If your JACE network is sharing the main information network, you are likely to get some pushback from the IT department. Your automation network tends to generate more broadcast and multicast messages, while also requiring fixed IP address assignments. These attributes are not usually welcomed by IT departments. Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs) enable Ethernet connected systems to be divided into logical groups at the data link layer. VLANs make it easy for network administrators to partition a single switched IP network to match the functional and security requirements of their systems without having to run new cables or make major changes in their current network infrastructure. Without VLANs, grouping IP connected devices according to their resource or functionality necessitates the labor of relocating nodes, rewiring data links or adding more switches or routers. In addition, VLANs provide ease of administration, confinement of broadcast domains, reduced broadcast traffic, and enforcement of security policies. By confining broadcast domains, end-stations on a VLAN are prevented from listening to or receiving broadcasts not intended for them which optimizes overall network performance.
The EISK8M Series offers a compact rugged managed 10/100 Mbps Ethernet switch for IP network management and efficiency with a choice of eight copper ports or a mix of six copper and two fiber ports - with fiber optic ring redundancy. Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP) is also supported providing greater redundancy over mesh configuration. Intended for cost-effective Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) applications, the unit is rated over the industrial temperature range. Fiber optic distances up to 15 km are possible with the single-mode option.