The Importance of Ethernet Ring Redundancy in Industrial Ethernet Applications for Seamless Connectivity

California, U.S.A., March 2019 – Ethernet Direct Corporation, a professional and primary provider of industrial networking and communication solutions shares how to enable seamless connectivity in industrial Ethernet ring redundancy topologies.

Today’s new technologies are not widely adopted and offered in most Industrial switches. It has to do with switch design technologies. Ethernet Direct offers the following redundancy technologies.

  1. Standard Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP) and Multiple Spanning Tree Protocol (MTSP)
  2. ITU-T G.8032 / Y.1344 ERPS Ethernet Ring Protection Switching with recovery @ 50 ms (Single-ring, Sub-ring and Multiple ring topology networks).
  3. Direct-Ring, Direct-Chain and Join-Ring which are proprietary technologies that support 250 units in a ring topology and can bring redundant paths into service within 10ms when link failures occur. Most proprietary technologies only provide with 300ms, 50ms or 20ms depending on the ring topology.
  4. Media Redundancy Protocol (MRP) which is a data network protocol standardized by the International Electrotechnical Commission as IEC 62439-2.

By comparing several redundancy protocols, the Ethernet Direct Direct-Ring achieves faster recovery time on the network and is more flexible and scalable in network architecture. Direct-Ring redundancy technology can automatically self identifies the ring Master (the user-defined Master is also supported) and then block a port resided in Master device for backup purposes. Once the disconnection is detected on the network, Direct-Ring can bring back-up ports back into “forwarding” mode so that the disconnected path can keep contact with the whole network allowed.

Importance of Redundancy in Industrial Ethernet

Ethernet Direct offers a broad range of Industrial Managed Ethernet products designed with multi-levels of redundancy to ensure a reliable and secured industrial network. Each redundancy design serves different redundancy purpose. In an industrial network, downtime is measured in terms of the cost per minute of lost production. For this reason, deploying an Industrial Ethernet Switch with effective redundancy strategies is crucial in industrial applications where a failure could result in catastrophe.

Levels of Redundancy

Essential features are incorporated in Ethernet Direct industrial managed switches in order to perform multi-levels of redundancy. Power redundancy means the ability to connect to an alternative power supply in case a power failure occurs. A relay output will trigger an alarm when pre-defined events happen. Ring redundancy provides a backup path in an event that any part of a network is disrupted. Ring redundancy can deactivate one of the links in the ring to data traffic while simultaneously monitoring that the link is functioning. In case one of the links in the ring fails, the deactivated link will be “activated” within milliseconds. Network node redundancy adds reliability by allowing a node to be connected to the Ethernet network by having two independent connection points – one as operating connection and the other as backup connection. Entire system redundancy is reliable only when multi levels of redundancies can be achieved. It minimizes data loss by providing fast recovery time once unexpected network disruption occurs.

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