To implement and operate a network, there is a need to visualize nodes and connections, which is done through Topology. Network topology is the method of arranging the nodes, cables, and devices that are linked to each other. It helps in visualizing the communicated devices that are connected.
Network topology offers network simplicity and makes it easy to detect the issues in the network. If you have got a device that supports ethernet only, then you can make use of wireless to wired bridgeto connect that device to your network.
Main types of Topology
As topology is the placing of nodes in a network. We can arrange these nodes and devices in a network in two manners: physical and logical.
- Physical topology: The pattern of connecting the computers. Simply, it is a hardware device positioning.
- Logical topology: How data flows from one node to another. It is the internal positioning, like which port should send the data to which port.
Types of Network Topology
Network topologies have six types. Let us discuss all the types, their pros, and cons.
1) Star Topology
In star topology, a cable connects every device with the switch or hub. When data arrives, the hub sends it to every device, but the switch only sends a packet of data. Advantages:
- The complete system gets down if the hub/switch stops working.
- It is expensive because of an extra device like a switch.
- Reliable: if any of the cables get short and does not affect the working of others.
- Faster: Due to separate cables
- No data collision because of isolated cables.
2) Mesh Topology
In a mesh topology, all the computers relate to one another. This topology works better for wireless networks.
- Its implementation is costly.
- Maintenance is difficult
- Traffic management is easy.
- One device’s breakdown does not affect the other devices.
- Convenient to add more devices.
3) Bus Topology
In a bus topology, all computers connect to the main cable, which has terminators at both ends. When a computer transfers a signal, it moves in both the direction and no computer can send data that time as data will collide with the previous data.
- Easy to expand the network
- Uses fewer wires
- No need for terminators
- Any issue in the cable causes the entire system to break down.
- Detection of the issue is hard.
4) Ring Topology
In a ring topology, each node has two connections with other nodes. It builds a single path where transmission of the signal takes place. The data transmission can be unidirectional and bidirectional.
- The data must transfer from each node.
- Failure of any node can cause disruption.
- Fewer data collision
- Efficient than bus topology
- It does not require Server connectivity.
- Equal rights to every node
5) Tree Topology
In tree topology, bus and star topologies are together. It arranges devices in branches of the tree. Corporate networks commonly use this type of topology.Check this content to know more about digital transformation in corporate networks.
- It is a wide topology, and that is why it causes trouble in configuring.
- The working of topology depends on the cable.
- The addition of devices is easy.
- Extensive network
- It connects each node with hub and hub to the main cable.
6) Hybrid Topology
In hybrid topology, there is a mixture of all topologies. Business and network use a hybrid topology according to the requirement, location, and performance. It works as a combination of two topologies like star-ring, star-bus, and more.
- Merging different topologies is challenging.
- Costly due to use of extra devices
- It is efficient and effective.
- It is flexible because it can be mold with the needs.
- Convenience for scalability
All the topologies can be used accordingly, but the most common is Star topology in LAN and ring in a closed network. Star works more efficiently, which is why preferred for small networks.
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