Use Cases Time Sensitive Networking

Time Sensitive Networking

A time-sensitive network (TSN) is a set of Ethernet standards that will allow time-synchronized low latency streaming services through 802 networks. TSN focuses on creating a convergence between information technology (IT) and industrial operational technology (OT) by extending and adapting existing Ethernet standards. It adds the concept of time to networks so that messages can be delivered within a specific time frame. TSN technology aims to standardize features on OSI-Layer 2 in order that different protocols can share the same infrastructure. TSN as a communication system can achieve its full potential. The three basic components are: 1. Time synchronization: All devices that are participating in real-time communication need to have a common understanding of time 2. Scheduling and traffic shaping: All devices that are participating in real-time communication adhere to the same rules in processing and forwarding communication packets 3. Selection of communication paths, path reservations and fault-tolerance: All devices that are participating in real-time communication adhere to the same rules in selecting communication paths and in reserving bandwidth and time slots, possibly utilizing more than one simultaneous path to achieve fault-tolerance
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The Internet of Things is an $800 billion industry, with over 8.4 billion connected devices online, and spending predicted to reach nearly $1.4 trillion by 2021 [1]. Most of these devices need to connect to the Internet to function. However, current solutions such as cellular, WiFi, and Bluetooth are suboptimal: they are too expensive, too power hungry, or too limited in range.
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Formula 1® is a sport where every millisecond matters. With changing preferences and the growth of the digital medium, many fans choose to experience the sport through the F1.com website. The website needs to deliver a superior experience to tens of millions of fans across the world consistently. Hence, it is imperative to have a robust platform that can deliver the required performance and scale with growing trac and dynamic fan expectations. Some of the key challenges are: • Every race weekend, Formula1.com attracts up to 7 million fans. Managing this huge surge in website traffic, requires a scalable hosting platform that can simultaneously allow millions of fans to experience the excitement of the sport seamlessly. • Fans across the globe expect an engaging and immersive experience through enriched and enhanced race content across multiple devices. To meet this requirement Formula1.com needs to have a robust platform that is able to deliver real-time updates and information across screens, be it tablets, TVs or smartphones. • A global brand like Formula 1® needs to ensure it delivers a consistent user experience across all platforms across the globe. This consistent delivery of enriched content cannot be compromised through downtime or any other issue at any point. • In an age where threats to global websites are prevalent, Formula 1® needed a platform that was ready to meet any challenge to its website. They needed a solution that delivers consistency, scalability and yet at the same time is continuously monitored, secure and reliable.

The time-sensitive networking market is expected to be worth USD 0.6 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 53.8% considering that it will get commercialized by 2019.

Source: Markets and Markets

What is the business value of this IoT use case and how is it measured?
Your Answer

What are the industrial benefits of TSN vs. Existing Methods? 

Improvements to standard Ethernet through support of Time Sensitive Networking will provide new capabilities that will benefit industrial applications:

- Open standard through the IEEE 802: this assures vendor neutrality and continued investment by silicon and infrastructure vendors.

- Convergence: IIoT requires that any part of a distributed system can access data. Since much of an IIoT system exists within IT (servers and the cloud), this creates the need for a converged, synchronized network on unified buses. With existing networks using disparate buses, it is difficult to get data to the IT systems in a flexible, scalable way.  

- Improved Asset Utilization: production uptime can be increased through more complete system monitoring coverage and real-time delivery of systems status and events.

- Reduced Implementation Costs: TSN promises to reduce implementation costs and to simplify network infrastructure. One reason for this is that Ethernet is used so broadly in numerous different markets. This assures silicon availability over the long term, continued technology updates, and amortized development costs.   

- Reduced Development Lifecycle: higher system composability provides the ability to more easily upgrade subcomponents while retaining existing sub-systems.

- Increased Flexibility: the ability to integrate new features and functions to augment existing systems.

- Enhanced Security: historically control networks had little to no built-in security. This creates a large vulnerability as has been demonstrated in high publicity cases such as Stuxnet and in-vehicle hacking.  Because TSN uses standard Ethernet, the security mechanisms already deployed in IT networks can be applied to control networks with TSN.

 

What business, integration, or regulatory challenges could impact deployment?
Your Answer

What challenges does Time Sensitive Networking have to overcome?

- Refresh cycles for switches before stipulated time: with TSN in place, enterprise switches have a seven to ten-year refresh cycle only. Even if the switches remain functional, a mid-cycle refresh with TSN will prove cost-prohibitive.

- Network ownership: traditionally, it is the line of business that owns the OT network. This is because of the proprietary equipment and protocols. However, with TSN, you will be required to transfer the ownership to the IT organization.

 

- Unjustified cost premiums: organizations would be tempted to go for alternative technologies available at competitive prices or stay with the traditional Ethernet.

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