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Network Topologies


Networking consists of computers, wiring, and other devices, such as hubs, switches, and routers that make up the network infrastructure. Topology (from the Greek word topos meaning place) is a description of any kind of locality in terms of its layout. There are two ways to describe a network topology.

1. Physical topology 2. Logical Topology

Client a computer that allows a user to log onto the network and take advantages of the resources on the network. Server Much more powerful computer that provides centralized administration of the network and serves up the resources that are available on the network.

Client/Server network operating systems allow the network to centralize functions and applications in one or more file servers

Advantages Centralized Scalable Flexible Interoperable Accessible

Disadvantages Maintenance Expense Dependence

Peer to Peer
Each computer acts both as a client and server. Advantages Less expense Easy setup Decentralized Disadvantages Security Decentralized

Standard Physical Topologies


Star Ring Mesh

Bus Topology

Characterized by a main trunk or backbone line with networked computers attached at intervals along the trunk line. Passive topology Typically use coaxial cable hooked to each computer using a T-connector.

Bus Topology cont.

Coaxial Cable


Star Topology
Computers on the network connect to a centralized connectivity device, usually a hub or a switch.

Ring Topology

Connects the LAN computers one after the other on the wire in a physical circle. Moves info on the wire in one direction, considered an active topology.

Mesh Topology
All nodes are directly connected with all other nodes. Best choice when fault tolerance is required. Very difficult to setup and maintain.

Standard Logical Topologies

The way in which data accesses the medium (cable) and transmits packets.

There are only two: Ring and Bus

Logical Topology: Ring

In the ring logical topology only one node can send information across the network at any given time. This is done by way of a token. Each terminal receives this special packet, and if it has data to send, it will do so. Once it has sent the data, it passes the token to the next station. Used for very fast networks No collisions Susceptible to faults

Logical Topology: Bus

Each time a node on a network has data for another node the sending node broadcasts to the entire network.
Stations can always transmit. Less susceptible to breaks. Collisions (two stations transmitting at once) have to be dealt with.

Selecting a Topology
Needs: Do you need very high speeds? Will you be moving really large files? Geography: How far is it between stations? Will you be relocating stations often? Maintenance: Do you want something (relatively) painless? Cost: Are you on a budget? Do you want replacement parts easily accessible?

Thank you!