Network Topology

By | July 9, 2009

Network Topology is the arrangement of the nodes of the network. The biggest example of this is LAN  i.e  Local Area Network. In Computer Networking Topology refers to the layout of the connected devices. Topologies can be physical or logical.The physical and logical topologies might be identical in any particular network but they may be different also.

The network topology is determined by the mapping of the physical or logical connections between nodes graphically.

Following are different types pf basic Topologies:

  • Bus
  • Ring
  • Star
  • Tree
  • Mesh

When we think of the complex networks we can make use of more than two network topologies as Hybrids.

Bus Topology:

In this Topology the nodes are connected to a single common backbone. This common medium proves to be a shared communication path for the nodes that are connected to it.A device which wants to communicate to other device sends a broadcast message on to the communication path, this message is read by every node in the network. It checks for which node
it was intended and only the destination message actually accepts that message and interprets  it. This topologies are easy to install as it doesn’t requore too much of cabling. It works best when number of PC are less in the network. Performance is the issue when the nodes grow and if the backbne fails the whole network fails.

Ring Topology:

In this mapping of network each device has two neighbors for communication purpose. The message travels through the ring in either clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. A failure in the cable can breakdown the whole network. To implement this kind of network FDDI or Token ring technology is used. found in some offices and schools.


Star Topology:

This network topology introduces a new node called as HUB in the network. It can be Router,

Switch or a HUB. All the devices are connected to the central Hub by unshielded Twisted Pair ethernet. Compared to Bus it requires more cables,however the performance is better than bus and ring. The whole network fails when only the central Hub fails. and the failure in a cable will take down only one PC and not the entire network as in the bus or ring.

Tree Topology:

This topology integrates more than one star topologies onto a Bus. Only the Hub devices are connected to the tree Bus, each Hub functions as the Root of the tree. This hybrid approach supports expandability of the network. It is also called as Hierarchical topology

Mesh Topology:

Now, In this topology the concept of route is introduced. In this topology the data passed on to the network can take several paths to reach the destinations, unlike the other topologies. Here every device is connected to every other device called as Full Mesh.

we can summarize this topologies, we can build a home or a small business network wihout understanding of the topologies,howeve if we understand each topology in a better way it can definately help us in building a good network.A misconfigured network can result in a waste of time and energy as well as a lots of troubleshooting methods to resolve the issue. So the basic understanding of the network topologies and network devices is a must to build a good network.