Presented @ 55th International Instrumentation Symposium
League City, Texas, 1–5 June 2009
Ethernet is being used by a wider variety of industrial devices and applications. Industrial applications and systems require deterministic operations that traditional Ethernet and Transport Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suites were not originally designed to support. A standardized way to describe and test industrial devices is needed in order to aid users to characterize the performance of their software and hardware applications.
The Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory (MEL) of the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) has been working to develop a set of standardized network performance metrics, tests, and tools since 2002. NIST has cooperated with standards organizations and other groups during that time.
NIST is presently working on developing an open-source test tool, called Industrial Ethernet Network Performance (IENetP), to aid vendors in characterizing the performance of their devices. The IENetP test tool will be capable of conducting a full series of performance tests and reporting the results to the user. The current version of the software is capable of analyzing network traffic and producing statistics and graphs showing the network performance of a device.