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Basic Concepts of Computer

Networks
Network Topology

Lesson Objectives
At the end of this lesson, the learner
should be able to achieve the following
three objectives:
Clearly define the term network topology.
Identify the types of network topologies

and their individual advantages and


disadvantages.
How to properly choose the appropriate

topology
for a given situation.

DEFINITION: What Is a
Topology?
A network topology describes the
arrangement of systems on a
computer network. It defines
how the computers, or nodes,
within the network are
arranged and connected to each
other.
(TechTerms.com, 2007)

Commonly Used Network


Topologies
The most commonly used network
topologies are:
Bus
Ring
Star
Mesh

The Bus Topology


The bus topology is the

simplest and
most common.
It is often used when a

network installation is
small, simple, or temporary.
It is a passive topology.

This means that computers on


the bus only listen to the
data being sent. They are not
responsible for moving the
data from one computer to the
next.

The Bus Topology


In an active topology network, the

computers regenerate signals and are


responsible for moving the data through
the network.
On a bus network, all the computers are

connected to a single cable.


When one computer sends a signal using

the cable, all the computers on the


network receive the message, but only the
addressee accepts it. The other computers
disregard the message.

Advantages of the Bus


Topology
The bus is simple and very reliable

in very
small networks.
The bus network requires the least

amount of cable to connect the


computers together and is, therefore,
less expensive than other cabling
configurations.
Failure of one network node does not

effect the rest of the network.

Disadvantages of the Bus


Topology
Heavy network traffic can slow a

bus considerably
A break in the cable or lack of

proper termination can shutdown the


entire network.
It is extremely difficult to

troubleshoot a bus if the entire


network shuts down.

Appropriate Use of a Bus


Topology
The network is small.
The network will not be frequently

reconfigured.
The least expensive solution is

necessary.
Network growth is not predicted.

The Ring Topology

In a ring topology, each


computer is connected directly
to the next computer in line,
forming a circle of cable.

It uses a token to pass the


information from one computer to
the next.

Each computer is connected to


the next computer in the ring
and retransmits what it receives
from the previous computer.

The message flow around the ring


is unidirectional.

The ring is classified as an


active topology because there is
no termination point in the
ring.

Token Passing in the Ring


Topology
Token passing is a method of sending data in

a ring topology.

A small packet, called the token is passed

around the ring to each computer in turn.

If a computer has information to send, it

modifies the token, adds address information


and data and sends it down the ring.

The information travels around the ring

until it either reaches its destination or


returns to the sender.

A token can circle a ring 200 meters in

diameter at a speed of around 10,000 times


per second.

Advantages of Ring
Topology
All the computers have equal access

to the
network.
Even with multiple users, network

performance is balanced. There is


no bottle neck.
Allows for error checking and

acknowledgement.

Disadvantages of the Ring


Topology
Failure of one computer can affect the

entire network. Data cannot be


transmitted successfully.
Data packets must pass through every

computer. This makes the network slower


in nature.
It is difficult to troubleshoot the

ring network.
Adding or removing computers disturbs

the network.

Appropriate Uses of the Ring


Topology
The network must operate reasonably

under a heavy load.


A higher speed network is required.
The network will not be frequently

reconfigured.

The Star Topology

In a star topology, each device


has a dedicated point-to-point
link to a central controller,
sometimes referred to as a hub,
server, or host.

Each computer on a star network


communicates with the central hub
that then resends the message to
the appropriate computer(s).

The hub can be active or passive


in nature.

An active hub regenerates the


electrical signal and sends it to
all the computers connected to
it.

Hubs in the Star Topology


The type of hub used in a star topology

is commonly referred to as a multi-port


repeater.
Active hubs require electrical power to

operate.
A passive hub, such as a wiring panel,

acts as a connection point and does not


amplify or regenerate the signal.
Passive hubs do not require electrical

power to operate.

Advantages of the Star


Topology

A star network is easy to modify and add new


computers.

During the addition or removal of nodes, the


network continues to function normally.

The central hub can be easily upgraded when


the network capacity is exceeded.

The central hub provides for centralized


monitoring and management of the network,
thereby increasing security.

A single computer failure does not necessarily


bring down the entire star network.

Disadvantages of the Star


Topology
If the central hub fails, then the

entire network ceases to operate.


The attached nodes are disabled.
There is a larger upfront cost to

create a star network in terms of


cabling and hardware.
A star network requires a dedicated

server.

Appropriate Uses of the


Star Topology
The network requires easy addition

or removal of client computers.


Star network topologies are

recommended for easy


troubleshooting ability.
The network is large in nature.
The network is expected to grow in

the future.

The Mesh Topology


In a mesh topology, every

device has a dedicated pointto-point link to every other


device.
A fully connected mesh

network has n(n 1)/2


physical channels to link n
devices.
To accommodate the many

links, every device on the


network must have n -1
input/output ports.

Advantages of the Mesh


Topology
Because there is a dedicated link,

there is no traffic between computers.


Failure of one node computer does not

affect the rest of the network.


Because of the dedicated link, privacy

and security are easier to maintain.


Point-to-point links make fault

identification and fault isolation


easier to determine.

Disadvantages of the Mesh


Topology
Due to the number of cables and

input and output ports, it can be


more expensive to establish and
maintain.
A large amount of space is

necessary to run each of the


cables.

Review of Common Network


Topologies

Conclusions
Topologies are the essence of computer

network designs.

Efficient networks can only be built

based on the complete knowledge and


understanding of the previously explored
topologies.

Knowledge of communication devices is of

equal importance when determining the


best options for network requirements.

Resources and time can be wasted when

choosing the wrong topology to fit the


requirements of the network to be built.

References
Web References
http://compnetworking.about.com/od/netwo

rkdesign/ig/Computer-Network-Topologies/
http://www.techterms.com/definition/netw

orktopology
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_top

ology
http://www.youtube.com/watch?

v=kfEDPQAYH4k