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Do you need N times the bandwidth to send same data to N users (for example when streaming live video to many users) or are current network protocols capable of cloning packets mid-route (or similar technique) that would allow to reduce required measures?

I'll explain what I mean with example: server sends data to two nodes, then those nodes send data to two another nodes... and so on till data reaches clients, that way every node needs only twice the bandwidth and not N times the bandwidth...

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closed as off-topic by Sven, Tim Brigham, Massimo, sciurus, Jacob Apr 29 '14 at 21:29

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2 – Sven Apr 29 '14 at 20:29
possible duplicate of Can you help me with my capacity planning? – Tim Brigham Apr 29 '14 at 20:29
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The three main approaches to save bandwidth in such cases are:

  • Multicast (which is supported by too few networks to be widely used).
  • Bittorrent style peer-to-peer networks (I don't know if this has successfully been used for streaming).
  • Caching servers deployed in strategic locations on the network (this is how some large video services operate their services).
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