Quarra Raises the Bar for PTP Switch Functionality

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Many switches offer full PTP support. What you may not know is Artel’s Quarra PTP Ethernet switches are also a boundary clock. It’s a very useful feature that adds flexibility and functionality to your IP network, and it‘s a standard function for our PTP switch product line.

Why is it important that your PTP switch has the ability to act as a boundary clock rather than just a transparent clock? Well, it’s all about limitations — or freeing your operations and applications from them.

When a switch is able to act as a boundary clock, it can become the grandmaster clock in the event of failure or loss of connectivity to the designated grandmaster. This is a valuable built-in feature for switches in larger networks, where the Quarra switch can help relieve the burdensome PTP traffic that numerous endpoints place on the grandmaster.

The boundary clock feature allows you to partition your network, with your switch appearing as a master to other endpoints — microphones, speakers, and such — and thereby alleviating load on the grandmaster from numerous request messages. It’s a nice protection mechanism as your network grows; you don’t want all of your endpoints sending delay requests to the grandmaster, overwhelming it, and causing the unexpected loss of a stream.

Unlike many other switches on the market, the Quarra switch boasts a high-end oscillator that minimizes time drift. This means that in hold-over mode (stepping in for the grandmaster), the switch can continue to maintain highly accurate timing synchronization.

If you’re looking at a smaller network or price-sensitive application, the Quarra’s boundary clock feature can give you the flexibility to forego a dedicated grandmaster clock, although using a grandmaster clock is recommended best practice. It also allows for growth of the network, which is common for many facilities.

Integrators or facility engineers can standardize on a Quarra switch knowing that it has the flexibility and feature set to support both current and future applications. You can get familiar with a single switch type, knowing that you can count on it to stand the test of time and evolving technical requirements.

It is true that boundary clock mode offers a dual personality – a slave to the grandmaster and a master to other end points –  and it may require a bit more provisioning, but we’re seeing implementers getting used to these smarter switches and taking advantage of their more robust capabilities.

For Quarra these added capabilities include support for QoS and traffic management. Other key benefits include fast power-up, an intuitive GUI, and straightforward provisioning and configuration, with the option of storing configuration presets.

We’re excited about the opportunities Quarra and its features bring to customers. If you’re interested in talking about how it could support your operations, contact us.

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