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Introduction to Ghost multicasting

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Article ID: 151686

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Updated On:

Products

Ghost Solution Suite

Issue/Introduction

This document contains information about Ghost multicasting.

Resolution

Multicasting allows multiple computers to receive the same information over a computer network simultaneously through the use of a single transmission of information.

The following Ghost programs use multicasting:

  • The Ghost Multicast Server, which distributes the image file using UDP Multicasting.
  • The GhostCast Server, which distributes the image file using UDP Multicasting by default.
  • The Ghost Console, which distributes the image file using UDP Multicasting by default.
  • The Ghost application (Ghost.exe in version 4.0a or greater), which receives the image file and writes it to disk.

Cloning without multicasting
Replicating a workstation setup onto many computers can be a daunting and time consuming task. One-to-one connections when replicating a small number of computers is fine, but as the number of computers increase, the time it takes to finish the task increases in relation to the number of computers.

When using Ghost's NetBIOS networking support or a mapped network drive to load the image file over a computer network, Ghost uses the one-to-one approach of transferring information. Each of the drives being replicated uses its own copy of the information, and each of these copies needs to be passed through the same limited computer network channel. As the number of replications on the same network increase, the time for overall completion increases because it is passed through the common information channel.

Ghost multicasting is designed to minimize these installation times.

Cloning with multicasting
Ghost multicasting uses UDP multicast packets to send information across an Ethernet computer network on a one-to-many basis. UDP multicasting is part of the well-known TCP/IP protocol family, which allows Ghost to replicate many workstations at one time with a single transmission. Ghost multicasting provides superior speeds and an efficient way to replicate hard drives to multiple computers by removing the bottleneck of transferring multiple copies of the same information.

Whether you intend to do a one-time network workstation group update, or you want a long-term repetitive disk replication solution, Ghost Multicasting provides flexibility and speed.

The user interface and companion manual describe how to use Ghost Multicasting:

  • Creating the original image file.
  • Setting up the network.
  • Configuring and launching the Multicast Server to send the image file.
  • Running Ghost on the workstations.

You can perform these tasks manually through the user interface, by command line switches and batch files, or a combination of both, to automate the process.


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