Proof-of-concept for a Software-defined Real-time Ethernet

Matthias Herlich, Jia Lei Du, Fabian Schörghofer, Peter Dorfinger (2016): Proof-of-concept for a Software-defined Real-time Ethernet In: Proceedings of the IEEE 21th Conference on Emerging Technologies & Factory Automation (ETFA), 2016.

In this paper we present a proof-of-concept implementation to demonstrate advantages of applying softwaredefined networking (SDN) to real-time Ethernet (RTE) networks. Potential advantages include the support of arbitrary network topologies, central and dynamic network (re-)configurations, the efficient use of bandwidth, and fast failover mechanisms at network level. To illustrate the advantages we implemented small proof-of-concept setups that demonstrate the features based on OpenFlow and openPowerlink. Finally, we built a practical showcase. Based on our results we believe the concept of a software-defined real-time Ethernet is worth pursuing as it may lay the groundwork for more advanced real-time networks.

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