A bit on Networking - and byting off more than I can chew
Let me first say that my prior post on Dan's Rose Colored glasses
was all in good fun and the name was entirely inspired by the
coloration of the photo in which he appeared. Dan commented that he had
a better photo for me.
Notice that he has taken off his glasses!
Dan and I spend a great deal of time talking about Networking. Mostly about the future.
We are promoting a new network, Net 3, and it has been confusing for some.
note -- This post is not a "networking bible or stone tablet" for ETC's
networking future. It is a description of "what's up" with our
networking, from my point-of-view. I think you will find that it is
consistent with ETC's plans - but not exhaustive.
Let me address a few questions.
Have you abandoned ETCNet 2?
- we have not abandoned ETCNet 2, in fact we have opened up many
outside companies to develop on the Net 2 platform and most of our new
control products will speak ETCNet 2 and Net 3 simultaneously. ETCNet 2
Are you ignoring ACN?
No - we are
not ignored ACN. In fact, we spent significant money helping to develop
it ()not to mention Dan's time and vision!) and we at ETC strongly
believe that the ACN protocol is the future of all "entertainment"
networking. We will be promoting it - using it - and teaching others
So what's up with Net 3? Why does it exist? Why did we call it that?
off -- Net 3 is not ACN. ACN is a standard, a protocol description, a
plan. Net 3 is a tool, a user experience, a tangible feature set.
- ACN is a big part of our plan for Net 3. Most (but not all) Net 3
features are built on ACN and Net 3 supports integration with other ACN
based networking solutions (when they come around!) We say Net 3 is
"powered by ACN."
Net 3 remembers the past while welcoming
the future. Many familiar protocols, like EDMX will work on Net 3
networks running newer hardware like Net 3 gateways.
strives to solve real lighting problems beyond DMX distribution. See
our integration with popular Media servers as an example.
is performance tested. We use a system integration lab at ETC to test
our equipment - and equipment by others - to insure an acceptable
performance level is reached.
Net 3 supports expansion. This is
a big difference from our previous networking protocols - we were
tapped out. Net 3 is ripe with possibility.
Net 3 works with others. That's why we did not call it ETCNet 3. Net 3 supports interoperability with other ACN systems and with protocols like RDM as well.
developing Net 3 hardware we tried to keep costs low. That's why our
gateways are modular. That's also why we worked with Pathway to develop
the One-Port node we were showing at LDI. The One-Port supports the new
streaming ACN protocol (soon to be a standard,) as well as ETCNet 2,
and provides an inexpensive solution for simple DMX data distribution.
Do I need to upgrade right away? Have I suddenly become a dinosaur on my Net 2 system?
3 represents a whole new world for ETC customers to discover. Do you
need to upgrade? Many will not feel the need. Most people I have talked
to are perfectly happy with ETCNet 2 and good ole ETCNet (the
original.) For many applications the Net 2 world is great. Over time
though, the benefits of bi-directional communication across
manufacturers and from product to product will become more self
evident. Many of you will add new Net 3 hardware as you upgrade and
continue running Net 2 on your existing hardware. The good news is that
you can! And most of our new control products will run both networks
So - you won't be left in the past. You needn't
rush into the future for fear of becoming a dinosaur. But there are new opportunities waiting for
you when you are ready. It is our job (and the job of all other
lighting manufacturers) to show you why you need to migrate.
What do you think about networking? Do you think about networking?