercept URL and sees an IGMP group membership report for the same multicast group from the receiver application, the last hop router will use PIM-SSM to join toward the (S, G) channel as long as the application maintains the membership for the multicast group G. The URD intercept URL is thus only needed initially to provide the last hop router with the address of the sources to join to.
A URD intercept URL has the following syntax:
string is the name or IP address to which the URL is targeted. This target need not be the IP address of an existing web server, except for situations where the web server wants to recognize that the last hop router failed to support the URD mechanism. The number 465 indicates the URD port. Port 465 is reserved for Cisco by the IANA for the URD mechanism so that no other applications can use this port.
When the browser of a host encounters a URD intercept URL, it will try to open a TCP connection to the web server on port 465. If the last hop router is enabled for URD on the interface where the router receives the TCP packets from the host, it will intercept all packets for TCP connections destined to port 465 independent of the actual destination address of the TCP connection (independent of the address of the web server). Once intercepted, the last hop router will “speak” a very simple subset of HTTP on this TCP connection, emulating a web server. The only HTTP request that the last hop router will understand and reply to is the following GET request:
When it receives a GET command, the router tries to parse the argument according to this syntax to derive one or more (S, G) channel memberships. The path
string of the argument is anything up to, but not including, the first question mark, and is ignored. The group
strings are the IP addresses or fully qualified domain names of the channels for which this argument is a subscription request. If the argument matches the syntax shown, the router interprets the argument to be subscriptions for the channels (source1
) through (sourceN
The router will accept the channel subscriptions if the following conditions are met:
If the channel subscription is accepted, the router will respond to the TCP connection with the following HTML page format:
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Retrieved URL string successfully
If an error condition occurs, the <body> part of the returned HTML page will carry an appropriate error message. The HTML page is a by-product of the URD mechanism. This returned text may, depending on how the web pages carrying a URD intercept URL are designed, be displayed to the user or be sized so that the actual returned HTML page is invisible.
The primary effect of the URD mechanism is that the router will remember received channel subscriptions and will match them against IGMP group membership reports received by the host. The router will “remember” a URD (S, G) channel subscription for up to 3 minutes without a matching IGMP group membership report. As soon as the router sees that it has received both an IGMP group membership report for a multicast group G and a URD (S, G) channel subscription for the same group G, it will join the (S, G) channel through PIM-SSM. The router will then continue to join to the (S, G) channel based only on the presence of a continuing IGMP membership from the host. Thus, one initial URD channel subscription is all that is needed to be added through a web page to enable SSM with URD.
If the last hop router from the receiver host is not enabled for URD, then it will not intercept the HTTP connection toward the web server on port 465. This situation will result in a TCP connection to port 465 on the web server. If no further provisions on the web server are taken, then the user may see a notice (for example, “Connection refused”) in the area of the web page reserved for displaying the URD intercept URL (if the web page was designed to show this output). It is also possible to let the web server “listen” to requests on port 465 and install a Common Gateway Interface (CGI) script that would allow the web server to know if a channel subscription failed (for example, to subsequently return more complex error descriptions to the user).
Because the router returns a Content-Type of text and HTML, the best way to include the URD intercept URL into a web page is to use a frame. By defining the size of the frame, you can also hide the URD intercept URL on the displayed page.
By default, URD is disabled on all interfaces. When URD is configured through the ip urd interface configuration command on an interface, it will be active only for IP multicast addresses in the SSM range.