The Role of Ring Topology in Industrial Settings

Running large Industrial networks requires high reliability and robust communication.  The network’s topology plays an important role in how well networks perform in a factory environment.

Relying solely on star topologies can be robust, but expensive.  Having long linear segments can be cost-effective but at the risk of reducing reliability.

Relying on a single network path can bring problems much like those you might encounter driving on your commute home.

Imagine you are driving on a highway with few exits and there’s suddenly an accident. Not only are you stuck, but you don’t know how far away you are from the accident.

You could be stuck for minutes or hours.

The same thing happens with networks: If a single cable or device fails in a daisy chain, you lose service, and it becomes difficult – if not impossible – for data to move around.

Now, imagine how much easier it would be if there was a traffic cop with sign directing you to an alternate route.

You and your fellow travelers arrive at your destination with minimal delay.

That’s why you need to implement a network with a ring topology.

By using a ring topology with the device-level ring protocol, there’s always an alternative path for data to arrive at its destination.

And with the device-level ring protocol, or DLR, there’s a traffic cop known as a ring supervisor, who directs traffic and keeps data from going in circles. When there’s a problem, like a bad cable, the supervisor detects the issue and directs traffic down the alternate path.

Further, even while business is running as usual, a ring topology allows you to switch out cables or devices.  When the supervisor sees you fixed the cable of the device, it resumes normal operation of the ring.

With a ring topology and DLR, your network has resilience. You have a back-up plan when cables or devices fail.

Your network stays running while the ring supervisor aids IT staffers in locating and fixing the problem.

From a cost standpoint, you are running a standard line topology with only a single additional connection to form the ring. That makes it affordable.

All of these benefits demonstrate that keeping traffic in a ring with DLR technology can save you time and money.

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