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Free tool tests Ethernet fault timing

01 September, 2004

Free tool tests Ethernet fault timing

GarrettCom Europe is offering a free software tool for analysing timing faults on Ethernet networks. Fault timing data is critical to implementing redundant industrial networks but, until now, it has been a matter of trial and error, the company says.

Its FTA (fault timing analysis) tool, which can be used with either mesh or ring topologies, is said to be easy to use. A clock window displays the elapsed time, in thousandths of a second, since the start of the test.

The software sends a rapid sequence of "pings" over the network. A ping response shows that that the network is working normally at that instant. If there is a fault, the ping is not returned. The time taken from detecting a fault to its recovery (when the ping responses are received again) is shown on the PC screen, which also displays fault statistics.

"Our objective in releasing the FTA tool free-of-charge is to allow industrial Ethernet users to determine for themselves the fault recovery time they can expect in their self-healing LAN installation," explains GarrettCom president, Frank Madren. "We want users to have the information available to make the choice that is best for them. "The technology of fault recovery is not yet mature," he adds.

"This means that users are faced with the simplistic, but statistically impossible, claims that different vendors` products can achieve fault recovery in, say, precisely 50 or 250ms. In reality, even the same test using the same LAN equipment and set-up will have statistically significant variance from one test to the next."

To obtain the FTA software send a request to ftp@garrettcom.com - no subject line or message is needed. This will generate an auto-reply email containing download instructions.




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