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Summary form only given. We give an overview of research on real-time communication over systems area networks (SANs). Our project is focused on developing real-time services for switched Ethernet networks, keeping the Ethernet and TCP/IP Internet communication standards. Switched Ethernet is extended to allow for periodic real-time traffic using earliest deadline first (EDF) scheduling. We have shown the advantage of supporting special communication patterns apparent in industrial and embedded systems. We have made some implementation that demonstrate the support of both guaranteed real-time communication and efficient services for parallel and distributed computer systems by an Ethernet switch with added software.