Network Topologies

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Network Topologies
Network topologies are an important part of the network. Without the proper topology, the network may not meet the needs of the organization. The layout of a network is referred to as the topology. How nodes in a network are connected to each other and communicate is determined by the topology. There are three basic topologies with several typical variations, or combinations. A description of four topologies follows. Mesh Topology

Mesh topology is the first topology discussed. In a mesh topology, the devices are connected with many redundant interconnections between nodes. Each device in the mesh topology is connected to every other device in the network. The mesh topology is the most expensive to implement but is also the most fault tolerant (Johnson, Tittel, and Tomsho, 2004). If any one cable or device within the mesh topology network fails, performance is not affected because of the multiple connections to other devices. Bus Topology

When every workstation is connected to a main cable (bus), this is referred to as the bus topology. The bus topology has one common cable connection, also called the "backbone", to connect all the devices of the network. The single "backbone" acts as a shared communication medium that have other devices attached to it or tapped into it with a connector. The bus topology is the most commonly used topology and offers many benefits, but is a little outdated. Using the bus topology, any computer can be accessed directly and messages sent in a simple and fast way. The bus topology is simple and reliable, and the cabling is inexpensive and easy to work with. Disadvantages to the bus topology include; heavy traffic slows down the network, a scheduler is needed to assign frequencies and priorities to control the traffic, and any broken cable can bring down the entire network. Ring Topology

With a ring topology, each node is connected to two other nodes to create a "ring". Data travels around the ring until it...
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