Layer 2 Ethernet Communication Tunneling Possibilities in Automation Systems
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Future trends in energy generation are renewable energy sources and distributed energy generation. In control systems, these changes require higher automatization, more intelligent devices and secure and reliable communication. Another requirement is faster communication. Building a system that is able to fulfill real-time communication requirements over network layer is a hindrance to automation systems. There are multiple protocols that can manage the requirements, but many of them have limitations and requirements of their own. The limitations can be related to packet sizes, used devices or they may require a license. Tunneling protocols can bring a more general solution for the real-time problem. Tunneling Ethernet communication over network layer and letting the tunneling protocol to handle the network layer packaging instead of the communication protocol removes the need of a layer 3 protocol. Layer 2 tunneling provides a direct connection between separate local area networks. It enables a way for devices to communicate with each other over network layer using layer 2 communication protocols. Tunnel uses a pre-configured route to the destination gateway device making the routing of messages simpler and faster than with traditional IP routing. Layer 2 tunneling can be used in any communication system that utilizes layer 2 and layer 3 communication. This thesis focuses on use of tunneling in automation systems. The purpose of this thesis is to provide information and possible solutions for layer 2 Ethernet tunneling. The main focus is in suitable tunneling protocols and communication protocols, but also security and resilience solutions are studied. This thesis is composed of published studies, researches, articles and books that address the topic.