The decentralised structure of industrial networks means that many applications require a central switch in the switching cabinet. A Weidmüller IE-SWxx-M high-performance Industrial Ethernet managed switch is ideal for such applications and available from iOpen .
The IE-SWxx-M switches are surrounded by a stable aluminium enclosure. Connections are provided for supply voltage and relay or signalling contacts. These switches can be fitted with 8, 16 or 24 Ethernet ports as required, one or two of these for singlemode or multimode glass fibre cables.
LEDs on the front provide the necessary optical indications. The port LEDs remain permanently on to indicate a connection and flash during data transmissions. They change colour to indicate the data rate: green indicates 100Mbps and yellow 10Mbps. The green “Power” LED remains on permanently to indicate a constant power supply. The green “Status” LED is normally permanently green, but switches to red to signal a fault, provided the “Link monitoring” function is active.
The Weidmüller IE-SWxx-M switches can be used to set up industrial networks in such a way that transport paths and transport times for network traffic are optimised. The individual network components are interconnected in a hierarchical, physical star-type network. The main distributor, in this case a high-performance IE-SWxx-M Industrial Ethernet switch, represents the central switching point in this network.
All switches from Weidmüller are protocol-transparent. Every port forms its own network segment, its own collision domain. The entire network bandwidth is available to each one of these segments. This increases not only the network performance across the entire network, but also in every individual segment. The switch examines every incoming packet for the MAC address of the destination segment and can then forward it directly to its destination.
The advantage of Weidmüller switches is their ability to interconnect their ports directly.
Port-Trunking: Port-trunking enables users to combine two or more ports on two Ethernet devices to form a group. This group then behaves like a “single logical link”, but with a correspondingly higher data rate. Port trunking provides redundancies with a very fast recovery time. If a link in the trunk group fails, the remaining links take over immediately in order to maintain the data exchange between the two switches.
Port-Mirroring: Port mirroring enables users to mirror or copy, at one port all the data transmitted or received at one or more, other ports of the IE-SWxx-M. The messages sent to the mirrored port can be filtered, e.g. by way of MAC addresses.
VLAN: The abbreviation VLAN stands for “Virtual Local Area Network”. This is a network structure with all the properties of a conventional LAN, but without any physical connections. VLANs are generally switched networks that can link more remote nodes to form a virtual local network. The VLAN function enables a network to be split into various segments. It is possible to combine servers and workstations into dynamic workgroups according to their function. VLANs can be set up transparently and without any physical changes to the network and can be configured like multiple virtual local networks.
VLANs are broadcast domains that can also extend over several switches. The broadcast traffic is then only visible in the respective VLAN. This possibility of completely isolating VLANs from one another helps to increase the security of data transmissions. Consequently, the data is sent only to the Ethernet devices within one VLAN group. Once the VLAN function has been activated, a VLAN frame can be sent only to one port belonging to this VLAN within the VLAN. If the destination port belongs to a different VLAN, the frame is deleted. It is also possible to assign a port to several VLANs simultaneously. This type of structure enables networks to share one router or server.
VLANs combine the advantages of bridges and routers. It is easy to add, delete or modify a station. The network can have any structure. For example, it is possible to set up virtual user groups. It is no longer necessary to assign users to various subnetworks just because of the great physical distances between them. Servers housed in central locations can be assigned to distant workgroups.
IE-SWxx-M switches support two types of VLAN:
- 802.1q VLAN
IE-SWxx-M switches also permit static entries in addition to the “learning” of addresses in the forwarding table or the address table. These entries remain in the table permanently and are not subject to the aging process.
Quality of Service: The Quality of Service (QoS) function permits a QoS priority to be used in every Ethernet frame. The priority depends on the port from which the frame originates.
Differential relay: IE-SWxx-M switches have a relay connection. This is used for monitoring the individual processes in the network. The relay signals the failure of the presence of a link to one or more ports.
Browse Address Table: The “browse address table” function enables the display of the entire address table or the localisation of a MAC address. Select the type of search (sequence or MAC address) and afterwards the “find” function. This function is useful for obtaining an overview of all MAC addresses. The ports belonging to the MAC addresses are also displayed.
SNMP-Management: The SNMP protocol enables the monitoring, controlling and administration of networks. According to the model of SNMP architecture, the network is divided into network management stations and network components. The network management stations host applications for the monitor and control of network components.
IGMP-Snooping: IGMP snooping controls the switch when join requests appear on the port for a multicast group. When this happens, the particular port is incorporated into the forward table for this group. This reduces the net load, since the switch does not flood all ports with multicast traffic.
DHCP Client: Specially-configured servers, such as Weidmüller's Router Series, can assign dynamic IP addresses and other network parameters to network components. This is done with the DHCP protocol (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol). Our managed switches can either receive a fixed, static IP address, or a DHCP server can assign them an IP address.
Diffserv: When using Diffserv (Differentiated Services), every IP packet is tested to determine its priority. In contrast to the Quality of Service, the priority is already determined here by the sender. Thus the path to the receiver is optimized and forwarded with preference.