Networking Topology and Wiring
November 3, 2014
Networking Topology and Wiring
The following paper will give the audience a general idea of what network topologies are. A brief description will be given of each network topology explaining the difference between each one and the use of these different topologies in health care organizations. The size of an organization will determine which network topology is best suited for that particular organization. In order to understand the proper network topology to choose for an organization, one must have general knowledge of past and current network topologies. “Network Topology refers to the layout of a network and how different nodes, peripherals, and links in a network are arranged or connected to each other and how they communicate to computers through devices such as, switches, routers, or hubs (Beal, 2011).” In the past there were many different network topologies to choose from, but since networking solutions has become simpler and more cost efficient, some of these topologies have become obsolete due to the complexity and its high cost. Network topologies describes the layout and interconnection of a computer system network, which consist of the physical topology and the logical topology. “The arrangement of cabling and how cables connect one device to another in a network are considered the network’s physical topology, and the path data travels between computers on a network is considered the network’s logical topology (Tomsho, 2011, Chapter 3).” Although there are many network topologies that an organization can choose from, there are five common topologies that are used today. These network topologies include star topology, tree topology, ring topology, bus topology, and mesh topology. All of today’s current design networks are configured to one of these five network topologies. The name of each topology basically describes the layout and design of each network and how the cabling is interconnected to each computer and that is what makes each network topology different from the other topologies. The star topology network is connected by a hub in which communication is made throughout the network to a local area network (LAN). The advantage of using the star topology network is if one node malfunctions it does not affect the rest of the network. The biggest disadvantage to the star topology is failure with the main computer, which can make the whole network unusable. There is also the extended star topology which is also known as the hierarchical star. “The extended star can be used to connect many computers, with the central device running at a very fast speed to shuttle data between the LAN’s outer stars (Tomsho, 2011, Chapter 3).” The tree topology network also referred to as the hybrid topology is a cross between the star and bus topologies which is connected to one main hub. The advantage of the tree topology is that it is a great choice for vast networks because a tree topology network divides the entire network into sections that makes it more feasible to manage. The disadvantage to the tree topology is that it is controlled by one main hub and if that hub has a failure, the entire network can be affected. The ring topology network is used for LANs through fiber technology and the cable is formed in a ring which allows data to pass about the circle. The advantage of a ring topology network is that it can cover larger areas than any other network. The bus topology network are used for LANs and connects computers to each other with a main Ethernet cabling, which is a better choice for smaller networks. The advantage of the bus topology is that the installation is easy by just adding more cable to connect more computers. The disadvantage of the bus topology is if there is a break in the Ethernet cable it will shut the whole network down making it difficult to find the problem. The mesh topology network has many interconnections within the network that connects all nodes together. The advantage of mesh topology is that data can be communicated by varying devices at the same time. The disadvantage of the mesh topology is that installation is tough and the upkeep is very expensive. There are factors that must be considered when choosing the best network topology for an organization. “Factors to be taken into consideration while choosing a network topology should be the scale of your project (in terms of number of components to be connected); the amount of traffic expected on the network; budget allotted for the network i.e. amount of money you are willing to invest; and the required response time (“AthenaHealth” , 2011).” The size of a health care organization will also have an effect on the choice of topology networks. For example, the star topology are great choices for larger organizations because they use central to connect networks, and the bus topology is great for smaller organizations because it uses cabling to connect networks. In concluding this paper, it is best to consider the organization’s infrastructure and its size along with whether the network design will be a peer to peer or database structure to determine the right network topology.
AthenaHealth. (2011). Retrieved from http://athenahealth.com/2011/05/network-topology-types-of-network.html Beal, Vangie. (2011). Webopedia. Retrieved from http://www.webopedia.com/DidYouKnow/Hardware_Software/mesh_topology.html Tomsho, G. (2011). Guide to networking essentials (6th Ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.