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[Application Note] Parallel Redundancy Protocol for Easergy P3

relays with dual port 100Mbps Ethernet interface

Parallel Redundancy Protocol for Easergy P3Ux and

Easergy P3x3x relays with dual-port 100 Mbps Ethernet
1 Introduction
An industrial, real-time Ethernet communication network must typically offer a much better
level of availability and uninterrupted operation than normal, office-type Ethernet networks.
For power automation systems, even a short loss of connectivity may result in a significant
reduction of functionality or impaired safety. To recover from a network failure, various
redundancy schemes have been considered, including Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol
(RSTP), High-availability Seamless Redundancy protocol (HSR) and Parallel Redundancy
Protocol (PRP).

PRP uses two independent networks in parallel and does not change the active topology
of the networks. Each message is transmitted by the sender node parallelly over both
networks. In the receiving node, the first received message on one of two networks
is processed while its later duplicate is discarded. Such details like duplicated message
transmission on two networks and messages reception with duplicate detection and
rejection are managed by the low-level PRP layer of the communication stack architecture,
with the two physical networks being hidden from the higher layers. Consequently, unlike
RSTP-based redundant systems, the PRP-based communication networks are continuously
available with no recovery delay in case of a single failure occurrence.

The PRP protocol implemented in Easergy P3 relays is specified in the IEC62439-3 (Clause
4) standard and is available when a dual-port, 100 Mbps Ethernet interface card is used.

1.1 PRP features

• Ethernet redundancy method independent of any industrial Ethernet protocol
or topology (tree, ring or mesh)
• Seamless switchover and recovery in case of failure (no delay)
• Continuous supervision of redundancy for better management of network devices
• Suitable for hot swap - 24 hour/365 day operation in substations
• Allows mixing of devices with single and dual network interfaces on the same local
area network (LAN)
• Allows HMI devices (laptops, workstations) to be connected to the network using
standard Ethernet adapters
• Particularly suited for hard real-time systems such as substation automation, high-
speed drives and transportation

Parallel Redundancy Protocol for Easergy P3 relays [Application Note]
with dual port 100Mbps Ethernet interface

2 PRP network
A PRP network is a pair of independently powered local area networks (LANs) with any
topologies (tree, ring or mesh) that may introduce different transmission delays between
nodes from other networks. The structure is presented in Figure 1.








Figure 1 PRP Network Structure

A PRP network can have various nodes such as:

 Single attached nodes (SANs) that represent devices with a single Ethernet interface.
SANs are able to communicate with devices connected to the same LAN and they
are responsible for non-critical system functions.
 Double attached nodes (DANs) represent devices with double Ethernet interfaces
and PRP protocol support. DANs are able to communicate with all devices from both
LANs. These are normally critical devices whose connection needs to be redundant.
 A redundancy box (RedBox) is used to create a virtual DAN connected to both LANs
from devices with a single Ethernet interface. The RedBox allows SANs
to communicate with devices from both LANs because it has its own unique IP
address and acts as a gateway to the PRP network.

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[Application Note] Parallel Redundancy Protocol for Easergy P3
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3 PRP operation
PRP assumes that all devices demanding high a availability of their communication are
equipped with dual-port Ethernet interfaces and connected to two separate and
independent local area networks, LAN_A as primary and LAN_B as redundant. Each
message is then transmitted by the sender node on both LAN_A (as “A”-frame) and on
LAN_B (as “B”-frame). The receiving node captures eventually both frames but only the
first received is further processed while the second received is recognized as a duplicate
and rejected from further processing. This principle of operation allows for seamless fault
tolerance of any single network link failure.

frame „A“-

Figure 2 PRP Redundancy network

The basic Ethernet frame to be sent to the network is composed of the following fields:
preamble dest_addr src_addr type LSDU FCS

 dest_addr - destination MAC address

 src_addr - source MAC address
 type - Ethertype
 LSDU - Link Service Data Unit (data)
 FCS - Frame Check Sequence (checksum characters for error detection and

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Parallel Redundancy Protocol for Easergy P3 relays [Application Note]
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PRP extends the basic Ethernet frame of a so-called redundancy control trailer to the
following structure transmitted on both networks:

preamble dest_addr src_addr type LSDU Seq LAN id Size PRP suffix FCS

 Seq - 16-bit sequence number

 LAN id - 4-bit LAN Identifier: 1010 (0xA) for LAN_A and 1011 (0xB) for LAN_B
 Size - 12-bit LSDU size
 PRP suffix - 16-bit PRP suffix (0x88 0xFB)

3.1 Duplicate detection and discarding algorithm

It is assumed that each node sends PRP frames with increasing sequence numbers, but it
is possible to receive frames out of sequence if layer 2 prioritization is applied in the network.
The source MAC address and current sequence number are used to keep track of the
frames that have been sent and that have already been received. Thus, it allows to detect
and discard incoming duplicates for a configurable time limit.

For every node on both networks, the algorithm also provides:

 Fast detection of frame reception from a wrong LAN, which indicates physical network
connection problems.
 Message counts to show how many messages have been received.
 Error counts to show whether frames were not received or were sent/received on the
wrong LAN.

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[Application Note] Parallel Redundancy Protocol for Easergy P3
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4 Hardware options
Two hardware options are provided to implement a dual-port Ethernet interface:
 Interface card with two RJ-45 ports
 Interface card with two fiber-optic LC ports

Easergy P3 Advanced (P3x3x) Easergy P3 Standard (P3Ux)

4.1 Port assignment to networks

 ETH1 Port is assigned to PRP LAN_A
 ETH2 Port is assigned to PRP LAN_B

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with dual port 100Mbps Ethernet interface

5 Technical details
Product details related to the operation in PRP networks:

 Easergy P3x3x and Easergy P3UX devices offer hardware configuration with two
redundant Ethernet ports and PRP support.
 Two hardware versions, with RJ ports and with LC optical fibre ports, are available.
 Easergy P3 device is able to work as a double attached node (DAN) in PRP networks.
 Configuration of the PRP is available in the Easergy Pro setting and configuration
tool (later called Easergy Pro) and transparent for any Ethernet-based protocols.
 Loss of a single LAN connection causes no losses in application data transmitted
over Ethernet.
 Easergy P3 device supports cyclic transmission of PRP supervision frame with a
configurable interval (LifeCheckInterval), default 5 s (+/- 10 ms).
 There is a single MAC address for the two redundant physical interfaces.
 There is a single IP address used by both physical interfaces.
 The performance of Easergy P3 Ethernet interface is not limited by using PRP.
 PRP operation in an Easergy P3 device does not require any limitation in the number
of connected DANs in PRP networks.
 The default value of the duplicate discard timeout parameter (duration that the
received message Sequence number will be held to detect and discard a duplicate
message) is 400 ms. Because of the buffering capacity, it is recommend to configure
a value not greater than 500 ms.

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[Application Note] Parallel Redundancy Protocol for Easergy P3
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6 PRP configuration with Easergy Pro

6.1 Redundancy protocol selection

In Communication > Protocol configuration in Easergy Pro, PRP can be selected as the
redundancy protocol for Ethernet.

There are three redundancy protocol options:

 None
PRP is available only for selected Easergy P3 types (3xx series and Easergy P3UX) when a
dual-port Ethernet interface card is used.

6.2 PRP operation control and monitoring

After configuring PRP as the redundancy protocol for Ethernet, the Protocol configuration
view in Easergy Pro shows the list of configuration parameters of the PRP and the list of
diagnostic parameters of the PRP performance for each of the two networks.

6.3 PRP configuration parameters

Table 1 PRP configuration parameters

Parameter Possible values Defaults Description

Enable for True / False False Enabling PRP protocol


Duplicate 400 [ms] 2-65535 [ms] Duration that the received

Discard message sequence number
Timeout is kept, used by the duplicate
discard algorithm to detect
PRP duplicates

Enable Superv True / False False Enable cyclic transmission of

for PRP the supervision frame

Supervision 5 [s] 2-65535 [s] Interval of sending the

duration supervision frame

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Supervision 01:15:4E:00:01:00 01:15:4E:00:01:00 Multicast address 01-15-4E-

Destination - 00-01-XX reserved for this
Address protocol.
By default XX is “00”, but if
conflicts arise, XX can be
configured to take any value
between 0x00 and 0xFF.

6.4 Diagnostic parameters of PRP performance

Table 2 Diagnostic parameters of PRP performance

Parameter Description Data Type

Tx Sequence Sequence number incremented by 1 for each sent Unsigned16
Number PRP frame
Buffered Duplicates Number of frames that are received and currently Unsigned32
processed by the duplicate discard algorithm
Buffer Hash Conflict Total number of hash conflicts in the duplicate Unsigned32
discard algorithm that affects the detection of
duplicate frames
Frames from other Number of frames that were received with the Unsigned32
LAN wrong LAN identifier on LAN_A and LAN_B
Missing Duplicates Number of PRP frames that were received only Unsigned32
with single LAN, without duplicate on the second
Non PRP frame Number of frames that were received without Unsigned32
received PRP suffix on LAN_A and LAN_B
Current State The current state of the PRP network interface NoLink,
PRP frame received Number of frames received over LAN_A and Unsigned32
PRP frame sent Number of frames sent over LAN_A and LAN_B Unsigned32
Ethernet packet Number of frames sent to upper layers after being Unsigned32
received received over the ETH1 and ETH2 ports and not
discarded as duplicates

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6.4.1 Interpretation of diagnostic parameters

Table 3 Interpretation of diagnostic parameters

Parameter Value Interpretation

Tx Sequence >0 Current frame sequence number might be used for PRP
Number traffic analysis i.e. in Wireshark in case of frame loss.
Buffered >10 Increasing number of stored and processed frames might
Duplicates indicate communication problems i.e. broken redundant
network connection that cause duplicate loss.
Buffer Hash >0 The number of hash conflicts reflects the total amount of
Conflict valid PRP duplicates that were not handled by the duplicate
discard algorithm and were sent directly to the upper
protocol layer.
Frames from >0 Increasing number of frames that were received with the
other LAN wrong LAN identifier might indicate wrong cable connection
or switching loops in network topology.
Missing >0 Increasing number of missing duplicates might indicate
Duplicates broken network path or invalid cable connection.
Non PRP >0 Increasing number of non PRP frames that were received
frame indicates the presence of SAN connected directly to PRP
received network without RedBox.
Current State NoLink There is no physical connection with LAN network
ConnOk There is a valid connection with LAN network and PRP LAN
identifiers of received frames belong to ports LAN_A and
WrongLAN There is valid physical LAN connection, but the received
PRP frames do not belong to the port’s LAN identifier. It
might be caused by connecting device port assigned to
LAN_A with redundancy network from LAN_B and vice
versa. This state also indicates switching loops in the
network topology.
PRP frame >0 Number of sent and received PRP frames might be used to
received detect packet loss between DAN in PRP network caused by
PRP frame >0 invalid connection, network reconfiguration or firewall
sent filtering.
Ethernet >0 Number of frames that were filtered by the duplicate
packet discarding algorithm and sent to upper protocol layers.

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Publishing: 10/2017

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