Network Redundancy and Ring Topologies
Industrial network failures pose a significant safety and economical risk. While no network is completely failproof, backup systems can help minimize these risks. As such, redundancy has become widely recognized as an essential aspect of any industrial network. There are many different ways to enhance fiber redundancy in a network. One way is by relying on a redundant ring topology. To better understand network redundancy and ring topologies, continue reading.
When relying on a redundant fiber ring, an important factor to consider is how the fiber network topology of the ring relates to the network’s physical layout. First, let’s start with a general overview of ring topology within a redundant fiber optic network.
A ring topology is a network configuration where each networked device is connected to two other devices on either side of it to form a circular “ring” data path. When data is transferred in a ring topology, the data is sent in one direction along the single continuous pathway. Each device has a repeater which will forward the data until it reaches the device in the topology that the data was intended for.
How ring topologies enhance network redundancy
There are many different types of ring technologies that can prevent a network from breaking if connections get cut or if a device fails. One such type is the counter-rotating ring.
Many ring networks will include the presence of an additional counter-rotating ring to protect their network against failure. If a network switch fails, the backup ring immediately activates, allowing data to continuously flow across the counter-rotating ring—resulting in extremely short failover recovery times.
Another type of redundant ring topology is the collapsed ring. The collapsed ring provides a convenient way to enhance the redundancy of your network by eliminating a single point of failure. In the case that a device in the ring fails, the collapsed ring will link every other device to each other. Therefore, data can continue being transported to other nodes in a ring even if a network node goes down.
In addition to preventing communication failure, this topology also allows for easy maintenance. Rather than having a backup link that completes the ring and affects every node in the system—like in a conventional ring—the collapsed ring isolates the individual cable failures to one network segment for easier repair.
Antaira’s ring redundancy solutions
At Antaira Technologies, we recognize the importance of a reliable, redundant network. Many of our industrial Ethernet switches support the ring network redundancy function. Using the market’s open standard ITU-T under G.8032 ERPS (Ethernet ring protection switch) protocol, our devices have a minimal network recovery time of less than 50ms. The ERPS protocol also provides recovery switching for Ethernet traffic while preventing loops from forming at the Ethernet layer.
In addition to ERPS devices, we also stock industrial Wi-Fi repeaters to further enhance network stability in networks that require wider coverage. To learn more about how you can enhance the reliability of your network using our highly innovative products, contact Antaira Technologies today. We can also help answer questions about star topology or point to multipoint topology. At Antaira, we have a fiber optic cable solution that would be ideal for your network.