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Support for real-time industrial Ethernet protocols - PROFINET
Support for real-time industrial Ethernet protocols - PROFINET
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Written by Team Celona
Updated over a week ago

Celona now uniquely enables support for critical time-sensitive protocols such as PROFINET as well as other layer 2 protocols such as BUS, EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT, and Modbus TCP.

This feature is supported on Celona private networks with Edge clusters running software version 2306 or higher.


PROFINET is employed in oil and gas refineries as well as manufacturing plants for chemical, and pharmaceuticals in assembly lines, robotic systems, and machine tools. It is used for process control, monitoring, and data acquisition– facilitating communication between different field devices, sensors, machines, robots and control systems to enable a seamless production process.

Originally conceived to operate over a wired network connection, PROFINET is a real-time industrial Ethernet protocol used for communication between industrial automation systems, such as programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and other devices in industrial environments. While it lives at Layer 7 of the ISO/OSI model and is typically transported over the data link layer (Layer 2) using the 802.2 TCP/IP Ethernet standard.

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Challenges with PROFINET on Wireless

Because the PROFINET protocol is extremely time-sensitive, any packet loss, retransmissions, jitter, or latency can interrupt communication between end systems, such as automated robots, and the programmable logic control (PLC) systems that control them. The inherent challenges with best effort Wi-Fi network render expensive and important process production systems inoperable.

Celona 5G LAN offers deterministic connectivity required to support PROFINET over a wireless infrastructure. But Private 4G/5G network is a Layer-3 point-to-point technology and hence cannot natively support PROFINET. To overcome this, Celona is introducing a new Advanced Network Configuration feature to support Layer 2 industrial applications like PROFINET.

Dynamic L2 tunneling over 5G LANs

Celona 5G LANs uniquely employ Layer 2 GRE (general routing encapsulation) or VXLAN (virtual extensible LAN) tunneling techniques to carry PROFINET traffic over the 5G LAN. These tunnels are dynamically established from the Celona Edge and terminated on customer premise equipment (CPE), based on specific QoS policies and device groups defined within the Celona Orchestrator platform. PROFINET traffic is effectively transmitted in Layer 2 Ethernet frames and encapsulated within Layer 3 packets, which allows them to traverse network boundaries.

Zero touch experience

IT/OT administrators can configure the policy on Celona Orchestrator and apply it to hundreds of sites and thousands of devices with a single policy definition. This saves costs, reduces maintenance, and radically streamlines the operational burden for IT/OT staff who would otherwise be forced to manually configure individual tunnels for each system.

Using Advanced Network configuration template to set up L2 tunnels


Dynamically set up a VXLAN tunnel from Celona Edge to a 5G industrial cellular gateway, such as Siemens SCALENCE MUM856-1

Step 1. Creating an Advanced Network configuration template

  • These templates can be created on an Edge Cluster details page, as long as the edge is running a version of 2305 or higher.

  • Navigate to the end of the page and click the Add Advanced Network Config button to open up the form

  • Give a name for your template (mandatory field)

  • Enable Bridge mode and select Tunnel Type as VXLAN

    • If a specific Tunnel Type is not chosen, GRE will be chosen by default

  • Specify a VLAN ID (a valid number between 1 to 4094)

    • This is VLAN tag used for PROFINET traffic on the LAN side of the Industrial 5G gateway

  • Once you click Create at the end of the form, you should see a success message with a green banner denoting that the advanced configuration has been successfully created, and the table should reflect your new template.

Step 2. Applying advanced network config to a device group

  • Navigate to the Device Groups page and click on Create New to create a new device group

  • To create a device group, provide a

    • Name (mandatory field)

    • One or more devices

    • IP Domain (mandatory field)

      • It is set to “default” if nothing is specified

  • To apply an advanced network config policy to the device group, select an edge cluster and the corresponding advanced network configuration templates will appear

    • Please note that the Advanced Network Config field will only be displayed if an external IP domain is selected in the previous field

Step 3. Set up VXLAN tunnel on the Industrial 5G gateway

  • Use an Industrial 5G gateway with support for VXLAN tunnel such as Siemens SCALENCE MUM856-1

    • Use the instruction guide of the cellular gateway to

      • set up a VXLAN tunnel and bridge the tunnel with the physical interface that will transport PROFINET traffic over the private 5G network

      • set Celona Edge UDPF IP address as the remote VXLAN tunnel end point (VTEP)

        Note - Celona Edge UDPF IP address is available in the external IP domain table on the Edge cluster page. Use the Interface IP address of the external IP domain associated with the device group of the industrial 5G gateway.

Editing/Removing advanced network config from a device group

  • To edit/remove an applied advanced network configuration from a device group, click on the 3-dot menu, followed by the Edit button to launch the edit device group workflow.

  • Select another template or mark the field as None to remove the associated configuration

Editing/Deleting an advanced network config template

  • Once an advanced network configuration has been successfully created, you can edit or delete the config and associated parameters from the edge cluster details page, using the 3-dot menu at the last column of the config table

Note: Please note that applying, editing or removing an advanced network configuration to a device group may result in network downtime so we recommend doing this during a maintenance window.

The same applies for editing the parameters of an advanced network config template which is already in use by one or more device groups.

PROFINET & MicroSlicing

Configure a MicroSlice (GBR & 5QI 3) to deliver predictable performance and provide latency guarantee to PROFINET traffic over Private 5G network

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