What is serial tunneling?
Serial tunneling is a technique that is used to connect two or more serial devices over a network. It allows you to escape the constraints of physical cable length and connect serial devices through the Ethernet no matter where in the world they are located. By using the tunneling method of serial connectivity the devices perform as if they were in close proximity without the need for any intermediary device such as a computer or tablet.
Multiple benefits can be gained by employing tunneling to connect your serial devices. It removes all limitations related to location, site restrictions or physical cable length, allowing expanded use of your current array of devices. It is an economical method of connectivity since you do not need to supply any additional control equipment such as a computer or PLC.
The way that serial tunneling works is by packing and then unpacking serial data that is converted to or from Ethernet packets by the serial devices at either end of the connection. Basically, you are creating a link between two network-attached serial interfaces. Before signal transmission between the devices occurs, the data is converted into TCP/IP packets that are sent across the network. The procedure is reversed at the receiving end, with the TCP/IP packets translated back into serial signals. The use of packets enables you network applications to remain viable with no configuration changes required.
Here is an illustrative example of serial tunneling over IP in action. Let’s say you have a computer that is located in your central data center that runs an application that is critical to the success of your business. You have a serial device server attached to a COM port on that machine. A second serial device server might be connected to the serial interface of a data acquisition device located in a remote facility. By using serial tunneling communication among the device servers begins automatically when they are powered up and have a network connection.
Software solution to setup serial tunneling
Serial tunneling can be accomplished without the use of hardware connectors by using a software tunneling tool. Serial to Ethernet Connector by Eltima Software might be just the solution that you need. It is a serial tunneling tool that enables you to connect serial devices and interfaces over the Ethernet.