Insite System Networking
The InSite Secomea Site Manager has two basic types of RJ45 ports, one UPLINK port, and one DEV port, or can come with one UPLINK and four DEV ports on the larger hardware models.
The UPLINK port is the port that ties the Site Manager to the top-level corporate network. This port can also come in the form of the Site Manager's WIFI wireless port or 3G data connection port. The InSite DEV (device) port ties the end hardware such as the PLC or other devices to the Site Manager, and provides isolation of those devices from the UPLINK network side. This port separation allows the Site Manager to act as an isolation module and firewall to those devices.
During configuration, a Device Agent is added in the Site Manager setup page that allows access only to a single port on the device's IP address. All ports other than this port that is set for in Device Agent access are blocked by the stateful inspection firewall. This prevents any backdoor access to devices on the DEV side.
In a typical installation, the UPLINK side is set to DHCP, which allows the IP address to be automatically set by the corporate DHCP server. Once this occurs, the Site Manager will report that IP address to the Gate Manager. When configured with Insite Relay access, this assigned IP address is irrelevant, and does not affect the setup of the relay connection. This makes configuration on the IT network side very quick and easy, and minimizes IT network personnel from having to deal with the additional Site Manager hardware.
The DEV port can be configured either with a static IP address, such as that on the same subnet as the PLC hardware, or can be configured with its own individual DHCP server, to assign an IP address to the PLC or device.
UPLINK and DEV port isolation keeps all of the traffic normally present on a corporate network from interfering with the PLC's critical communications, such as from PLC to drive, robots, HMIs, etc. Without this, any unnecessary IT network traffic creates latency, and service quality issues that can make PLC control networks unmanageable.
Another advantage to this isolation is project software and configuration standardization. Normally, when multiple PLCs are needed to communicate with each other over a network, each PLC would need a unique IP address. For multiple machines of the same PLC project, this would require each PLC to have a unique project with the IP address for that PLC. This would prevented using the same project on the various PLCs.
With the InSite Site Manager, each PLC would be allowed to have an identical IP address, and use identical PLC project files. In addition, each PLC can have a standard local IP address, such as 192.168.10.100, which normally is not possible on a normal IT network. Each Site Manager's DEV port has its own isolated subnet, which can be configured to the local device.