EtherWAN’s Alpha-Ring protocol allows for the creation of Ethernet ring topologies in which one segment is kept deactivated as a backup path. When any segment of the ring is disconnected or fails, the backup path will be activated and connectivity reestablished within 15 milliseconds. Multiple Alpha-rings can be connected with “Ring Coupling.” Using Ring Coupling, a ring can be connected to another ring running any redundant protocol. However, only one group of rings is supported. The “Redundant Pair” protocol provides unrestricted expansion and more configuration options to meet specific needs. The Redundant Pair protocol supports 253 groups, delivering improved scalability with a failover time of 50 milliseconds. Many topology options are supported, allowing for maximized utilization of existing hardware.