Types Of Network Topology

What Is Network Topology?

Network topology is the arrangement of network devices and their interconnection. The network topology is the most important part of any network design since it determines how quickly data can be sent through the network.

A topology diagram illustrates how different components are connected to a computer network. A common method for creating these diagrams is by drawing lines between components; this is called drawing wires in and out of boxes that represent nodes on the network.

In this way, you can describe which node should receive data from another node and which node should send data to another node in your network design.”

The most common types of network topology are:

1. Bus Topology

In this type of network, all the devices are connected to one cable or hub. The term “bus” refers to the fact that all devices connect to this cable. This type of network is used when there are only two computers connected by one cable, or when there is one computer connected to another computer via a hub that connects all the devices on both computers together.

bus topology
Diagram representing Bus topology

It is considered one of the simplest topologies because it does not require any special hardware or software to implement.

Advantages of Bus topology

  • High-speed operation: The number of devices in the system is small, and all devices are connected to a single point, which can greatly reduce the current consumption.
  • Low cost: Compared with the star bus, it is easy to place the power supply and other components on a single board.
  • Simple design: It is relatively easy to implement, and there are no special requirements for the design of the power supply circuit or other components.
  • Low level of interference: Compared with star bus, when there are many terminals connected to one another, it is difficult to regulate interference signals caused by noise; In addition, since each terminal has only one connection point and does not affect others’ signals, it is easy to regulate interference signals caused by noise on the same board.

Disadvantages of Bus Topology

  • The bus topology requires more complex circuitry than a star network, which can make it expensive to implement in large systems.
  • It is not easy to control a bus topology. As the number of devices increases, the number of connections between them also increases. This creates links that may cause conflicts, causing the performance of one device to be affected by another device’s activity. It is important to make sure that devices are connected in order and do not interfere with each other.

2. Ring Topology

In this type of topology, all the devices are connected using a ring-shaped network. Each node has its address so it acts as an island. The ring topology provides fault tolerance as well as load balancing.

Ring topology is used in many types of networks, including wide-area networks (WANs) and local area networks (LANs).

In a Ring Topology, each device connects directly to every other device in the ring. For example, in Figure 1-1, each device has its connection point on the ring that directly connects it to every other device’s connection point on the ring (see in diagram below).

ring topology
Diagram representing Ring topology

Advantages of Ring Topology

  • Ring topologies allow for simple management of large installations with multiple access points.
  • Ring topologies are efficient because they don’t require special hardware solutions such as switches or routers.
  • It is cheaper than other types of Ethernet cables because it uses less material, which means you don’t need as much wire and therefore don’t have to buy as many cables.
  • Ring topology is easier to install than other types of Ethernet cables because it doesn’t require any special tools or skills.
  • Ring topology can be used in any environment because it requires no additional power supply or grounding systems and works with any hub, switches, or router that supports the standard IEEE 802.3 protocol for Ethernet connections.

Disadvantages of Ring Topology

  • It makes it hard to connect multiple switches in a large network. A network with more than four switches will have problems if you try to add more switches. The reason is that each switch has only two ports, so there is nowhere for the new switch to plug in.
  • If there is any failure in one of the nodes in a ring, it will cause all the nodes to lose communication with each other, which makes this type of topology unusable for applications requiring real-time data transmission such as voice over IP (VoIP).

3. Star Topology

In this type of topology, all the nodes are connected by a central point called a star and there will be only one connection from any node to another node in the star topology. A star can be made up of multiple sub-stars, which are connected by their respective sub-stars.

star topology
Diagram representing Star topology

Advantages of star topology

  • Scalability: You can add more nodes to the cluster without reconfiguring the existing nodes.
  • Fault Tolerance: If any node fails, another node will automatically take over its functions.
  • High Availability: The availability of a server is very high when it is part of a cluster because if one node fails, another one will take over its function smoothly and quickly.
  • Performance: When you use multiple servers in a cluster, it improves performance because there is no need for additional resources like memory, CPU, etc., and each server can run independently so there are no bottlenecks or slowdowns caused by other servers in the system.
  • Cost Effective: Clustering allows organizations to purchase fewer servers than they would have purchased individually or in isolation but with increased performance and enhanced availability from centralized management and monitoring tools, clustering provides cost savings over traditional high-end deployment models such as standalone servers or dedicated applications/servers.

Disadvantages of star topology

  • The star design limits fault tolerance. The most obvious disadvantage of star topology is that it has limited fault tolerance because there are only two paths between two nodes (one from each node).
  • Increased management overhead. In addition to having a high number of devices per rack, star topologies typically have multiple power supplies for each switch so that they don’t cause problems with

4. Mesh Topology

In this type of topology, all the nodes are interconnected by links, which make up a mesh network or mesh architecture. The mesh network provides high availability and scalability because it allows many devices to connect without any physical connections between them.

mesh topology
Diagram representing Mesh topology

Network topology is the shape of your network. It’s a way to categorize different configurations of networks and can help you understand how these networks connect, where traffic flows and how much bandwidth each part of your network needs.

Advantages of mesh topology

  • Scalability: The mesh topology allows you to add more devices as your needs grow. You can add new nodes without having to replace any existing ones and without incurring any additional costs or downtime.
  • It also increases the speed and reliability of your network connection. You will not have to worry about slow connections or congested networks because all your devices use the same data channel to connect to the Internet.
  • Maintains a high level of resilience even in the presence of failures
  • Mesh topology is resilient against network partition

Disadvantages of mesh topology

  • There are many links in a mesh network, and each link can have any value as its weight. So, it is difficult to find an exact solution for this problem by using standard techniques like the Floyd-Warshall algorithm or dynamic programming techniques.
  • It can cause problems with packet loss and jittering. This can cause issues for users who are transmitting large amounts of data at high speeds or have poor connections, such as those in rural areas or places where there may be interference from other wireless devices.
  • The network is vulnerable to a single point of failure. If one user experiences an issue, it will often affect all users connected to the same router on their own devices because they are sharing bandwidth between each other’s devices
  • It is not very efficient compared to the ring topology.
  • The routing protocols used in the mesh topology are complex and need more processing power on the router.

5. Tree Topology

Tree topology is a type of network topology in which the nodes are organized into a tree-like structure, such that each node is connected to only a limited number of other nodes. When the tree has an odd number of levels, the lowest level is called the root.

This type of network is used in some applications such as data transmission and it has been widely used in the field of computer networking.

Advantages of tree topology

  • Fast speed transmission: It can reach the maximum data rate of 100 Mbps without any link delay and packet loss in the network.
  • High security: It is more secure than a star topology network because of its multi-link structure and different paths between nodes.
  • Flexible design: The nodes can be connected in a different ways to achieve high performance and low cost.
  • High availability: It helps to achieve high availability by using multiple paths between nodes, which means that if one link fails, another path can still be used to transmit data through this node.
  • The design of tree topology networks allows them to be used effectively in both wired and wireless applications.

Disadvantages of tree topology

  • There is no redundancy in a tree topology due to a lack of backbones and trunking. This means that if one part fails, then all other parts will also fail. This makes it hard for the network administrator to recover from such situations and fix them quickly.
  • It takes more time to set up the network than a bus topology network due to its complexity and overhead involved.
  • It is difficult for users on different floors or levels within an office building to access each other’s computers due to a lack of connectivity between them in a tree topology network layout.
  • The network topology is not flat, and it will cause delays in the communication between nodes.

6. Hybrid Topology

Hybrid network topologies are a combination of two or more different types of networks to provide a seamless service. For this type of topology to work, all the switches must be interconnected and all the hosts must be able to communicate with each other.

Hybrid topologies are a special type of network topology that combines two or more Hybrid topologies can be used to combine the best features of multiple networks, and they are often used in large enterprises to provide redundancy and fault tolerance.

A hybrid network topology is suitable for data centers and cloud computing.

Advantages of hybrid topology

  • Higher bandwidth

A hybrid network topology has a higher bandwidth than one based on Ethernet or Token Ring technology alone.

This is because it uses multiple channels at once, which increases its capacity as well as its efficiency. In addition, you can make use of other types of networks such as wireless or satellite links to increase your overall bandwidth even further.

  • Improved reliability

Hybrid networks also have improved reliability because they can provide redundancy in case one channel becomes unusable due to hardware failure or software glitches. You can also add extra redundancy using multiple pathways which will provide a backup route in case one path goes down temporarily due to any reason.

  • Efficient use of resources

Hybrid networks help you save on costs by sharing resources between different users who are connected via different channels rather than having them all connected.

  • Hybrid network topology can provide better performance, reliability, and security than a traditional hub-and-spoke approach.
  • Hybrid network topology allows the use of multiple protocols on the same physical network to support a variety of applications.
  • It is easier to manage hybrid networks because each component of the network can be monitored individually using separate monitoring systems.

Disadvantages of hybrid topology

  • The hybrid network topology can be expensive to maintain and operate.
  • The hybrid network topology may be difficult to implement in some circumstances, such as when there are geographical constraints on the network or when there are regulatory requirements that must be met before allowing any traffic on the network.
  • The hybrid network topology can hurt the user experience if the service provider does not have enough bandwidth and/or capacity to provide a good user experience for all users across all locations within their service area.

Recommended Reading:

What Are The Main Types of Computer Networks?

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are many types of network topology and they all serve different functions. Some are very common, especially in homes and small business offices, while others are used more by large companies and across huge networks.

Either way, it is important to know which layout is right for your specific situation to maximize efficiency and avoid any problems that may arise.

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