Hirschmann is well known as a brand for pioneering Ethernet as an accepted standard for industrial data communications, and now they’re taking their work with industrial Ethernet switches further by launching an entirely new operating system for its switches.
Called HiOS, the operating system is specially designed to manage it Hirschmann Ethernet switches. Tailored to meet the needs of the automation sector, according to a news release by the company, the operating system comes in two Layer 2 versions. A Layer 3 version will debut in 2013, although Hirschmann has not specified an exact release date.
The operating system helps create intelligent infrastructure for time-critical applications, according to the company. Previously, this infrastructure was limited to the hard-wired domain such as point-to-point connections.
In the case a transformer substation, for instance, the HiOS enabled sensors and controllers to be securely connected to the network via Ethernet.
"The performance of this operating system will set a new benchmark for the automation sector," predicted Jürgen Schmid in the news release, product manager for Hirschmann.
Both versions of the Layer 2 edition, Standard and Advanced, provide precise time synchronization compliant with IEEE (News - Alert) 1588v2 in addition to a battery of management and diagnostic options. It also comes with a variety of redundancy protocols.
Featuring zero switchover times, the PRP (Parallel Redundancy Protocol) and HSR (High-Availability Seamless Redundancy) redundancy methods ensure smooth production processes, according to the company. Advanced security mechanisms protect networks against attacks and operating errors, assisting with high network available.
“On top of this, the Advanced version provides additional ‘Quality of Service’ functions such as DiffServ, VLAN extensions, and security mechanisms such as Access Control List (ACL) and IEEE802.1x Multi Client Authentication,” noted the company.
Numerous management protocols are supported by the OS, including Telnet, SSHv2, HTTP, HTTPS, TFTP, SFTP, and SNMP v1/v2/v3.
Redundancy protocols supported include MRP (Media Redundancy Protocol), Fast MRP, and RSTP (Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol) in addition to PRP and HSR.
In terms of security, HiOS comes with MAC-based Port Security, Authentication (IEEE802.1x), Guest/unauthenticated VLAN, Radius Client, Restricted Management Access, Local User Accounts, various Privilege Levels, Management Authentication via Radius, Account Locking, configurable Password Policy and Login Attempts, Audit Trail, CLI/SNMP Logging, and HTTPS-certified Management.
Switches in the RSP, EES and MSP series can take advantage of HiOS. Hirschmann has said that all new managed switches developed by the company will take advantage of the OS.
When combined with other Ethernet extender products on the market, such as those available from Patton Electronics, HiOS helps Ethernet take a big leap in the automation sector.
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Edited by Peter Bernstein