The fault tolerance provided by Ring switches is not possible with conventional Ethernet hubs or unmanaged switches.
The RSTP (Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol) algorithm in Managed Switches can be used to create rings. However, Spanning Trees were designed for the office environment and do not guarantee deterministic performance. Ring switches, on the other hand, are deterministic by design and use their knowledge of the well-known alternative paths to ensure real-time recovery of network failures. Ring switches are also simpler to install, with no configuration necessary in most situations.
Ring Advantages Over Spanning Trees and Other Schemes
- Deterministic performance – 5 mS per hop
- No IP address or complex set up required
- Expandable to 50+ nodes (RSTP limited to 6 hops max.)
- Can increase reliability by establishing multiple rings
- No ring master is required – no one switch is critical
- Ring switches are ultra stable
- Ring switches cost less than Managed Switches