Re: When that Ethernet network degrades or fails, things can become unpredictable.
Token Ring does degrade gracefully but its got appalling throughput compared to Ethernet, its expensive and relatively few people understand it. It was on of those 'seemed like a good idea at the time' jobs.
There is another class of networking that many people -- even those that work with data networks -- are unaware of. These are industrial networking technologies, and one popular one has a passing resemblance to Token Ring. Its also used by Airbus -- at least they're members of the technology group. This type of networking -- EtherCAT -- is built on Ethernet physical layer equipment and (superficially) Ethernet format traffic but all the stations are connected in a ring. It differs from 'pure' Token Ring type networks in that there is no circulating token or MAC level protocol to manage and throw a token -- all traffic originates from and terminates on a 'master'. This type of network is designed to be reliable, potentially redundant, to fail in a predictable manner and can support syncronized data transfers to a precision of a microsecond or better.