The way we connect various network devices is called a topology. There are some standard network topologies. Which means suppose you connect a hub to a star topology, it will still act as bus topology as it is a dumb device.
So, let us first see the different network topologies.
Network Topologies Types
Following are the various networking topologies.
- Bus Topology
- Ring Topology
- Star Topology
- Mesh Topology
Now we will see these in details.
In bus topology, all the systems are connected to a single cable.
Because of the single cable, the transmission is limited to a certain length. So, this topology is limited to a short distance. If the cable fails, not a single device will be able to communicate with another device.
Ring topology has all the devices connected together to form a ring. In this topology, communication is in one direction. If one device fails, further communication stops.
Suppose x, y, z, a, b, c are connected in ring topology. If x sends message to z then y will receive it and regenerate and forward it. Provided that the communication is in this direction x-y-z-a-b-c. If y fails, the messages from x to even c are not delivered.
In star topology, all the devices are connected to the centralized device.
The advantage of star topology is that number of devices can be added without breaking the topology. Also, if one of the system fails it does not affects the communication of the other devices.
But if the centralized device fails, the whole topology goes down.
All the devices are connected with each other in mesh topology. This sounds better than star right? but this has one disadvantage as well. As the hosts increase, number of ports and cables are also increased.
For n number of hosts, (n*(n-1))/2 cables are required. Example: for 4 devices, 6 cables. The real time example of mesh topology is Internet.
While it is most reliable, it is most costly as well to install.
Check out the other articles in Networking.