Do you know that IT-OT convergence has led most manufacturers to let their Enterprise IT solution architects design the Industrial Automation network? The reason for this is because the convergence is happening so fast, there is a lack of industrial networking expertise to meet the sudden market needs. Enterprise is more worried about Network Security than Network Intermittence. Whereas, the OT is more worried about downtime caused by a disruptive network rather than network security.
Network failure in the automation industry seems to be a risk manufacturers are willing to take by letting their IT engineers design the Industrial automation network. According to the study, the estimated costs due to different downtimes are listed below.
While modernizing the automation equipment and optimizing the assets are considered as a valued return on investment, having a proper network backbone is not. Implementing proper network architecture is like laying a strong foundation for a skyscraper. Having Redundant / Resilient network is the catalyst to yield high availability.
Redundancy is achieved on two levels and two layers.
- Device Level
- Switch Level
- Layer 2
- Layer 3
Various redundancy protocols are available under each category to provide a fault-tolerant network. Understanding your application to adopt the necessary redundancy technology is crucial.
Having redundancy means having alternate paths or additional paths for the traffic.
Too many paths result in looped network causing latency. So, making sure only one path is active at any point in time and keeping the changeover time very minimum at the event of a fault are the biggest challenges in achieving a successful redundant network.
Some of the highly recommended protocols that provide redundancy and resiliency:
- Parallel redundancy protocol
- Resilient Ethernet Protocol
- Device Lever Ring
- Multiple Spanning tree protocol
- Link Aggregation Control Protocol
- Hot Standby Router Protocol
- Virtual Switching System (Stackwise Technology)
The only thing that takes you far away from the downtime is “Loopless Self-healing network with high-speed recovery time.”
The amount of hardware needed to produce a high availability network would cost you 10 times less than what an unplanned downtime would. Don’t wait for an unexpected downtime to make a decision. Increase your network redundancy today. We are here to help, contact our EECO network solutions experts to help you build a more resilient high availability network. Request for a Network Design service at the following link.
Questions? Contact Santa:
Network Security Product Manager
We built a hands-on smart lab in Richmond VA, to help meet the needs of modern manufacturing using state-of-the-art technologies. The Industrial IoT Lab is a hands-on discovery environment created to explore industrial networking, manufacturing software, and smart devices over EtherNet/IP.