What is Network Topology?

What is network topology

Network topology may take a while to understand when you are new to this kind of incredible things. But it is very important to understand the key components completely. This article describes the various network topologies in today’s network and the different types of topologies.

Definition of Network Topology:

Network topology is the arrangement of various elements (links, nodes, etc.) from a computer network. Moreover, it defines the layout, virtual form or network structure not only physically but also logically.

There are two types of Network topologies:

  1. Physical topology
  2. Logical topology

Physical Topology:

The physical topology is the physical design of the nodes, work stations and cables in the network. It is the arrangement of several elements (or components) of a network, including device location and cable installation.

Types of Physical topology:

  1. Ring topology
  2. Bus topology
  3. Star topology
  4. Mesh topology
  5. Tree topology

Ring Topology:

A ring network is a Local Area Network (LAN) in which the nodes (workstations or another device) can connect in a closed loop configuration. The pairs of adjacent nodes can connect indirectly, the data passes through one or more intermediate nodes. This topology works in a token based system and token travels in the loop. So, If the token is free, then the node can capture the token and attach the data and the destination address to the token, and then leave the token. When the token reaches the destination node, the destination node deletes the data and the token is free to transport the data.

Ring topology
  1. Additional components do not affect network performance
  2. The main weakness of the ring topology is, if one node fails, the complete network will drop

Bus Topology:

Here, in bus topology, all the nodes (computers, servers, printers, etc.) can connect to the single cable. This cable can also be known as the Bus that acts as a backbone for the network, linking each computer and peripheral in the network. Both ends of the shared channel have the line terminator. The data can be sent only in one direction and, as soon as they reach the endpoint, the terminator removes the data from the line.

Bus topoloy

Therefore, the bus network is useful in small networks like the setup in a small office and it requires less cable length when compared to other topologies. Easy to connect a computer and understand. Cost of bus topology is less.

The disadvantage of bus topology is, if any segment of the network fails then the entire network shuts down. It becomes slower when more devices are added to the network.

Star Topology:

In a Star topology, each node is connected to a central node, called as hub or switch. The central node is the server and the other nodes are the client where the data from the source node is first sent to the hub and then transferred to the destination node. In star topology, it’s easy to add or delete nodes. Star topology provides better performance because data does not pass through each node, unlike the Bus topology. So, if a particular workstation gets an error then the entire network can be affected. But if the central workstation goes down, the entire network collapses.

Star topoloy

Star topology is easy to modify, install, solve problems, and new nodes can be easily added without affecting other nodes. Here, the hub can upgrade easily. The main disadvantage of Star topology is if the entire network depends on the central device. Unfortunately, the central device fails then the whole network stops working.

Mesh Topology:

In Mesh topology, each node is interconnected with one another and every node sends its own signals and also relay data from other nodes.

Mesh topology

If one of the devices i.e; node fails, so there is always an alternative present. In the mesh topology, expansion and modification can be done without interrupting other nodes, since communication is very fast between the two nodes. The disadvantage of the mesh topology is quite expensive because it requires long cable length and installation and maintenance are difficult.

Tree Topology:

Tree topology is a combination of Bus and Star topologies and another name for it is Star Bus topology. Here, the entire network can divide it into several segments, which can be easily managed and maintained.

Tree topology

In Tree topology, expansion of nodes is possible and easy. Whereas, maintenance is also easy.

The disadvantage of Tree topology is when backbone line breaks, then the entire segment shuts down. If at all network becomes extremely large it becomes difficult to manage and it needs huge cabling.

Logical Topology:

Logical topology means how information can pass between two nodes in the network. This topology can link to the network to network protocols and defines how data moves through the network.

The topology of the network differs from one place to another. But, nevertheless, they all have their advantages and disadvantages. If the server problem occurs or the server fails, the topology faces its failure. This is all about Network topology and it types if you have any queries you can mention in the comment section below.

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