TRENDnet has added Ethernet Ring Protection Switching (ERPS) support to its line of industrial managed network switches, available through a free firmware upgrade.

ERPS is an advanced form of ring topology which links networks together for redundancy while protecting data flow. IT essentially functions in the same manner as Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP) or Spanning Tree Protocol (STP). The main difference between the three is the recovery time; ERPS reduces recovery time to less than 50 milliseconds, where RSTP takes an average two seconds, and STP takes 30 to 50 seconds.

In the case of a broken network link, ERPS in TRENDnet’s industrial switches can provide the most responsive fault tolerance.

ERPS (as with RSTP and STP) also ensures that no network loops are formed in a ring topology. Otherwise, a ring network would send data endlessly in a loop, negatively impacting network operation and availability, ultimately wasting bandwidth and network resources. With ERPS ring topology, devices are connected in a loop-free path with each networked device connected to two separate paths (for redundancy).

With faster redundancy provided by ERPS, TRENDnet’s industrial switches are better suited for large scalability, making it easier to grow and update your existing network design over time. Since any network downtime (even just a few seconds) can cause critical errors and operational issues, ERPS supported industrial switches are commonly utilized in industries such as surveillance, automated facilitates, mining, utilities, and waste management.

Previously only available on TRENDnet’s most advanced industrial managed Ethernet switch model, the 12-Port Hardened Industrial Gigabit PoE+ Layer 2+ Managed DIN-Rail Switch (TI-PG1284i), ERPS is now be available on all TRENDnet managed industrial Ethernet switches, including both Layer 2 Managed models and Web Smart models.

Users with existing TRENDnet industrial managed switch models will need to update their firmware to gain the ERPS feature update.