The Network Topology is basically the layout of the computer network. It describes the arrangement of the connections and nodes in the network.
Different types of Network Topology – Network Topology Advantages and Disadvantages
Different variation of network topologies is appropriate for different kinds of situations. The benefits and drawbacks of the network topologies varies depending on the types. Below, we will acknowledge you a brief breakdown various types of network topology along with their pros and cons on different situations.
1. Bus Network Topology
The bus topology is one of the most used and reliable topologies in the computer network. In the bus topology, all the computer devices of the network linked to the system via a single cable line. The cable runs for one end to another end of the network in a straight line. Because of such properties, bus topology is also identified as line topology by some peoples.
Typically, data in the bus terminal network is conveyed in one route only. The bus topology or line topology can be called linear bus topology when it has two endpoints. Coaxial or RJ45 cables are used to link devices in the bus topology, and it may be used for smaller networks. However, topology is considered outdated, and you may not see it anywhere nowadays.
Advantages of Bus Network Topology:
Bus topology can be an excellent choice for smaller networks. The simple connection of the bus topology ensures the layout will be hassle-free. As all devices in the system are connected through one cable, the users don’t need to go through the hassle of setting up the other complex topologies.
As all the devices are connected through one cable and setting up is simple, the bus topology is considered as the most cost-effective type of topology. The devices can also be removed if required without hampering the connection. More so, you can add additional devices by simply adding a new cable.
Disadvantages of Bus Topology:
The bus topology may be the mildest form of topology but arrives with several problems. It has a single point of failure as all the devices are connected to one cable. That means a single failure will stop the operation of multiple devices. More so, fixing the issue will require a lot of time and effort to resume the network. Another problem with the one cable-based system is the network performance will be decreased by high network traffic due to high data intervals.
The more nodes you will have in the bus topology, the slower the data transmission will. More so, the bus topology is half-duplex, which means data can only be transmitted in one way. It is not possible to send data in two directions simultaneously in the network system. As a result, the bus topology is suitable for smaller networks.
2 Ring Network Topology
As the name suggests, the ring topology connects the devices in a circle. As the devices are connected in a circular path, one computer in the network will be connected with two other computers. Ring topology is also sometimes called the ring network. Ring topology was once used in a large order, but you will hardly find the network nowadays in any enterprise.
In the ring topology, one device is connected with another device to form the link loop. As a result, data need to travel through a long path and all the nodes to reach their destination. A node in the ring topology is selected to configure and control the devices in the network. Generally, the ring topology is half-duplex, but you can also turn it into full-duplex. You will require two cables connected to all the devices in a circle to form a ring topology.
A ring topology is called dual ring topology is they are bidirectional or form two loops of cable. The two-wire goes around the opposite direction so that data can travel through both clockwise and anticlockwise directions.
Advantages of Ring Topology:
The most significant advantage of the ring topology is there are very low risks of packet collision in the network. That is because of the use of a token-based protocol. It makes sure that one station is transmitting the data at a given period. That means data can travel through the nodes at a very high speed.
The dual ring topologies offer another excellent benefit. It ensures an extra layer of protection as they are highly resistant to failure. If one node or device in the ring topology goes down, other nodes in the ring can still run and keep the network functional. Another great benefit of the ring topology is they are very cost-effective to install.
Disadvantages of the Ring Topology:
The ring topology is not that used nowadays. That is because they are very vulnerable to network failure. In the typical ring topology, the failure of one device can take down the entire network. As a result, the ring topology needs to be managed with more care to ensure that all the nodes are operational. Even when the ring topology is appropriately managed, it can still go offline because of the transmission line failure.
It is also quite hard to make any changes in the ring topology. You need to turn off the whole network if you want to make any change in the existing device or add new devices. As a result, the ring topology is not that suitable for the current networks as they require frequent adjustments.
3. Star Network Topology
The star topology is wholly different from the ring and bus topology. The idea of the star topology is based on a central switch. In the network, the devices or nodes are operated individually, and they are personally connected to the central switch. The primary switch in the system works as a server when the connected devices are treated as clients.
The central switch in the star topology works as the manager, and it is responsible for managing the transmission of data in the whole network system. The switch also works as a repeater. Different types of cable, including optical fiber cable, twisted pair, or coaxial cable, can be used in the star topology.
Advantages of Star Topology:
The star topology is one of the most used networks used in any situation. It allows you to use the whole system from sitting at one location, which is the central switch. One of the remarkable things about the star topology is if one device goes down, then nothing will happen to the other devices in the network. The network will continue to operate even if one or multiple devices fail in the system. Such properties give the star topology better protection against failure.
The star topology also allows you to add new devices without affecting or turning off the whole network. Another notable thing about the star topology is you will require fewer cables in this type of system. As a result, you can easily manage and set up the system in the long-term. More so, the simple design of the network makes it pretty easy for administration and troubleshooting any issues.
Disadvantages of Star Topology:
One issue about the star topology is the entire network can be affected or go down if there are any problems in the central switch. More so, the performance of the whole system also depends on the switch’s performance and configuration. As a result, it is crucial to take proper measures to ensure the health of the central switch to make sure it stays online. It is pretty easy to manage the star topology, but it arrives with a higher cost of set up.
4. Tree Network Topology
As the name says, the tree topology structure is shaped like a tree and branches. In this variant of topology, all the nodes are connected to a node which is connected to other groups of nodes. In the tree topology, the hierarchy is like a parent-child, and there is only one mutual connection between two nodes. There must be a three hierarchy level in the tree topology. The tree topology is vastly used in the area network where the devices are very spread-out.
Advantages of Tree Topology:
The tree topology is generally used to extend the width of the star topology and bus topology. As it arrives with a hierarchy format, you can easily add multiple nodes in the network as required. The structure of the tree topology also allows you to find the errors and solve them easily. It is possible as you can check for the issues systemically in the structure.
Disadvantages of Tree Topology:
One of the most significant disadvantages of a tree topology is the root node. A failure in the root node means all the hierarchy will be partitioned. However, there will be a partial connection in the devices which are in the same class. Though maintaining the network is typically easy, but it will become difficult with the increase of the nodes.
Another issue with the tree topology is you will need a large number of cable for networking. The cables are required in large quantities to connect the trees, subtrees, nodes. As a result, it is pretty complicated when compared with the ring topology and star topology.
5. Mesh Network Topology
The mesh topology is where the devices are interconnected with point-to-point connections. In the mesh topology, data can be transferred in two ways, which are flooding and routing. Routing is the procedure where data find out the shortest distance to reach the packet’s destination. On the other hand, the data is sent to different nodes of the network without any routing algorithm.
The mesh topology can be divided into two forms, which are full mesh topology and partial mesh topology. In case you don’t know, the partial mesh is a process where most of the devices in the network are connected with each other, but only few of them are connected to two or three nodes. In the full mesh topology, the nodes are fully interconnected with each other.
Advantages of Mesh Topology:
The biggest benefit of the mesh topology is they are highly reliable. As all the nodes are connected, they are very resistant to any type of failure. Failure in the single devices will not cause any issues in the connection of the other devices. There are also no chances of compromise in the setup of the mesh topology.
Disadvantages of Mesh Topology:
As we said earlier, the devices are interconnected in the mesh topology, which means it requires a vast amount of configuration to make the network ready. The layout of the system is very complicated when compared with the other topologies. It is also costly than different topologies.
6. Hybrid Network Topology
A hybrid Network topology is when two or more different topologies are connected to form a network. This type of topology is now more popular in large corporations as they offer the best value. In a big office, there can be different departments who may find suitable separate topologies suitable for their operation. A hybrid topology will be formed after connecting the different topologies. The strength of the hybrid topology primarily depends on the connected networks.
Advantages of Hybrid Topology
One of the benefits of the hybrid topology is it is incredibly flexible. More so, the hybrid topology is highly customizable, and there are no specific classifications of it. The same properties also make the type of topology while scalable and suitable for more extensive networks. As a result, any big corporation can create a hybrid topology that will offer them the best value while being cost-effective.
Disadvantages of Hybrid Topology
Though the hybrid topology offers immense flexibility and stability, it can be pretty complicated, depending on your preferred topologies. More so, as there will be different types of topology in the network, you will need to manage the specific topology accordingly by meeting its unique requirements. Asa result, administrating the hybrid topology is difficult, and it may require multiple administrators to manage the network efficiently. The hybrid topology is pretty expensive to set up and manage.
Before you set up a computer network, it is imperative to be acknowledged about different types of computer topology and their characteristics. Now, you have known about different types of topology, and you should be able to select the suitable topology as per your preference easily. Hopefully, the information given will be helpful for you.