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Bus, ring, star, and other types of network topology

In networking, the term "topology" refers to the layout of connected devices on a


network. This article introduces the standard topologies of computer networking.

Topology in Network Design

One can think of a topology as a network's virtual shape or structure. This shape does not
necessarily correspond to the actual physical layout of the devices on the network. For
example, the computers on a home LAN may be arranged in a circle in a family room,
but it would be highly unlikely to find an actual ring topology there.

Network topologies are categorized into the following basic types:

• bus
• ring
• star
• tree
• mesh

More complex networks can be built as hybrids of two or more of the above basic
topologies.

Bus Topology

Bus networks (not to be confused with the system bus of a computer) use a common
backbone to connect all devices. A single cable, the backbone functions as a shared
communication medium that devices attach or tap into with an interface connector. A
device wanting to communicate with another device on the network sends a broadcast
message onto the wire that all other devices see, but only the intended recipient actually
accepts and processes the message.

Ethernet bus topologies are relatively easy to install and don't require much cabling
compared to the alternatives. 10Base-2 ("ThinNet") and 10Base-5 ("ThickNet") both
were popular Ethernet cabling options many years ago for bus topologies. However, bus
networks work best with a limited number of devices. If more than a few dozen
computers are added to a network bus, performance problems will likely result. In
addition, if the backbone cable fails, the entire network effectively becomes unusable.

Illustration - Bus Topology Diagram

Ring Topology

In a ring network, every device has exactly two neighbors for communication purposes.
All messages travel through a ring in the same direction (either "clockwise" or
"counterclockwise"). A failure in any cable or device breaks the loop and can take down
the entire network.

To implement a ring network, one typically uses FDDI, SONET, or Token Ring
technology. Ring topologies are found in some office buildings or school campuses.

Illustration - Ring Topology Diagram

Star Topology

Many home networks use the star topology. A star network features a central connection
point called a "hub" that may be a hub, switch or router. Devices typically connect to the
hub with Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) Ethernet.

Compared to the bus topology, a star network generally requires more cable, but a failure
in any star network cable will only take down one computer's network access and not the
entire LAN. (If the hub fails, however, the entire network also fails.)

Illustration - Star Topology Diagram

Tree Topology

Tree topologies integrate multiple star topologies together onto a bus. In its simplest
form, only hub devices connect directly to the tree bus, and each hub functions as the
"root" of a tree of devices. This bus/star hybrid approach supports future expandability of
the network much better than a bus (limited in the number of devices due to the broadcast
traffic it generates) or a star (limited by the number of hub connection points) alone.

Illustration - Tree Topology Diagram

Mesh Topology

Mesh topologies involve the concept of routes. Unlike each of the previous topologies,
messages sent on a mesh network can take any of several possible paths from source to
destination. (Recall that even in a ring, although two cable paths exist, messages can only
travel in one direction.) Some WANs, most notably the Internet, employ mesh routing.

A mesh network in which every device connects to every other is called a full mesh. As
shown in the illustration below, partial mesh networks also exist in which some devices
connect only indirectly to others.

Illustration - Mesh Topology Diagram

Summary
Topologies remain an important part of network design theory. You can probably build a
home or small business network without understanding the difference between a bus
design and a star design, but understanding the concepts behind these gives you a deeper
understanding of important elements like hubs, broadcasts, and routes.
Network topology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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For other uses of "topology", see topology (disambiguation).

Diagram of different network topologies.


Network topology is the study of the arrangement or mapping of the elements (links,
nodes, etc.) of a network, especially the physical (real) and logical (virtual)
interconnections between nodes [1] [2] [3].

A local area network (LAN) is one example of a network that exhibits both a physical and
a logical topology. Any given node in the LAN will have one or more links to one or
more other nodes in the network and the mapping of these links and nodes onto a graph
results in a geometrical shape that determines the physical topology of the network.
Likewise, the mapping of the flow of data between the nodes in the network determines
the logical topology of the network. It is important to note that the physical and logical
topologies might be identical in any particular network but they also may be different.

Any particular network topology is determined only by the graphical mapping of the
configuration of physical and/or logical connections between nodes - Network Topology
is, therefore, technically a part of graph theory. Distances between nodes, physical
interconnections, transmission rates, and/or signal types may differ in two networks and
yet their topologies may be identical[2].

Contents
[hide]

• 1 Basic Types of Topologies


• 2 Classification of Network Topologies
o 2.1 Physical Topologies
 2.1.1 Classification of Physical
Topologies:
 2.1.1.1 Bus:
 2.1.1.2 Star:
 2.1.1.3 Ring:
 2.1.1.4 Mesh:
 2.1.1.5 Tree (also known as
Hierarchical):
 2.1.2 Hybrid Network Topologies
o 2.2 Signal Topology
o 2.3 Logical Topology
 2.3.1 Classification of Logical
Topologies
• 3 Daisy chains
• 4 Centralization
• 5 Decentralization
• 6 Hybrids
• 7 See also
• 8 References

• 9 External links

[edit] Basic Types of Topologies


The arrangement or mapping of the elements of a network gives rise to certain basic
topologies which may then be combined to form more complex topologies (hybrid
topologies). The most common of these basic types of topologies are (refer to the
illustration at the top right of this page):

• Bus (Linear, Linear Bus)


• Star
• Ring
• Mesh

partially connected mesh (or simply 'mesh')


fully connected mesh (or simply fully connected)

• Tree

[edit] Classification of Network Topologies


There are also three basic categories of network topologies:

• physical topologies
• signal topologies
• logical topologies
The terms signal topology and logical topology are often used interchangeably even
though there is a subtle difference between the two and the distinction is not often made
between the two.

[edit] Physical Topologies

The mapping of the nodes of a network and the physical connections between them – i.e.,
the layout of wiring, cables, the locations of nodes, and the interconnections between the
nodes and the cabling or wiring system[1][3].

[edit] Classification of Physical Topologies:


[edit] Bus:
Linear Bus:
The type of network topology in which all of the nodes of the network are
connected to a common transmission medium which has exactly two endpoints
(this is the 'bus', which is also commonly referred to as the backbone, or trunk) –
all data that is transmitted between nodes in the network is transmitted over this
common transmission medium and is able to be received by all nodes in the
network virtually simultaneously (disregarding propagation delays)[1][3].
Note: The two endpoints of the common transmission medium are normally
terminated with a device called a terminator that exhibits the characteristic
impedance of the transmission medium and which dissipates or absorbs the
energy that remains in the signal to prevent the signal from being reflected or
propagated back onto the transmission medium in the opposite direction, which
would cause interference with and degradation of the signals on the transmission
medium (See Electrical termination).
Distributed Bus:
The type of network topology in which all of the nodes of the network are
connected to a common transmission medium which has more than two endpoints
that are created by adding branches to the main section of the transmission
medium – the physical distributed bus topology functions in exactly the same
fashion as the physical linear bus topology (i.e., all nodes share a common
transmission medium).
Notes:
1.) All of the endpoints of the common transmission medium are normally
terminated with a device called a 'terminator' (see the note under linear bus).
2.) The physical linear bus topology is sometimes considered to be a special case
of the physical distributed bus topology – i.e., a distributed bus with no branching
segments.
3.) The physical distributed bus topology is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a
physical tree topology – however, although the physical distributed bus topology
resembles the physical tree topology, it differs from the physical tree topology in
that there is no central node to which any other nodes are connected, since this
hierarchical functionality is replaced by the common bus.
[edit] Star:
The type of network topology in which each of the nodes of the network is
connected to a central node with a point-to-point link in a 'hub' and 'spoke'
fashion, the central node being the 'hub' and the nodes that are attached to the
central node being the 'spokes' (e.g., a collection of point-to-point links from the
peripheral nodes that converge at a central node) – all data that is transmitted
between nodes in the network is transmitted to this central node, which is usually
some type of device that then retransmits the data to some or all of the other nodes
in the network, although the central node may also be a simple common
connection point (such as a 'punch-down' block) without any active device to
repeat the signals[1][3].
Notes:
1.) A point-to-point link is sometimes categorized as a special instance of the
physical star topology – therefore, the simplest type of network that is based upon
the physical star topology would consist of one node with a single point-to-point
link to a second node, the choice of which node is the 'hub' and which node is the
'spoke' being arbitrary[1].
2.) After the special case of the point-to-point link, as in note 1.) above, the next
simplest type of network that is based upon the physical star topology would
consist of one central node – the 'hub' – with two separate point-to-point links to
two peripheral nodes – the 'spokes'.
3.) Although most networks that are based upon the physical star topology are
commonly implemented using a special device such as a hub or switch as the
central node (i.e., the 'hub' of the star), it is also possible to implement a network
that is based upon the physical star topology using a computer or even a simple
common connection point as the 'hub' or central node – however, since many
illustrations of the physical star network topology depict the central node as one
of these special devices, some confusion is possible, since this practice may lead
to the misconception that a physical star network requires the central node to be
one of these special devices, which is not true because a simple network
consisting of three computers connected as in note 2.) above also has the topology
of the physical star.
Extended Star:
A type of network topology in which a network that is based upon the physical
star topology has one or more repeaters between the central node (the 'hub' of the
star) and the peripheral or 'spoke' nodes, the repeaters being used to extend the
maximum transmission distance of the point-to-point links between the central
node and the peripheral nodes beyond that which is supported by the transmitter
power of the central node or beyond that which is supported by the standard upon
which the physical layer of the physical star network is based.
Note: If the repeaters in a network that is based upon the physical extended star
topology are replaced with hubs or switches, then a hybrid network topology is
created that is referred to as a physical hierarchical star topology, although some
texts make no distinction between the two topologies.
Distributed Star:
A type of network topology that is composed of individual networks that are
based upon the physical star topology connected together in a linear fashion – i.e.,
'daisy-chained' – with no central or top level connection point (e.g., two or more
'stacked' hubs, along with their associated star connected nodes or 'spokes').

[edit] Ring:
The type of network topology in which each of the nodes of the network is
connected to two other nodes in the network and with the first and last nodes
being connected to each other, forming a ring – all data that is transmitted
between nodes in the network travels from one node to the next node in a circular
manner and the data generally flows in a single direction only.
Dual-ring:
The type of network topology in which each of the nodes of the network is
connected to two other nodes in the network, with two connections to each of
these nodes, and with the first and last nodes being connected to each other with
two connections, forming a double ring – the data flows in opposite directions
around the two rings, although, generally, only one of the rings carries data during
normal operation, and the two rings are independent unless there is a failure or
break in one of the rings, at which time the two rings are joined (by the stations on
either side of the fault) to enable the flow of data to continue using a segment of
the second ring to bypass the fault in the primary ring.

[edit] Mesh:
Full:
Fully Connected:
The type of network topology in which each of the nodes of the network is
connected to each of the other nodes in the network with a point-to-point link –
this makes it possible for data to be simultaneously transmitted from any single
node to all of the other nodes.
Note: The physical fully connected mesh topology is generally too costly and
complex for practical networks, although the topology is used when there are only
a small number of nodes to be interconnected[3].
Partial:
Partially Connected:
The type of network topology in which some of the nodes of the network are
connected to more than one other node in the network with a point-to-point link –
this makes it possible to take advantage of some of the redundancy that is
provided by a physical fully connected mesh topology without the expense and
complexity required for a connection between every node in the network.
Note: In most practical networks that are based upon the physical partially
connected mesh topology, all of the data that is transmitted between nodes in the
network takes the shortest path between nodes, except in the case of a failure or
break in one of the links, in which case the data takes an alternate path to the
destination – this implies that the nodes of the network possess some type of
logical 'routing' algorithm to determine the correct path to use at any particular
time.
[edit] Tree (also known as Hierarchical):
The type of network topology in which a central 'root' node (the top level of the
hierarchy) is connected to one or more other nodes that are one level lower in the
hierarchy (i.e., the second level) with a point-to-point link between each of the
second level nodes and the top level central 'root' node, while each of the second
level nodes that are connected to the top level central 'root' node will also have
one or more other nodes that are one level lower in the hierarchy (i.e., the third
level) connected to it, also with a point-to-point link, the top level central 'root'
node being the only node that has no other node above it in the hierarchy – the
hierarchy of the tree is symmetrical, each node in the network having a specific
fixed number, f, of nodes connected to it at the next lower level in the hierarchy,
the number, f, being referred to as the 'branching factor' of the hierarchical tree.
Notes:
1.) A network that is based upon the physical hierarchical topology must have at
least three levels in the hierarchy of the tree, since a network with a central 'root'
node and only one hierarchical level below it would exhibit the physical topology
of a star.
2.) A network that is based upon the physical hierarchical topology and with a
branching factor of 1 would be classified as a physical linear topology.
3.) The branching factor, f, is independent of the total number of nodes in the
network and, therefore, if the nodes in the network require ports for connection to
other nodes the total number of ports per node may be kept low even though the
total number of nodes is large – this makes the effect of the cost of adding ports to
each node totally dependent upon the branching factor and may therefore be kept
as low as required without any effect upon the total number of nodes that are
possible.
4.) The total number of point-to-point links in a network that is based upon the
physical hierarchical topology will be one less that the total number of nodes in
the network.
5.) If the nodes in a network that is based upon the physical hierarchical topology
are required to perform any processing upon the data that is transmitted between
nodes in the network, the nodes that are at higher levels in the hierarchy will be
required to perform more processing operations on behalf of other nodes than the
nodes that are lower in the hierarchy.

[edit] Hybrid Network Topologies

The hybrid topology is a type of network topology that is composed of one or more
interconnections of two or more networks that are based upon different physical
topologies or a type of network topology that is composed of one or more
interconnections of two or more networks that are based upon the same physical
topology, but where the physical topology of the network resulting from such an
interconnection does not meet the definition of the original physical topology of the
interconnected networks (e.g., the physical topology of a network that would result from
an interconnection of two or more networks that are based upon the physical star
topology might create a hybrid topology which resembles a mixture of the physical star
and physical bus topologies or a mixture of the physical star and the physical tree
topologies, depending upon how the individual networks are interconnected, while the
physical topology of a network that would result from an interconnection of two or more
networks that are based upon the physical distributed bus network retains the topology of
a physical distributed bus network).

Star-Bus:
A type of network topology in which the central nodes of one or more individual
networks that are based upon the physical star topology are connected together
using a common 'bus' network whose physical topology is based upon the
physical linear bus topology, the endpoints of the common 'bus' being terminated
with the characteristic impedance of the transmission medium where required –
e.g., two or more hubs connected to a common backbone with drop cables
through the port on the hub that is provided for that purpose (e.g., a properly
configured 'uplink' port) would comprise the physical bus portion of the physical
star-bus topology, while each of the individual hubs, combined with the individual
nodes which are connected to them, would comprise the physical star portion of
the physical star-bus topology.
Star-of_Stars:
Hierarchical Star:
A type of network topology that is composed of an interconnection of individual
networks that are based upon the physical star topology connected together in a
hierarchical fashion to form a more complex network – e.g., a top level central
node which is the 'hub' of the top level physical star topology and to which other
second level central nodes are attached as the 'spoke' nodes, each of which, in
turn, may also become the central nodes of a third level physical star topology.
Notes:
1.) The physical hierarchical star topology is not a combination of the physical
linear bus and the physical star topologies, as cited in some texts, as there is no
common linear bus within the topology, although the top level 'hub' which is the
beginning of the physical hierarchical star topology may be connected to the
backbone of another network, such as a common carrier, which is, topologically,
not considered to be a part of the local network – if the top level central node is
connected to a backbone that is considered to be a part of the local network, then
the resulting network topology would be considered to be a hybrid topology that
is a mixture of the topology of the backbone network and the physical hierarchical
star topology.
2.) The physical hierarchical star topology is also sometimes incorrectly referred
to as a physical tree topology, since its physical topology is hierarchical, however,
the physical hierarchical star topology does not have a structure that is determined
by a branching factor, as is the case with the physical tree topology and, therefore,
nodes may be added to, or removed from, any node that is the 'hub' of one of the
individual physical star topology networks within a network that is based upon the
physical hierarchical star topology.
3.) The physical hierarchical star topology is commonly used in 'outside plant'
(OSP) cabling to connect various buildings to a central connection facility, which
may also house the 'demarcation point' for the connection to the data transmission
facilities of a common carrier, and in 'inside plant' (ISP) cabling to connect
multiple wiring closets within a building to a common wiring closet within the
same building, which is also generally where the main backbone or trunk that
connects to a larger network, if any, enters the building.
Star-wired Ring:
A type of hybrid physical network topology that is a combination of the physical
star topology and the physical ring topology, the physical star portion of the
topology consisting of a network in which each of the nodes of which the network
is composed are connected to a central node with a point-to-point link in a 'hub'
and 'spoke' fashion, the central node being the 'hub' and the nodes that are
attached to the central node being the 'spokes' (e.g., a collection of point-to-point
links from the peripheral nodes that converge at a central node) in a fashion that is
identical to the physical star topology, while the physical ring portion of the
topology consists of circuitry within the central node which routes the signals on
the network to each of the connected nodes sequentially, in a circular fashion.
Note: In an 802.5 Token Ring network the central node is called a Multistation
Access Unit (MAU).
Hybrid Mesh:
A type of hybrid physical network topology that is a combination of the physical
partially connected topology and one or more other physical topologies the mesh
portion of the topology consisting of redundant or alternate connections between
some of the nodes in the network – the physical hybrid mesh topology is
commonly used in networks which require a high degree of availability.

[edit] Signal Topology

The mapping of the actual connections between the nodes of a network, as evidenced by
the path that the signals take when propagating between the nodes.

Note: The term 'signal topology' is often used synonymously with the term
'logical topology', however, some confusion may result from this practice in
certain situations since, by definition, the term 'logical topology' refers to the
apparent path that the data takes between nodes in a network while the term
'signal topology' generally refers to the actual path that the signals (e.g., optical,
electrical, electromagnetic, etc.) take when propagating between nodes.
Example:
In an 802.4 Token Bus network, the physical topology may be a physical bus, a
physical star, or a hybrid physical topology, while the signal topology is a bus
(i.e., the electrical signal propagates to all nodes simultaneously [ignoring
propagation delays and network latency] ), and the logical topology is a ring (i.e.,
the data flows from one node to the next in a circular manner according to the
protocol).[4]

[edit] Logical Topology


The mapping of the apparent connections between the nodes of a network, as evidenced
by the path that data appears to take when traveling between the nodes.

[edit] Classification of Logical Topologies

The logical classification of network topologies generally follows the same classifications
as those in the physical classifications of network topologies, the path that the data takes
between nodes being used to determine the topology as opposed to the actual physical
connections being used to determine the topology.

Notes:
1.) Logical topologies are often closely associated with media access control
(MAC) methods and protocols.
2.) The logical topologies are generally determined by network protocols as
opposed to being determined by the physical layout of cables, wires, and network
devices or by the flow of the electrical signals, although in many cases the paths
that the electrical signals take between nodes may closely match the logical flow
of data, hence the convention of using the terms 'logical topology' and 'signal
topology' interchangeably.
3.) Logical topologies are able to be dynamically reconfigured by special types of
equipment such as routers and switches.

[edit] Daisy chains


Except for star-based networks, the easiest way to add more computers into a network is
by daisy-chaining, or connecting each computer in series to the next. If a message is
intended for a computer partway down the line, each system bounces it along in sequence
until it reaches the destination. A daisy-chained network can take two basic forms: linear
and ring.

• A linear topology
puts a two-way link
between one
computer and the
next. However, this
was expensive in the
early days of
computing, since
each computer
(except for the ones
at each end) required
two receivers and
two transmitters.
• By connecting the
computers at each
end, a ring topology
can be formed. An
advantage of the ring
is that the number of
transmitters and
receivers can be cut
in half, since a
message will
eventually loop all of
the way around.
When a node sends a
message, the
message is processed
by each computer in
the ring. If a
computer is not the
destination node, it
will pass the
message to the next
node, until the
message arrives at its
destination. If the
message is not
accepted by any
node on the network,
it will travel around
the entire ring and
return to the sender.
This potentially
results in a doubling
of travel time for
data, but since it is
traveling at a
significant fraction
of the speed of light,
the loss is usually
negligible.

[edit] Centralization
The star topology reduces the probability of a network failure by connecting all of the
peripheral nodes (computers, etc.) to a central node. When the physical star topology is
applied to a logical bus network such as Ethernet, this central node (usually a hub)
rebroadcasts all transmissions received from any peripheral node to all peripheral nodes
on the network, sometimes including the originating node. All peripheral nodes may thus
communicate with all others by transmitting to, and receiving from, the central node only.
The failure of a transmission line linking any peripheral node to the central node will
result in the isolation of that peripheral node from all others, but the remaining peripheral
nodes will be unaffected. However, the disadvantage is that the failure of the central node
will cause the failure of all of the peripheral nodes also.

If the central node is passive, the originating node must be able to tolerate the reception
of an echo of its own transmission, delayed by the two-way transmission time (i.e. to and
from the central node) plus any delay generated in the central node. An active star
network has an active central node that usually has the means to prevent echo-related
problems.

A tree topology (a.k.a. hierarchical topology) can be viewed as a collection of star


networks arranged in a hierarchy. This tree has individual peripheral nodes (i.e. leaves)
which are required to transmit to and receive from one other node only and are not
required to act as repeaters or regenerators. Unlike the star network, the functionality of
the central node may be distributed.

As in the conventional star network, individual nodes may thus still be isolated from the
network by a single-point failure of a transmission path to the node. If a link connecting a
leaf fails, that leaf is isolated; if a connection to a non-leaf node fails, an entire section of
the network becomes isolated from the rest.

In order to alleviate the amount of network traffic that comes from broadcasting all
signals to all nodes, more advanced central nodes were developed that are able to keep
track of the identities of the nodes that are connected to the network. These network
switches will "learn" the layout of the network by first broadcasting data packets to all
nodes, then observing where response packets come from and entering the addresses of
these nodes into an internal table for future routing purposes.

[edit] Decentralization
In a mesh topology (i.e., a partially connected mesh topology), there are at least two
nodes with two or more paths between them to provide redundant paths to be used in case
the link providing one of the paths fails. This decentralization is often used to advantage
to compensate for the single-point-failure disadvantage that is present when using a
single device as a central node (e.g., in star and tree networks). A special kind of mesh,
limiting the number of hops between two nodes, is a hypercube. The number of arbitrary
forks in mesh networks makes them more difficult to design and implement, but their
decentralized nature makes them very useful. This is similar in some ways to a grid
network, where a linear or ring topology is used to connect systems in multiple
directions. A multi-dimensional ring has a toroidal topology, for instance.

A fully connected network, complete topology or full mesh topology is a network


topology in which there is a direct link between all pairs of nodes. In a fully connected
network with n nodes, there are n(n-1)/2 direct links. Networks designed with this
topology are usually very expensive to set up, but provide a high degree of reliability due
to the multiple paths for data that are provided by the large number of redundant links
between nodes. This topology is mostly seen in military applications. However, it can
also be seen in the file sharing protocol BitTorrent in which users connect to other users
in the "swarm" by allowing each user sharing the file to connect to other users also
involved. Often in actual usage of BitTorrent any given individual node is rarely
connected to every single other node as in a true fully connected network but the protocol
does allow for the possibility for any one node to connect to any other node when sharing
files.

[edit] Hybrids
Hybrid networks use a combination of any two or more topologies in such a way that the
resulting network does not exhibit one of the standard topologies (e.g., bus, star, ring,
etc.). For example, a tree network connected to a tree network is still a tree network, but
two star networks connected together exhibit a hybrid network topology. A hybrid
topology is always produced when two different basic network topologies are connected.
Two common examples for Hybrid network are: star ring network and star bus network

• A Star ring network


consists of two or
more star topologies
connected using a
multistation access
unit (MAU) as a
centralized hub.
• A Star Bus network
consists of two or
more star topologies
connected using a
bus trunk (the bus
trunk serves as the
network's backbone).

While grid networks have found popularity in high-performance computing applications,


some systems have used genetic algorithms to design custom networks that have the
fewest possible hops in between different nodes. Some of the resulting layouts are nearly
incomprehensible, although they do function quite well.
What is a Topology?
The physical topology of a network refers to the configuration of cables, computers, and
other peripherals. Physical topology should not be confused with logical topology which
is the method used to pass information between workstations. Logical topology was
discussed in the Protocol chapter .

Main Types of Physical Topologies


The following sections discuss the physical topologies used in networks and other related
topics.

• Linear Bus
• Star
• Star-Wired Ring
• Tree
• Considerations When Choosing a Topology
• Summary Chart

Linear Bus
A linear bus topology consists of a main run of cable with a terminator at each end (See
fig. 1). All nodes (file server, workstations, and peripherals) are connected to the linear
cable. Ethernet and LocalTalk networks use a linear bus topology.

Fig. 1. Linear Bus topology

Advantages of a Linear Bus Topology

• Easy to connect a computer or peripheral to a linear bus.


• Requires less cable length than a star topology.

Disadvantages of a Linear Bus Topology

• Entire network shuts down if there is a break in the main cable.


• Terminators are required at both ends of the backbone cable.
• Difficult to identify the problem if the entire network shuts down.
• Not meant to be used as a stand-alone solution in a large building.

Star
A star topology is designed with each node (file server, workstations, and peripherals)
connected directly to a central network hub or concentrator (See fig. 2).

Data on a star network passes through the hub or concentrator before continuing to its
destination. The hub or concentrator manages and controls all functions of the network. It
also acts as a repeater for the data flow. This configuration is common with twisted pair
cable; however, it can also be used with coaxial cable or fiber optic cable.

Fig. 2. Star topology

Advantages of a Star Topology

• Easy to install and wire.


• No disruptions to the network then connecting or removing devices.
• Easy to detect faults and to remove parts.

Disadvantages of a Star Topology

• Requires more cable length than a linear topology.


• If the hub or concentrator fails, nodes attached are disabled.
• More expensive than linear bus topologies because of the cost of the
concentrators.
The protocols used with star configurations are usually Ethernet or LocalTalk. Token
Ring uses a similar topology, called the star-wired ring.

Star-Wired Ring
A star-wired ring topology may appear (externally) to be the same as a star topology.
Internally, the MAU (multistation access unit) of a star-wired ring contains wiring that
allows information to pass from one device to another in a circle or ring (See fig. 3). The
Token Ring protocol uses a star-wired ring topology.

Tree
A tree topology combines characteristics of linear bus and star topologies. It consists of
groups of star-configured workstations connected to a linear bus backbone cable (See fig.
4). Tree topologies allow for the expansion of an existing network, and enable schools to
configure a network to meet their needs.

Fig. 4. Tree topology

Advantages of a Tree Topology

• Point-to-point wiring for individual segments.


• Supported by several hardware and software venders.

Disadvantages of a Tree Topology


• Overall length of each segment is limited by the type of cabling used.
• If the backbone line breaks, the entire segment goes down.
• More difficult to configure and wire than other topologies.

5-4-3 Rule

A consideration in setting up a tree topology using Ethernet protocol is the 5-4-3 rule.
One aspect of the Ethernet protocol requires that a signal sent out on the network cable
reach every part of the network within a specified length of time. Each concentrator or
repeater that a signal goes through adds a small amount of time. This leads to the rule that
between any two nodes on the network there can only be a maximum of 5 segments,
connected through 4 repeaters/concentrators. In addition, only 3 of the segments may be
populated (trunk) segments if they are made of coaxial cable. A populated segment is one
which has one or more nodes attached to it . In Figure 4, the 5-4-3 rule is adhered to. The
furthest two nodes on the network have 4 segments and 3 repeaters/concentrators
between them.

This rule does not apply to other network protocols or Ethernet networks where all fiber
optic cabling or a combination of a fiber backbone with UTP cabling is used. If there is a
combination of fiber optic backbone and UTP cabling, the rule is simply translated to 7-
6-5 rule.

Considerations When Choosing a Topology:


• Money. A linear bus network may be the least expensive way to install a
network; you do not have to purchase concentrators.
• Length of cable needed. The linear bus network uses shorter lengths of
cable.
• Future growth. With a star topology, expanding a network is easily done
by adding another concentrator.
• Cable type. The most common cable in schools is unshielded twisted pair,
which is most often used with star topologies.

Summary Chart:
Physical Topology Common Cable Common Protocol

Twisted Pair
Ethernet
Linear Bus Coaxial
LocalTalk
Fiber

Twisted Pair Ethernet


Star
Fiber LocalTalk

Star-Wired Ring Twisted Pair Token Ring

Twisted Pair
Tree Coaxial Ethernet
Fiber

Logical Networks versus Physical Networks


A logical network describes how the network operates. A physical network describes how
the network has been cabled. It is thus possible to have a physical star, logical bus
network. In other words, the network operates as a bus network, but the cabling has been
implemented using star topology.

Bus network

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Image showing bus network layout

A bus network is a network architecture in which a set of clients are connected via a
shared communications line, called a bus. There are several common instances of the bus
architecture, including one in the motherboard of most computers, and those in some
versions of Ethernet networks.

Bus networks are the simplest way to connect multiple clients, but often have problems
when two clients want to transmit at the same time on the same bus. Thus systems which
use bus network architectures normally have some scheme of collision handling or
collision avoidance for communication on the bus, quite often using Carrier Sense
Multiple Access or the presence of a bus master which controls access to the shared bus
resource.

A true bus network is passive – the computers on the bus simply listen for a signal; they
are not responsible for moving the signal along. However, many active architectures can
also be described as a "bus", as they provide the same logical functions as a passive bus;
for example, switched Ethernet can still be regarded as a logical bus network, if not a
physical one. Indeed, the hardware may be abstracted away completely in the case of a
software bus.

With the dominance of switched Ethernet over passive Ethernet, passive bus networks are
uncommon in wired networks. However, almost all current wireless networks can be
viewed as examples of passive bus networks, with radio propagation serving as the
shared passive medium.

Contents
[hide]

• 1 Advantages and Disadvantages of a Bus Network


o 1.1 Advantages
o 1.2 Disadvantages
• 2 See also

o 2.1 Other Topologies


[edit] Advantages and Disadvantages of a Bus
Network
[edit] Advantages

• Easy to implement and extend


• Requires less cable length than a star topology
• Well suited for temporary or small networks not requiring high speeds(quick setup)
• Cheaper than other topologies

[edit] Disadvantages

• Difficult to administer/troubleshoot.
• Limited cable length and number of stations.
• If there is a problem with the cable, the entire network goes down.
• Maintenance costs may be higher in the long run.
• Performance degrades as additional computers are added or on heavy traffic.
• Low security (all computers on the bus can see all data transmissions).
• Proper termination is required.(loop must be in closed path).
• If one node fails, the whole network will shut down.
• If many computers are attached, the amount of data flowing causes the network to
slow down.

Mesh networking

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(Redirected from Mesh network)


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Image showing mesh network layout


Mesh networking is a way to route data, voice and instructions between nodes. It allows
for continuous connections and reconfiguration around broken or blocked paths by
"hopping" from node to node until the destination is reached. A mesh network whose
nodes are all connected to each other is a fully connected network. Mesh networks differ
from other networks in that the component parts can all connect to each other via
multiple hops, and they generally are not mobile. Mobile ad-hoc networking (MANET),
featured in many consumer devices, is a subsection of mesh networking.

Mesh networks are self-healing: the network can still operate even when a node breaks
down or a connection goes bad. As a result, a very reliable network is formed. This
concept is applicable to wireless networks, wired networks, and software interaction.

There are three distinct generations of wireless mesh architectures. In the first generation
one radio provides both backhaul (packet relaying) and client services (access to a
laptop). In the second generation, one radio relayed packets over multiple hops while
another provided client access. This significantly improved backhaul bandwidth and
latency. Third generation wireless mesh products use two or more radios for the backhaul
for higher bandwidth and low latency. Third generation mesh products are replacing
previous generation products as more demanding applications like voice and video need
to be relayed wirelessly over many hops of the mesh network.

An MIT project developing Children's Machines for under-privileged schools in


developing nations plans to use mesh networking to create a robust and inexpensive
infrastructure for the students who will receive the laptops. The instantaneous
connections made by the laptops are claimed by the project to reduce the need for an
external infrastructure such as the internet to reach all areas, because a connected node
could share the connection with nodes nearby. A technology similar to the one used in the
Children's Machines is available for use on netgear/x86/Meraki nodes. See roofnet.

In Cambridge, UK, on the 3rd June 2006, mesh networking was used at the "Strawberry
Fair" to run mobile live television, radio and internet services to an estimated 80,000
people.

The Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network (CUWiN) project is developing


mesh networking software based on open source implementations of the Hazy-Sighted
Link State Routing Protocol and Expected Transmission Count metric.

Ring network

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Ring network:
A ring network is a topology of computer networks where each node is connected to two
other nodes, so as to create a ring. Ring networks tend to be inefficient when compared to
Star networks because data must travel through more points before reaching its
destination. For example, if a given ring network has eight computers on it, to get from
computer one to computer four, data must travel from computer one, through computers
two and three, and to its destination at computer four. It could also go from computer one
through eight, seven, six, and five until reaching four, but this method is slower because it
travels through more computers. Ring networks also carry the disadvantage that if one of
the nodes in the network breaks down then the entire network will break down with it as
it requires a full circle in order to function. The token ring network is a ring topology
only at the logical level, it runs on a physical Star network, using central devices called
MSAUs or MAUs.

Advantages Disadvantages

Data packets must pass through every computer


Data is quickly transferred without a
between the sender and recipient Therefore this
‘bottle neck’.
makes it slower.

The transmission of data is relatively


If any of the nodes fail then the ring is broken
simple as packets travel in one
and data cannot be transmitted successfully.
direction only.

Adding additional nodes has very little


It is difficult to troubleshoot the ring.
impact on bandwidth

It prevents network collisions because Because all stations are wired together, to add a
of the media access method or station you must shut down the network
architecture required. temporarily.

Star network

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Star network layout

Star networks are one of the most common computer network topologies. In its simplest
form, a star network consists of one central switch, hub or computer which acts as a
router to transmit messages. If the central node is passive, the originating node must be
able to tolerate the reception of an echo of its own transmission, delayed by the two-way
transmission time (i.e. to and from the central node) plus any delay generated in the
central node. An active star network has an active central node that usually has the means
to prevent echo-related problems.

The star topology reduces the chance of network failure by connecting all of the systems
to a central node. When applied to a bus-based network, this central hub rebroadcasts all
transmissions received from any peripheral node to all peripheral nodes on the network,
sometimes including the originating node. All peripheral nodes may thus communicate
with all others by transmitting to, and receiving from, the central node only. The failure
of a transmission line linking any peripheral node to the central node will result in the
isolation of that peripheral node from all others, but the rest of the systems will be
unaffected.

Strictly speaking only networks that use switches have a true star topology. If the network
uses a hub, the network topology has the physical appearance of a star, but is actually a
bus.

[edit] Advantages
• Good performance.
• Easy to set up and to expand.
• Any non-centralised failure will have very little effect on the network, whereas on a
ring network it would all fail with one fault.
• Easy to detect faults
• Data Packets are sent quickly as they do not have to travel through any unnecessary
nodes.

[edit] Disadvantages
• Expensive to install
• Extra hardware required
• If the host computer fails the entire system is affected.