Can I use EEE (Energy Efficient Ethernet or 'Green Ethernet') in my Dante network?

Short answer: no.

EEE (Energy Efficient Ethernet) is a technology that reduces switch power consumption during periods of low network traffic. It is also sometimes known as Green Ethernet and IEEE802.3az.

Although power management should be negotiated automatically in switches that support EEE, it is a relatively new technology, and some switches do not perform the negotiation properly. This may cause EEE to be enabled in Dante networks when it is not appropriate, resulting in poor synchronisation performance and occasional dropouts.

How does Dante use DSCP / Diffserv priority values when configuring QoS?

Switches prioritize packets using what are called DSCP (Diffserv Code Point) values. Although Dante packet priority values have been chosen to make it simple to configure QoS with many switches, some switches require special configuration to recognize and prioritize specific DSCP values.

DSCP for Dante Hardware

The table below shows how Dante hardware devices apply DSCP packet priority values:

What is Quality of Service (QoS)?

Quality of Service (QoS) is a feature of managed switches, which ensures that certain types of network packets (e.g. clock sync and audio packets) get preferential treatment and are "moved to the front of the line" ahead of other traffic. This is achieved by attaching a priority number to each packet, which is then used by the switches to ensure that high priority packets get processed before lower priority packets.

What is the minimum requirement for switches in a Dante network?

While Gigabit switches are recommended, 100Mbps switches may be used in limited scenarios.

  • For low channel count (<32) applications, a 100Mbps switch may be used as long as it supports proper QoS, and QoS is active. The use of 100Mbps switches without QoS is not recommended or supported.
  • For higher channel counts, Gigabit switches are essential. QoS is recommended for Gigabit switches on networks that share data with services other than Dante.