What is Network Topology ?

Network Topology:

Network topology describes the structure of a network and the connections between its links and nodes. Network topology can be seen from either a logical or physical perspective.

Physical Network Topology

The physical signal transmission channel, such as the wires, cables, and so on, is referred to as the physical network topology.

Logical Network Topology

Logical network topology is a little more strategic and abstract, it doesn’t depend on a physical connection between the units. It describes how data is transferred between devices through a network.

Importance of Network Topology

Understanding your network’s many components and how they are related is made easier by its topology. Also, it is essential for the operation and effectiveness of a network.

Network topology is essential in businesses with extensive networks since it:

  • Allows for a better understanding of networks
  • Reduces network operating and maintenance expenses
  • Ensures effective communication between different components
  • helps in locating the network’s issue areas
  • Provides guidance on how to wire a network using various media

Types of Network Topology

Point-to-point Topology

This kind of network topology is the most basic. Here, a common medium is used to connect two nodes directly to one another.

Pros:

  • The easiest and least expensive method for building a computer network is this one.
  • There are only two nodes, thus maintenance is simple.
  • Compared to other network kinds, this has the shortest transmission delay.

Cons:

  • Since there is just one shared link, if it goes down, the network fails to function.
  • There can only be a maximum of two nodes in this network.
  • Only works when the two gadgets are close to one another.

Bus Topology

A single cable that extends from one end to the other is used in this configuration to link network devices. As a result, it is also known as line topology. In a bus topology, data transfers in a single direction along the path of the network connection.

Pros:

  • Due to its low cost, this is perfect for small networks.
  • Simply by connecting extra wire, it is simple to install more devices here.
  • The network structure in this case is simple to understand.

Cons:

  • The network is completely offline if the primary cable fails.
  • Due to the fact that data transmission becomes slower with each additional node, this is only suitable for small networks.
  • It is impossible to send the data back in the other way since the transmission is unidirectional.

Ring Topology

A ring topology has its nodes arranged in a ring. Through the ring network, the data can travel in either direction or both. The data moves in a circular motion via all intermediary nodes in this instance. The majority of the data transmission is unidirectional, but by creating two connections between the nodes, it may be made to go in both ways.

Pros:

  • Compared to bus topology, this architecture can handle larger loads.
  • There are no risks of packet collision since data transport only occurs at one station at a time.
  • Misconfigurations or problems in this network are simple to spot.

Cons:

  • If one node fails, the entire network will go offline.
  • There may be a proportional transmission delay in the network if there are many nodes.
  • The entire network must be shut down in order to reconfigure, add, or remove nodes.

Star Topology

A network with a star-like topology has a central node and many devices that are all directly linked to it. In a star topology, the devices don’t talk to one another; instead, they send messages to the central node, which, depending on the network architecture, distributes the message to all other systems or a particular location inside the system. Information transferred from every node on the network must travel through the central node in order to reach its destination, hence this central node functions as both a server and a repeater.

Pros:

  • Other parts of the network won’t be impacted if one node fails.
  • Without shutting down the network, nodes can be added, changed, or deleted.
  • For network administrators, it makes life simple because it is simple to diagnose.

Cons:

  • This network is vulnerable to the central hub failing.
  • The cost of installation and maintenance is high.
  • The configurations of the central hub have a significant impact on performance and transmission speed.

Tree Topology

The term “star bus topology” also refers to tree topology in computer networks. The star networks in this architecture are connected by bus networks in a parent-child hierarchy. The center node serves as the network’s trunk, while nodes branch outward in a fashion like a branch, giving rise to the tree topology structure. A tree topology’s nodes are connected in a parent-child hierarchy as opposed to a star topology’s direct connections between each node and the center node. A pair of linked nodes only have one mutual connection since they are all linearly connected to the central hub.

Pros:

  • It is perfect for huge networks and is simple to manage.
  • Since it provides simple node addition and removal, scaling is made possible.
  • Since you may examine several branches for problems, troubleshooting is simple.

Cons:

  • The root node controls the whole network.
  • The sheer volume of nodes and the amount of required cabling make it costly.
  • It has a complicated design.

Mesh Topology

Every node in a mesh topology has a direct, non-hierarchical point-to-point connection to every other node. The network’s web-like layout prevents it from being dependent on a single node. Routing and flooding are two alternative ways that data is sent. Data is routed via the path that connects two places in the shortest amount of time. Without employing any routing logic, data packets are distributed to all network nodes via the flooding approach.

Pros:

  • It has complete connectivity, making it more dependable and stable than other networks.
  • Errors may easily be isolated and fixed.
  • Nodes going down one by one won’t harm the network.

Cons:

  • It is costly to create and maintain.
  • It can take a long time to implement due to the design’s intricacy.
  • Additionally, setting it up takes a lot of work and is labor-intensive.

Hybrid Topology

A hybrid topology is created when two or more topologies are combined to form a network topology. These are frequently observed in sizable corporations where departments with various network topologies are combined into a single hybrid structure.

Pros:

  • When establishing up networks, it offers a lot of versatility.
  • Scaling and expanding are made simpler.

Cons:

  • The creation and upkeep of a hybrid network demand a great deal of technical knowledge from the network administrator.

Integrating many network types into one network may be fairly costly.

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