Network security can be a lot like safety; too much and your production may suffer, too little and you leave yourself exposed to cyber-attacks. There needs to be a balance between maintaining high overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and mean time to repair (MTTR) levels with network protection.

VLAN stands for Virtual Local Area Network. So, what does the “virtual” adjective mean? In a nutshell, VLANs allow a group of Ethernet devices (subnet) to be physically separated by many Ethernet switches but communicate as if they were all connected to the same physical Ethernet switch.

Let’s consider a few popular ring topology protocols: REP (Resilient Ethernet Protocol) and DLR (Device Level Ring). This post will help explain those ring topology protocols, how they work, and some of the reasons why a facility might choose one ring or the other.