TEF 2022 Fall | Ethernet’s role in the OT Evolution
Operational Technology (OT) networks are specialized networks that control profit-making processes (e.g. Industrial) and ensure the comfort and safety of building occupants (e.g. Building Automation). Ethernet enjoys a pervasive presence in the upper layers of OT networks today. These higher-level networks utilize 4-pair copper Ethernet and often fiber optic cable to achieve their performance goals. Experts in the design and deployment of these networks continue to evolve the capabilities of the network, creating validated reference architectures that satisfy many common needs encountered in the OT realm. Moreover, active gear deployed in these networks consists of built-for-purpose industrial network switches, a fair number of IT grade switches and servers and storage area networks. Application of PoE as a power source for OT network devices figures prominently in the future of OT networks. In addition, the Ethernet ecosystem begins to focus more intently on OT networks with the advent of Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) and its certain impact on the edge of OT networks. SPE and its powering method, SPoE, drives the evolution of OT networks, resulting in secure, high value single protocol business networks. Achieving the single protocol networks provides a strong path to maximized cybersecurity utilizing the strengths of IP networking.
Built on the foundational IEEE 802.3cg standard, the applications for SPE abound in OT networks both in building and industrial automation domains. Work progresses in the standards community that will make this pivotal technology provide ever richer benefits.
The Ethernet Alliance will host a Technology Exploration Forum to focus on the use-cases, technology challenges and future looking considerations surrounding this network edge technology. This forum brings together experts and key players in the Ethernet industry to discuss and explore these areas. In addition to its own broad membership, which includes component vendors, system vendors, and end users, this event is open to non-Ethernet Alliance members. Together, these two constituencies provide a diverse set of backgrounds, ensuring lively discussion and helping the industry define a vision for the future of Ethernet.
Topics of Interest
The Technology Exploration Forum is an opportunity for individuals to present and share their ideas with members of the Ethernet community interested in exploring the future of Ethernet. Potential topics for discussion and presentations include but are not limited to:
- What do future OT network architectures look like?
- Enhanced cybersecurity through a single protocol Ethernet network
- The transformative effects of PoE and SPoE on control power infrastructure in OT networks
- Time Sensitive Networking to the network edge
- IP security techniques for OT networks
- Network Management Software for OT networks
- SPE as a smart factory/smart building enabler
- What are future rates and distances for SPE?
- Does SPE breathe new life into old physical infrastructure?
Bob Voss, Program Chairperson
c/o Ethernet Alliance | 3855 SW 153rd Drive | Beaverton, OR 97006 | 503.619.0564