Definition: In general network topology refers to a system where different nodes containing routers, switches or software switches/router feature are connected with each other.
Moreover network topology also determine the locations of the sources and the destination of the traffic flows on the network.in addition it determine the fastest possible path for each traffic flows. It also determine the existing redundant options for routing if any event of failure happened in the network.
Types of network topology
To define network topology geometry, there is two method
- The logical or the signal topology and
- The physical topology
Under this two method other types are classified as types of network topology. Which have discussed in this article.
Physical topology describe a network where different nodes and physical connections are present which contains wires, fiber optics and microwave.
Types of physical topology
There have many types of physical network topology. Which are:
Bus topology is a type of network where in which every computer and all the other network devices is connected to a single cable. Data is transmitted in this network to one end to another based on signal detection. There is no bi-directional feature present in this bus network topology.
Features of bus topology
- Data is transmitted in a single direction
- A single cable is used to connect every devices on this network.
Pros of bus topology
- Cost effective
- Requires a least amount of cable compare to other network topology.
- Best for small network topology
- Less complex
- Easily expandable
Cons of bus topology:
- If the main cable fails then the whole network is fails.
- Performance of the network decreases when the traffic gets heavier or nods are increases in the network.
- Length is limited for cable
- Slower than the ring topology network
Every device is connected with each other via specific channel in Mesh network topology.in this network topology data can be transferred by using two different technology, they are:
MESH topology flooding
In this technology the same data is transmitted to every nodes of the network without any routing logic. And it is helpful to prevent the loss of data but in the same time it create extra load on the network.
MESH topology routing
In routing every nodes have routing logic, every data is directed by the routing logic to use the shortest possible distance to reach the destination, it able to avoid the nodes which have the broken nodes, there is also have a routing logic to fix those broken nodes.
Types of Mesh topology
There are two types of mesh network topology. Which are
- Partial mesh topology:
In partial network topology some devices are connected in a same way to mesh topology but other devices are connected only to two or three devices.
- Full mesh topology:
Every nodes and devices of this mesh network topology are connected to each other
Features of Mesh topology
- Every devices is fully connected with each other
- This network is not flexible
- Fully secure and private network
Pros of mesh topology network
- This is robust in nature
- Every devices or nodes can carry its own loads of data
- Every faults can be diagnosed easily
- Connection is fully secure and private
Cons of Mesh topology
- Cost is more for cabling
- Requires a bulk wiring
- Set up and configuration is difficult in nature
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In his topology devices are connected in a way that it looks like a ring. The devices in this network connected with its exactly two neighboring devices.
Features of ring topology
- A number of repeaters are used in ring topology with a big number of nodes.
- It also use repeater to prevent data loss.
- Data can be changed from unidirectional to bidirectional by using connection between each network node, known as dual ring topology.
- In dual ring topology, if one ring fails then the second one work as backup to keep the network up.
- Data is transferred bit by bit and passed through every node of the network to the destination node.
Pros of ring topology
- transmission of network not get affected by increased traffic of nodes as only the nodes having token can transmit data
- Easy to expand and cost effective in nature.
Cons of ring topology
- Difficult to troubleshoot the ring topology network
- Networks activity got affected if any new devices added or removed from the network.
- Network failure occur if any of the computer failed
In Star network topology every device is connected to a single hub. This hub is the single hub with central node and all the others nodes are connected to this central node. Central node of this hub can be active means intelligent or passive or not intelligent in nature. Active hub have repeaters in them.
Features of star topology
- Every node have their own dedicated connection to the network hub
- Hub can act as a repeater for data flow
- Optical fiber, twisted pair or coaxial cable can be used in this network.
Pros of star topology
- Faster performance with few nodes and few network traffic
- Hub is easily upgradable
- Troubleshoot can be done easily
- Set up and modification can be done easily
- Network remain same if any node is failed to perform
Cons of star topology
- Installation cost is high
- Uses is expensive
- If the hub is failed then the whole network is stopped as the hub connected all the devices.
- Performance is depends on the capacity of the hub.
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In this network topology a central node is present and all the other nodes are connected to it and form a hierarchy.
Features of tree topology
- For group work station tree topology is ideal
- It is widely used in wide area network (WAN)
- It can be expandable easily
- Tree topology comprises the characteristics of star topology and bus topology.
Pros of tree topology
- Comprises of star topology and bus topology
- Nodes can be easily expandable
- Management and maintenance work can be done easily
- Failures in the network can be detect easily
Cons of tree topology
- Required a lots of cabling
- Less cost effective
- Maintenance become difficult if more nodes are added to the network.
- Network will fail if the hub fails
It’s a kind of network topology where two of more kinds of network topology are present, it is scalable and easily expandable topology. This network topology is reliable in nature but costly to implement.
Features of hybrid topology
- It’s a combination of more than one or two network topology
- Contains the advantages and disadvantages of the networks it contains.
Pros of hybrid topology
- Reliable in nature and detection of error and troubleshooting is easy
- Size can be extended easily and scallable
- Flexible as different kind of network topology are used in this network topology
Cons of hybrid topology
- Complex in design as it contain different network topology
- Very costly in nature
- Hubs of this network costs more as this topology is different from the other network topology.
Logical topology means the relationship between nodes and logical connections. A logical connection is different from the physical path when the information takes the invisible hop in the intermediate points. On the other hand logical topology may refers to that topology as users sees it, means the connectivity of the network.
Best network topology for large business
The best network topology for large business can be differed based on the requirements and goals.
However, most of the large business uses partial mesh or star topology to fulfill their needs.
But it’s truly depends on the requirements of the large businesses which may ensure features like information security, data speed and accessibility, expansion or growth buffer etc.
There are many types of network topology. Different types of topologies are used in the businesses based on their needs. The best network topology can be differ from one business to another based on different criteria sets by those businesses.