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Time: August 4th, 2023

This post talks about the basic concepts of Ethernet Ring Protection Switching and its advantage in a network. If you were searching for this core tech, then this article is for you.

Ethernet Ring Protection Switching (ERPS) 

It is a Layer 2 and 3 solution that protects against frame loss. It uses MAC address filtering and priority queuing to prevent an Ethernet ring from being interrupted when it encounters a fault condition such as collisions or power loss. The difference between EPPP and ERP is that EPPP is designed for point-to-point links while ERPS can be used on any type of Ethernet link including multipoint, hybrid, or multimode links. The main benefit of using ERPS instead of EPPP is that it provides better performance compared with traditional bridge isolation techniques such as 802.1D Spanning Tree Protocol (STP).

How does ERPS work?

It provides more than 10,000 VDC of protection between devices in a ring topology with up to 64 ports. The device can be used in a mission-critical application that requires high-current protection, as well as in applications where there are high power requirements and low voltage drops over long distances. The ERPS is ideal for use in industrial control systems (ICS), machine automation, and instrumentation markets such as oil & gas extraction or manufacturing applications where reliability is paramount. ERPS provides:

  • Data protection by preventing network crashes due to cable breakage or physical damage;
  • Data integrity through preventative features like CRC checksums on every packet sent over the network;
  • Data confidentiality through encryption of transmitted messages with 128-bit AES encryption algorithm;
  • Management via web browser graphical user interface enabling users to manage their networks from anywhere on any device connected to an Ethernet Ring Topology.

The Ethernet ring topology is used for applications in which multiple devices share a network connection. For example, it might be used to connect multiple endpoints on a local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN), such as a wiring closet where physical connections are not possible. This type of configuration can help save money by sharing bandwidth among multiple users and devices instead of having each user share their dedicated link that may not be able to handle all traffic at full capacity.

When you're using Ethernet switches to connect multiple devices, you'll want them all connected directly or indirectly via some kind of bus system. This would include things like buses within a hub or switches connecting multiple pieces of hardware. 

Advantages of Ethernet Ring Protection Switching (ERPS)

  1. Protects a network from incoming threats by dropping all traffic not destined for the protected network. It works by filtering out any packets that do not match its criteria, thus preventing them from entering or leaving your protected sublayer.
  2. ERPS switches protect legacy hubs and switches, Cisco Catalyst Switches, and modern systems with two 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports such as routers, firewall appliances, and other equipment that can be connected to a dedicated port or trunk.
  3. Ethernet Ring Protection Switching (ERPS) is a feature that provides security to networks without blocking all traffic. The switch protects the network by detecting any attempted malicious activity, such as an attack on your company's data center or server room. It then blocks the offending traffic from entering your network, thus protecting it from being hacked or hijacked. For example, if there is an existing security threat in your infrastructure and you have isolated some of your networks using EPPP, you can use the functions of an ERPS to block traffic on all ports except those connected to your switched segment(s)
  4. If the security threat has been contained on a segment or two far away from where the ERPS is located (and therefore considered unlikely), it may still be possible for this device to detect and drop packets from other segments that are not directly connected to its own. 

Wrapping Up:

The key benefit of using this technology is that it provides security without blocking all network traffic. This means you can still use other devices on your network, even if they are configured to connect through one of those non-trunked ports blocked by ERPS. In addition, using ERPS does not require any changes in configuration or software on either endpoints or switches; it simply works as an intelligent feature within existing equipment such as routers and switches. 

 

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