T&D World Magazine
Security Gateways Ease Migration from Analog Leased Lines to Ethernet

Security Gateways Ease Migration from Analog Leased Lines to Ethernet

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. has added bit-based, serial-to-Ethernet conversion capabilities to its security gateway and port server family. This new capability allows utility infrastructure owners and operators to migrate from analog leased lines to new Ethernet-based communications circuits without requiring the replacement of existing SCADA communications front ends (CFEs), remote terminal units (RTUs) and intelligent electronic devices (IEDs).

The SEL-3610, SEL-3620 and SEL-3622 provide a solution to help ease the burden of transitioning from analog to Ethernet services. For years, telecommunication companies have been transitioning critical infrastructure utility customers from analog leased-line to digital, packet-based Ethernet services. With the obsolescing of analog leased-line services, many utilities face the challenge and expense of replacing or upgrading CFEs, RTUs and IEDs to support Ethernet-based communication. The SEL devices provide a cost-effective migration solution to allow utilities to maintain existing CFEs, RTUs and IEDs and convert bit-based serial data interfaces to Ethernet.

The bit-based serial conversion technology in the SEL security gateway and port server product line allows operators to seamlessly convert existing bit-based serial protocols, such as Conitel, Tejas, Van Comm, Redaj and others, to Ethernet packets on the near side of a link, then reconvert those Ethernet data back into bit-based form on the remote side. This allows the devices to be used as drop-in replacements for analog leased-line modem technology without disrupting existing equipment, and with minimal additional latency.

The cost-effective solution also helps infrastructure owners and operators with their NERC CIP compliance efforts through additional features, such as password management, multifactor authentication and exe-GUARD™ anti-malware.

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