What is Topology?A network topology is the arrangement of the various elements (links, nodes, etc.) of a computer network. Essentially, it is the topological structure of a network and may be depicted physically or logically. Topologies are divided into two types. One is called physical topology & another one is logical topology.
Physical topology is the placement of the various components of a network, including device location and cable installation, while logical topology illustrates how data flows within a network, regardless of its physical design. Distances between nodes, physical interconnections, transmission rates, or signal types may differ between two networks, yet their topologies may be identical. There are a number of reasons to understand about topology:
- The network topology impacts performance.
- The network topology is a factor in determining the media type used to cable the network.
- The networking topology impacts the cost of cabling the network.
- Some access methods work only with specific topologies.
- Knowledge of network layout/topology helps to optimize the network performance and troubleshoot network performance issues.
- the table shows the cable types associated with each topology.
|Linear bus||Thin coaxial Thick caoxial|
|Star bus||Unshielded twisted pair (UTP)|
|Ring||Shielded twisted pair (STP) Unshielded twisted pair ( UTP) Fiber optic (FDDI rings)|
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Types of TopologiesThere are 6 different types of physical topologies. They are:
- BUS topology
- RING topology
- STAR topology
- MESH topology
- TREE topology
- HYBRID topology
BUS TOPOLOGYBus topology is a network where all the nodes are connected with each other with single common cable. When one node wants to access another node on the network then it puts a message addressed to that device on the bus network.
Advantages of BUS network:
- It is very easy to connect a node or peripheral in this network.
- Bus network requires less cable length than any other topologies.
- As the total network is depended on a single cable so if any problem occurs in the main cable, the entire network shuts down.
- At the start & the end point of the main cable, terminators are required to build up the network.
- This network cannot be used as a stand-alone solution in a large building.
RING TOPOLOGYWhen each device is serially connected in a closed ring pattern with a single cable then the network system is called ring topology. As a train crosses all the platforms to reach its destination, ring topology does the same to pass a message from one node to another node.
Advantages of ring topology:
- The network does not do anything without an order. It needs to access the token & the opportunity to transmit.
- In this network, each & every node has equal access to resources.
- The performance does not get interrupted by any additional components.
- A network server is not needed to control the connection between nodes.
- In this ring network if any node breaks down then the entire network system stops working.
- The speed of transferring data is slower than any other topologies just because a packet of data passes through all the nodes between sender & receiver node.
- The entire network could be affected by moving, adding & changing of devices.
STAR TOPOLOGYIn this configuration, all nodes are connected to a central Hub with separated cable. here the central node or hub acts like the main server & the other nodes which are connected to the central node, act as client devices.
Advantages of Star Topology:
- In this type of network, it is very easy to add or remove a node to the network system.
- Here if any fault occurs it is very easy to find out & fix it up.
- If anyone node faces a problem, the rest nodes perform smoothly without affecting the whole network.
- It is more expensive than any other topologies to build up the network because it requires an excessive length of a cable.
- The entire network goes down if the central node (HUB) does not work properly & also if other important nodes are disconnected from the network, example file server node stops working.
- the central hub is expensive which makes the network more expensive.
MESH TOPOLOGYHere each & every network is interconnected with each other. It works independently.
Advantages of Mesh Topology:
- Adding or removing nodes in this network could be done easily without interrupting the other nodes & the network.
- Here the transmission of data is very easy because it transfers data from different nodes simultaneously.
- in this configuration transfer of data does not get affected by any peripherals because if one node fails there is always an alternative one.
- It is very hard to configure the network & also very difficult to maintain.
- Mesh topology is comparatively expensive when compared with other topologies like ring or star topology.
TREE TOPOLOGY:A tree topology like the branches of the tree where each & every node are connected with its parent's node. It is also called by the name of star+bus topology.
Advantages of Tree Topology:
- Here finding out any fault is very easy & not too hard to maintain.
- If one of any nodes get damages the other hierarchical nodes are not affected.
- It is very easy to extend the network as much as the administrator wants.
- The network requires high maintenance.
- A lot of cables is required to establish the network system.
- Troubleshooting of problems is highly difficult.
HYBRID TOPOLOGY:The hybrid topology is the combination of two or more different network topologies. This network is a mixture of both peer-to-peer & client-server network. It can be either wired or wireless network.
Advantages of Hybrid Topology:
- Here in this network, the troubleshooting is far better than any other topologies.
- This type of network is very easy to expand.
- The structure of the network is hard to understand.
- It is very expensive to build up the entire network because of the requirement of cables & other peripherals.
- Multi-station Access Unit MAU is required.