Layer 2 switches can use IGMP snooping to constrain the flooding of multicast traffic by dynamically configuring Layer 2 interfaces so that multicast traffic is forwarded to only those interfaces associated with IP multicast devices. As the name implies, IGMP snooping requires the LAN switch to snoop on the IGMP transmissions between the host and the router and to keep track of multicast groups and member ports. When the switch receives an IGMP report from a host for a particular multicast group, the switch adds the host port number to the forwarding table entry; when it receives an IGMP Leave Group message from a host, it removes the host port from the table entry. It also periodically deletes entries if it does not receive IGMP membership reports from the multicast clients.
For more information on IP multicast and IGMP, see RFC 1112 and RFC 2236.
The multicast router sends out periodic general queries to all VLANs. All hosts interested in this multicast traffic send join requests and are added to the forwarding table entry. The switch creates one entry per VLAN in the IGMP snooping IP multicast forwarding table for each group from which it receives an IGMP join request.
The switch supports IP multicast group-based bridging, instead of MAC-addressed based groups. With multicast MAC address-based groups, if an IP address being configured translates (aliases) to a previously configured MAC address or to any reserved multicast MAC addresses (in the range 224.0.0.xxx), the command fails. Because the switch uses IP multicast groups, there are no address aliasing issues.
The IP multicast groups learned through IGMP snooping are dynamic. However, you can statically configure multicast groups by using the ip igmp snooping vlan vlan-id static ip_address interface interface-id global configuration command. If you specify group membership for a multicast group address statically, your setting supersedes any automatic manipulation by IGMP snooping. Multicast group membership lists can consist of both user-defined and IGMP snooping-learned settings.
You can manage IP multicast group addresses through features such as IGMP snooping and Multicast VLAN Registration (MVR), or by using static IP addresses. For information about MVR, see the next chapter.
You can configure an IGMP snooping querier to support IGMP snooping in subnets without multicast interfaces because the multicast traffic does not need to be routed.
If a port spanning tree, a port group, or a VLAN ID change occurs, the IGMP snooping-learned multicast groups from this port on the VLAN are deleted.