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Ethernet or MS/TP For Your Network?

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KMC ConquestTM Ethernet controllers carry a number of advantages over MS/TP, but deciding which network type is the right one to install on your next project may not be so simple. The choice depends on the application and other projects you plan to implement in the future. To help you make the decisions, let’s take a brief look at these advantages and when it makes sense to install BACnet/IP over Ethernet.

BAC 5901CE Dual Port

Ethernet’s popularity in the information technology and operational technology sectors is based on its bandwidth and speed capabilities. Did you know Ethernet is capable of carrying 1000 megabits per second (Mbps), while BACnet MS/TP runs 0.15 Mbps? You aren’t likely to notice this immediately when running basic set points and simple binary commands, but for high-load events, such as device discovery messages or heavy alarm periods, it can make a significant difference.

With Ethernet, you have the capacity to expand and upgrade to future products and solutions. With an MS/TP infrastructure, you may not have as many options. Also, for new installations, many buildings and spaces will already have the infrastructure for Ethernet upon which you can build or piggy-back.

KMC has made using Ethernet even easier by supporting a benefit primarily available to MS/TP networks – Daisy Chaining. With the KMC Conquest line of digital controllers, you can daisy chain Ethernet connections from device to device, without having to run individual cables to each device from a switch. This saves you in both labor and material costs compared to typical “homerun” wiring setups. Pairing Ethernet daisy chaining with switches using the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), these networks get even greater redundancy and reliability.

Bac 5051 E BeautyCrop

As technology gets smarter, security is needed more than ever in infrastructure design. Ethernet offers a variety of security options. A major one is the ability to setup a Virtual Land Area Network (VLAN), shutting out access or intrusions from outside, unapproved sources. Another security option is to use BACnet/Ethernet rather than BACnet/IP. By using BACnet/Ethernet you forego the need to assign an IP address to each controller, therefore reducing the number of discoverable nodes and limiting opportunities for vulnerability.

With all these benefits to Ethernet, why would anyone decide on MS/TP? According to the Building Geniuses here at KMC, the biggest reason is necessity. If the building has an existing MS/TP infrastructure or if your desired device only comes in an MS/TP option, you may just have no choice.

As building systems get smarter (more Genius, perhaps?!), the need for advanced wiring and bandwidth capacity will increase. Plus, with IoT, smart building initiatives, cross-system integrations, and the ever growing influence of consumer devices, having a network infrastructure to build on can be a foot in the door to future job proposals.

For more information about the KMC Conquest line of digital BACnet controllers, please click here.