Network Topology | Star Topology, Bus Topology, Ring Topology, Hierarchical Topology

Topology characterizes the physical arrangement of computers within a network. Networks can be structured in diverse ways, such as: Types of Network Topology: Star Topology Bus Topology Ring Topology Hierarchical Topology Star Network: In this configuration, multiple small computers link to a central resource, often termed a host computer or file server. The star arrangement […]

Topology characterizes the physical arrangement of computers within a network. Networks can be structured in diverse ways, such as:

Types of Network Topology:

  1. Star Topology
  2. Bus Topology
  3. Ring Topology
  4. Hierarchical Topology

Star Network:

In this configuration, multiple small computers link to a central resource, often termed a host computer or file server. The star arrangement is common for connecting microcomputers to a mainframe, establishing a time-sharing system. This design offers heightened security as communication between workstations transpires through the central node (servers).

Advantages of Star Topology:

  1. High reliability; failure of a node or cable does not disrupt other nodes.
  2. Easy addition of new nodes without major impact on network performance.
  3. Performance relies on the central hub’s capacity, with minimal impact from added nodes.
  4. Centralized management simplifies network monitoring.
  5. Simple and cost-effective installation and upgrading to a switch.

Disadvantages of Star Topology:

  1. Network failure if the server or server link falters.
  2. Added devices (hubs/switches) increase overall costs.
  3. Node addition contingent on central device capacity.
  4. Reconfiguration, fault isolation, and device installation can be complex.

Bus Topology:

A shared cable links all network computers. The cable is typically terminated at each end, with one or more stations acting as the file server. Ethernet is an example of a bus system.

Advantages of Bus Network:

  1. Simple and economical installation.
  2. Suitable for temporary networks.
  3. One node failure doesn’t affect the rest of the network.
  4. Nodes can be attached/detached flexibly.
  5. Troubleshooting is easier compared to ring topology.

Ring Network:

Workstations are connected in a ring-like arrangement using a single network cable. Ring networks offer less security, as data for a specific machine might traverse other machines before reaching its destination.

Advantages of Ring Network:

  1. Orderly network with token-based access, reducing collision likelihood.
  2. Equal resource access for each node.
  3. Additional components don’t notably impact network performance.
  4. Easy installation and reconfiguration.

Disadvantages of Ring Network:

  1. Challenging to troubleshoot; failure location can be hard to identify.
  2. Adding/changing/moving nodes can disrupt the network.
  3. All nodes must be active for communication.
  4. Network failure if any cable or workstation malfunctions.

Hierarchical Network:

A specialized bus topology wherein terminals resemble branches on a tree. Extending the network is straightforward, and failure of a branch can be easily rectified.

Advantages of Hierarchical Network:

  1. Network remains unaffected by segment failure.
  2. Easy expansion capability.

Disadvantages:

  1. Heavily reliant on hub; hub failure affects the entire system.
  2. Maintenance is challenging, leading to higher costs.

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