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Routers bring serial devices into the Ethernet world

10 April, 2007

The industrial communications specialist GarrettCom has developed a range of range of routers that allow existing serial devices in plants to be linked into industrial Ethernet networks. Unlike basic serial-Ethernet linking devices, such as terminal and device servers, GarrettCom’s DX serial device routers incorporate extra functions such as Ethernet switches, IP routers and IP firewalls.

GarrettCom router

The routers are said to provide network resiliency via secure, dual-connection fibre-optic Ethernet ports, and to extend security protection for serial interfaces to the edge of the network.

David Moss, GarrettCom Europe’s business development manager, points out that there is a huge installed base of serial devices. "As the transition to industrial Ethernet networks has evolved, serial devices have generally been left apart in a static and separate edge network," he says. "It is simply not realistic to expect that every one of these should be replaced by an alternative with an on-board Ethernet interface.

"But, at the same time," he adds, "there is a very real requirement to integrate these installed devices into modern networks, complete with the features and functions that you would expect from an on-board Ethernet interface. The DX serial device routers provide a means to achieve exactly that."

There are two models: the DX800 has four serial interfaces and four Ethernet ports (including two fibre ports); while the DX400 has two serial ports and two Ethernet ports (one or both of which may be fibre).

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