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BACnet Transport Options

With the exception of PTP, which is unique to dialed and point-to-point communications, BACnet generally provides the ability to choose the most appropriate trade-off between cost and performance in the transport mechanism.

As the diagram shows, there is a fairly clear division of increasing cost for increasing performance between the various BACnet transport options. There are certainly areas of overlap, where in some circumstances it may be possible to use several different transports to accomplish the same job, and where the cost/performance ratio may not always be the same. There are, for example, some circumstances where ARCNET can be less costly to implement for the same performance than LonTalk.

The implication of this may be important to specifiers in some circumstances. You may, for example, be able to include more bidders in a competitive situation, due to the increased flexibility in specifying. The flip side of this flexibility is that generally the different LAN types are highly incompatible without the addition of extra devices, such as routers. So one side effect of allowing mixed networks that include more than two LAN types is the requirement for providing router devices to couple the networks together.

You can reduce the impact of this by specifying particular LANs to be used. However, this may have the unintended side effect of eliminating some vendors from competing, since not all vendors support all of the LAN types.

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