The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Your PROFINET and EtherNet/IP Networks Healthy

Learn about active and passive data, and tools to display data.
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This article helps you understand the key indicators for a healthy PROFINET and EtherNet/IP network in an easy-to-follow format.

We’ll discuss the key indicators to measure the health of your network, the tools you need, and how to access this information.

1. What is active data?

First up, let me explain to you what active data means. It’s like when a doctor talks to a patient to figure out if there is anything wrong with their health. To find out what’s going on, the doctor needs to ask the patient some questions.

This is just like how you need to communicate with a network to make sure it’s working properly. But unlike a patient, a network can’t talk to you, so you need to use some special tools to ask it questions.

By doing this, you can quickly find any problems and keep your network running smoothly, just like a doctor finding and fixing any health issues with their patient.

a) Checking active data health: Port loads and discards

But how do you know if your active data is healthy?

Just check the port loads and discards on your network! Port loads tell you how much data is being sent and received, and discards show you how much data is lost during transmission.

High port loads or discards could mean trouble for your network.

b) Tools for gathering and displaying active data

Now, let’s talk about how to get this active data, I mean port loads and discards. Meet your new besties, Atlas2 Plus and Osiris from Anybus Diagnostics which is the sponsor of this article as well.

Atlas2 can be plugged into your network to actively gather information about port loads and discards. Then, you can use Osiris on your office network to display the data gathered by Atlas2.

To make it even more fun, you can set alarm parameters and notifications to alert you when these indicators exceed their limits.

Atlas2 Plus and Osiris - Tools for gathering and displaying active data

2. What is passive data?

To make sure that you have a healthy industrial network, in addition to active data, you also need to check passive data.

Passive data is like a doctor taking a patient’s temperature or measuring their heart rate without the patient even noticing. They’re just checking how the patient is doing without any active participation from the patient.

In the context of industrial networks, passive data is collected without any direct interaction with the network. This means that we use some tools to measure some parameters, and then analyze them to monitor the health of the network.

a) Checking passive data health: Dropped packets and jitter

Now let’s see what parameters you can check to make sure your passive data is also healthy. To monitor the health of passive data in your network, you need to look for dropped packets and jitter.

Dropped packets tell you the number of data packets that have been dropped or lost when data is being sent or received, while jitter measures the variation in the delay of data packets as they move through the network.

High dropped packets or jitter can mess with your network’s performance.

b) Tools for gathering and displaying passive data

To be able to check dropped packets and jitter you can make use of a tool called EtherTAP. EtherTAP connects to your network and passively gathers data for dropped packets and jitter.

You can also use Osiris to display the information gathered by EtherTAP.

Checking passive data health - Dropped packets and jitter

3. Network security

Last but not least, don’t forget about network security! Keep an eye out for any unwanted or unexpected modifications to your network. Compare network diagrams or have a colleague report any changes. Safety first, people!

Network security


So, to sum it up, keeping your PROFINET or EtherNet/IP Networks healthy is easy. Check three things: active data, passive data, and network security.

– For active data, look at port loads and discards.

– For passive data, look at dropped packets and jitter.

To get all this data, use Atlas2 for active data, EtherTAP for passive data, and Osiris to display the information.

– Always stay vigilant about network security!

There you have it, folks! Now you have a good understanding of how to check the health of your PROFINET or EtherNet/IP networks and also the right tools that you can use for this purpose.

Remember, the faster you can access this information, the faster you can react and analyze the information to determine what to do.

If you or your team lacks the knowledge to interpret this information, Anybus Diagnostics offers a cloud-based AI analyzer that can diagnose your network readings and put you on the best-suggested path of repair.

They also offer support services to ensure that you have the knowledge and training needed to interpret and act on this critical data.

We hope this article has been helpful in understanding the key indicators for a healthy PROFINET and EtherNet/IP network.

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If you’re interested in taking your industrial network knowledge to the next level, RealPars is here with all of the resources and courses needed for success. From Industrial Networking Fundamentals to Profibus – there’s a course that fits everyone’s needs! And if you’re an exclusive Pro-member, you won’t want to miss our Single Pair Ethernet Course!! Get your feet wet and embark on an exciting learning journey today!

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