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Rockwell Automation and Cisco team-up for switching solutions

They will provide industry with a new range of industrial ethernet switches and educational ‘Reference Architectures’.

Together, the companies will develop a comprehensive portfolio of industrial ethernet switches and easy-to-use ‘Reference Architectures’. The pairing of these two industry leaders provides businesses with improved access to solutions that optimise network integration throughout the enterprise—from the manufacturing floor, through to the boardroom.

The Rockwell Automation / Cisco co-branded Stratix series of industrial ethernet switches includes the soon-to-be available Allen-Bradley Stratix 8000. Compact by design, the modular Stratix 8000 has been optimised for operation in both IT and manufacturing environments. The Stratix 8000 uses the current Cisco ‘Catalyst’ operating system and user interface, and can be configured using Rockwell Software RSLogix 5000 programming software. This allows users to set up, program and manage their switching applications using familiar methods. Logix tags are automatically generated, simplifying the integration of network diagnostics, while FactoryTalkView faceplates can also be developed to permit status monitoring and alarming.

The new switch series scales from six to 26 ports, with options for copper and fibre connectivity, to meet a variety of switching applications.

The Stratix suite also features a selection of additional switch offerings from Rockwell Automation. These include:

Stratix 6000 fixed managed switch series:

Designed to help ease deployment of ethernet on the plant floor, the Stratix 6000 series features simple setup and default configurations for EtherNet/IP. The small, compact fixed managed switch series provides four or eight copper ports with an option for a fibre uplink to higher-level networks.

Embedded switches:

For daisy-chain and ring network topologies, ethernet switch technology is embedded directly into end devices such as programmable automation controllers (PACs), distributed I/O and drives. This enables simplified configuration for EtherNet/IP applications.

Stratix 2000 unmanaged switch series:

These industrial-grade switches feature four to eight ports and are offered in copper and fibre connectivity options. The Stratix 2000 unmanaged switch series is easy to install and set up, as it doesn’t require any configuration and uses simple cable connections.

Rockwell Automation and Cisco have also collaborated to develop a series of educational instructional reference documents called ‘Reference Architectures’. These include design guides, whitepapers and educational seminars, webinars, profiles and presentations that offer best practice guidance for designing, implementing and maintaining plant-wide network architectures.

The first-phase release of these Reference Architectures, Design and Implementation Guide, is available now, and outlines recommendations for implementing cell/area zone architecture, and describes design considerations for high availability. Other Reference Architecture documents include white papers authored by Cisco, Rockwell Automation and Open DeviceNet Vendors Association (ODVA) member companies.

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