Solutions to Achieve Redundancy in Mission-Critical Serial to Ethernet Connections
Serial devices play an essential role in Ethernet networks. The serial to Ethernet connections consists of devices like serial to Ethernet connectors. The serial to Ethernet connections plays a crucial role in modern networks. Industrial operations like process automation, power, and utility, security, and surveillance, transportation, etc are a few industries that rely on serial to Ethernet connections. The failure of serial to Ethernet connections is absolutely intolerable due to the criticality of applications in these industries. The failure of serial to Ethernet connections can result in major losses, accidents, and security issues in certain industries. Therefore, it is essential to have an Ethernet network with reliable redundancy when failure cannot be tolerated.
As the networking requirements are becoming demanding in mission-critical industries, only serial communication does not suffice. To fulfill the demanding needs of such communication networks, serial to Ethernet networking is adopted. Transferring transmission from serial devices to the Ethernet network helps in reaping all the benefits of Ethernet protocol. However, since Ethernet networks consist of multiple devices, links and loops, the chances of failure must be reduced. That is why the redundancy of such networks is essential to be maintained. This paper discusses the serial to a port Ethernet connection, the significance of its redundancy, and solutions to maintain the same.
An Overview of Serial to Port Ethernet Connection
Serial to Ethernet is a technology that allows connection over Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) or Internet Protocol (IP) network. Serial to Ethernet connection features the converters that are capable of converting the data packets into serial data signals and vice versa. The converter receives the serial data signals and converters and forwards them to the Ethernet-compliant devices in the form of data packets over TCP/IP. This way the signal transmission from the serial cables like RS232, RS485, etc to the Ethernet compliant transmission media over TCP/IP. Owing to the popularity and beneficial capabilities of Ethernet networks, serial communication is converted to Ethernet communications.
One of the main reasons for adopting serial to Ethernet data conversion is a reduced number of ports. The serial devices require a port per transmission stream. On the other hand, Ethernet permits the transmission of multi-stream signals over a single port by using serial to Ethernet media converters. Also, transmission over Ethernet overcomes the limitations of serial data cables for the transmission distance.
Implementation of serial to Ethernet technology to the already existing Ethernet connections is not that complex. It also holds several benefits in enhancing the performance and efficiency of the Ethernet network. This networking technology allows transmission of data over TCP/IP which means the data that could hardly be transmitted to 500-foot, can be now transmitted globally over LAN, WLAN, and global internet-based networks. That is why this technology is used in several industrial automation, security and surveillance, and data communication networks.
Serial to Ethernet Connection Redundancy
Ethernet networks typically have multiple transmission links. From the host servers to the Ethernet switches and further to the receiving equipment, multiple transmission links are connected in the form of topology. When it comes to implementing serial to Ethernet connection into the existing Ethernet network, the complexity increases with the number of intermediate serial to Ethernet devices. The connection has to be in compliance with the standards of topology in order to maintain redundancy. Such networks are designed and built for a reduction in the chances of failure. Therefore, the bypass or mirrored paths of data transmission are adopted in serial to Ethernet networks. To achieve the redundancy of a part of serial to Ethernet networks, the bypass links are kept ideal until the functioning part of the network fails. As the functioning links fail, the data is directed to the bypass link so that the loss of data is prevented.
Some special topologies are used to enhance the redundancy of the Ethernet networks.
Solutions to Maintain Redundancy in Serial to Ethernet Connections
The following solutions can be adopted to ensure redundancy of the serial to Ethernet networks.
- Ethernet Switching Solution for LAN Bridge Mode: The LAN bridge mode features a bypass by switching the LAN networks. In this type of network, the serial devices are connected in a LAN network over Ethernet. This LAN is bridged with another LAN network. In cases of data traffic, failed links, etc, the bridge is activated and then the data can be transmitted through a second LAN. Generally, the first LAN remains continuously active where the second one remains passive until the bridge is activated.
- Ethernet Switching Solution for LAN Redundancy Mode: The Ethernet switching solution is often configured in the serial to Ethernet converters by using networking software. This mode of serial to Ethernet connection uses a backup path that is only used when the threat of data loss is noticed. If problems like link failure or abrupt network damage are seen, the data transmission is routed to the backup link. The backup link often goes back to the server or looped to the series of devices. This solution is adopted to reduce network downtime. This solution remains compatible with ITU-G.8032 and IEEE 802.1D/W standards. Under these solutions, the features like tree spanning, port mirroring, etc can be implemented in the network.
- Ethernet Switching Solution for LAN Dual-Subnet Mode: To implement this solution in serial to Ethernet networks, the converters with dual LAN ports are utilized. A Dual-redundancy network is built using this solution. Out of which, the first redundancy path transmits data packets between the host device and network server. Another path transmits data between the serial devices over Ethernet. Even if the device-to-device transmission fails, the data transmitted between the host and server. This ensures no data loss and network downtime is reduced to the minimum possible time.
This solution can be enhanced for mission-critical data transmissions by implementing multiple host devices. The multi-host redundancy network continues the transmission between multiple hosts and the network server. This network duplicates the data packets to enable the transmission of the same signal to multiple devices at a time. This ensures there is no delay in the transmission of data. Network lag and data traffic are prevented by using this solution.
Any of the above-mentioned solutions can be adopted to ensure redundancy and reduce chances of failure and data loss in serial to Ethernet network. However, the choice of devices must be of high quality and connections must meet the requirements of specific topologies. If connection and quality are ensured, the serial to Ethernet networks can be used for mission-critical transmission without any hazards.
The concept of serial to Ethernet connections is discussed in this white paper. Due to limitations of serial transmission like limited transmission distance, a requirement of individual ports for transmission links, the solution of serial to Ethernet networking is utilized. The significance of redundancy of such networks is discussed in this white paper followed by different ways of achieving redundancy. Ethernet switching solution for LAN Bridge mode, Ethernet switching with LAN redundancy more, and dual subnet mode are the three solutions discussed in this paper. However, to implement these solutions, specific devices like serial to Ethernet converters should be used only after verifying quality and performance. To gain more information about these devices, please visit https://www.versitron.com.