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Network Plus 2005

Network Plus 2005

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Published by: John on Jan 07, 2013
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10/14/2013

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A network’s basic structure, or topology, refers to its physical layout, design, map,
scheme, or diagram. As a network professional, you will need to know how to choose the
network topology that will best suit the needs of your network. The type and capabilities
of the equipment that will be used, future growth needs, and how a network will be
managed are all potential problems that need to be considered when planning a network.

Setting up a network requires more than just cabling the computers together. Different
topologies have different cabling requirements. NICs, (Network Interface Cards, also
called Network Adapter Cards), connectors, how the computers will talk to each other
(protocols), and even how the cabling is run through a building, are all determined by the
topology used.

There are three standard topologies that a network professional needs to understand:

• Bus Topology

• Star Topology

• Ring Topology
Bus Topology

The simplest and probably the most used form of network topologies is the Bus topology
(sometimes called a linear bus). The nodes (computers or devices connected to the
network) are all connected along a single cable. This cable is called a trunk, backbone, or
segment.

Devices on a Bus topology communicate by sending data to a specific address on the
network (a device’s address). An electronic signal is sent out on the cable to all of the
devices connected on the network. However, only the device whose address matches the
address encoded in the signal will respond to the signal.

Only one computer at a time can transmit data on a Bus network or signals will collide
and the transmission will fail. This means that the more computers that are connected to a
Bus the slower the network becomes as devices are waiting to transmit or retransmit.

The Bus topology is a passive topology. Devices only listen for data being transmitted,
they do not move the transmissions along. The signal is sent out on the cable and it
travels from one end of the cable to the other. If not prevented, the signal would travel
back and forth along the cable and cause what is known as signal bounce. While the
signal is bouncing back and forth, it prevents other devices from sending data. To stop
signal bounce, a component called a terminator is installed at each end of the cable. A
terminator absorbs the signal and stops signal bounce.

In a Bus network, if the cable breaks, the network will go down and devices will not be
able to communicate with each other.

Network + Training & Test Preparation Guide

Specialized Solutions, Inc.

22

Star Topology

In a Star topology, all devices are connected to a central point called a hub. It requires a
lot more cable than the Bus topology, but the advantage is that if one computer (or the
cable that connects one computer to the hub) goes down, the rest of the network will still
continue to function. If the hub fails, however, the entire network will go down.

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