Network Topology

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Network Topologies

Week 6

Management of Information Systems

There are three primary types of network topologies, which refer to the physical and logical layout of the network cabling. They are the bus, star and ring. Bus and star are the most widely used for Ethernet networks and ring is used for token ring networks. The topology is the networks virtual shape or structure. The shape, ring, bus or star, does not necessarily correspond to the actual physical layout of the devices.

The "bus" topology uses a common cable, or backbone to connect all of the networks devices together. The single cable acts like a shared communication medium that all of the network devices tap into with an interface connector.

Any device that wants to communicate, or talk with another device on the network it sends a message onto the cables that all of the other devices are connected to. The actual recipient is the only device that sees and accepts the message and the processes it.

A common problem with the bus topology has is if too many computers are connected to the bus network performance problems can occur. Also, if the backbone cable fails, the entire network shuts down. However, it is less expensive that other network topologies and better for smaller networks.

The "ring topology" has two neighbors for every device for communication purposes. All of the messages travel in the same direction, either clock wise or counterclockwise. Each device processes and retransmits the signal, so it is capable of supporting many devices.

The ring topology operates in a very orderly manner because every device has unrestricted access to the system. This allows the ring topology to operate on larger networks. The downside to the ring topology is if one malfunctioning computer can bring down the entire topology.

The "star" topology network uses a central connection point called a central "hub". The hub can be a switch or a router. Every device on the star topology...
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