With the increasing use of Ethernet in the plant environment it is always a good idea to have the tools at hand to help you better understand your network and what is connected to it. This is obviously important not only for configuration, operations and maintenance, but also for security reasons as well.
Softing has developed one useful tool, “Search and Configure” to help you find devices on your local area network. “Search and Configure” can be downloaded from ftp://ftp.softing.com/pub/outgoing/bus-check/faqs/BC-502-PB-Search-and-Configure.zip
Once started the software searches for and displays the MAC address, Device Type, Serial number, Name, IP Address, IP mask and Gateway information for every device it finds. It is then possible to click the Configure button or double-click a device to display detailed configuration data of the selected device. The dialog entries vary depending on the type of device. You can modify the settings of a device by entering new values in the enabled input boxes in the middle column. To download these changes into the device, it is necessary to enter the correct password prior to uploading any changes.
There are of course other tools available including for example open source tools, so if readers know of other related offerings please add them to the discussion. Thank you.
Ian Verhappen is a contributor and blogger for Control and Control Design. He has 25+ years experience in instrumentation, controls and automation. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out his Google+ profile.