Moxa, Inc., the world's only IRIS-certified manufacturer of IP-based, railway-rugged communications solutions, has launched an intelligent inter-consist redundancy solution that allows train operators for the first time to rearrange train cars at will, without needing to reconfigure the on-board Ethernet switches inside each car. Based on Moxa's DRC (Dynamic Ring Coupling) technology and supported by its ToughNet EN 50155 managed Ethernet switches, the new solution automatically reconfigures on-board Ethernet switches, saving railway operators valuable time and money. "Moxa specifically developed Dynamic Ring Coupling technology to address the needs of our railway partners that were not being met by existing networking products," according to Tony Guerra from Moxa's Railway Automation Solutions division. "Intelligent inter-consist redundancy helps railway operators better allocate resources and efficiently serve passenger demand." For example, Guerra notes, metropolitan rail services may want to run trains with fewer cars and "consists" (groups of cars) during off-peak hours, but will run longer trains during rush hour. With trains sometimes rearranged multiple times during the day, ensuring network redundancy for multiple-unit Ethernet consist networks is a challenge. The old way was to manually configure network settings, which requires advanced knowledge of Ethernet protocols. Even if the reconfiguration was successful, the network will need to restart due to a topology change, disrupting on-board services. Moxa DRC technology and ToughNet EN 50155 Ethernet switches provide speedy, automatic configuration of on-board Ethernet switches when trains are rearranged, and guarantee inter-consist network recovery in under 1 second, and even faster intra-consist recovery in under 20 milliseconds. Unlike traditional RSTP (Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol), Moxa DRC does not disrupt intra-consist networks during reorientation. As a result, all the Ethernet network services -- including video surveillance, Wi-Fi access, passenger information systems, public announcement systems, and more -- remain in operation even when coupling Ethernet switches are rearranged more than once during the day.
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