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Diagnostic Switches Donated to BIG-EU PlugFest for Interoperability Testing

Diagnostic SwitchMay 2017 - In addition to participating at the BIG-EU Plugfest 2017 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, May 17 – 19, Contemporary Controls will be donating our Diagnostic Switch to each participating team. The BIG-EU PlugFest gives attendees the opportunity to live test new products and features. The PlugFest, for manufacturers of BACnet products, allows attendees to test their BACnet products with BACnet devices from other attendees in a neutral and friendly environment.

"We’ve always been a fan of PlugFest because it gives us the unique chance to test how our products interact with those from other companies," said Harpartap Parmar, Senior Product Manager at Contemporary Controls. "Donating the Diagnostic Switch to each team is a way for us to support the event and make it easier for teams to capture and analyze network traffic."

Skorpion Diagnostic Switches assist the user in troubleshooting Ethernet networks by allowing a network sniffer such as Wireshark® to attach to an unused port on the switch and observe all traffic on the network. Skorpion Diagnostic Switches retain all the features of an unmanaged switch but perform like a repeating hub where all received messages are flooded to all other ports. There are two 5-port diagnostic switches in the series which differ only by the highest data rate supported. The EISK5-100T/H supports 10/100 Mbps networks while the EISK5-GT/H can additionally support gigabit speed.

One benefit of switched Ethernet technology is that the switch restricts directed messages to only those ports party to the communication. This improves overall network throughput by not burdening end stations with useless traffic. However, this feature makes protocol debugging difficult because a sniffer (protocol analyzer) tool attached to an unused port on the switch cannot observe any directed messages of interest. In the past, the solution was to change out the switching hub with a repeating hub but with the Skorpion Diagnostic Switch this is unnecessary.

The Skorpion Diagnostic Switch retains all the virtues of switched Ethernet technology such as variable data rates on individual segments, auto-negotiation, Auto-MDIX but with one exception-no address learning. All messages-directed, multicast, and broadcast-are flooded to all ports on the switch allowing a sniffer or protocol analyser tool such as Wireshark the ability to observe all traffic on the network. The Skorpion Diagnostic Switch can be permanently installed on an installation or replaced with a regular Skorpion switch once a system is commissioned. This device can also be useful when developing embedded Ethernet devices because you can connect the Skorpion Diagnostic Switch between two embedded Ethernet devices and view their messages using Wireshark®.

Learn more by visiting the Skorpion Diagnostic Switch product page and be sure to say hello if you are at the BIG-EU PlugFest.


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