MMT111 Lesson 10 Network Topology Network Topology In communication networks, a topology is a usually schematic description of the arrangement of a network

, including its nodes and connecting lines. There are two ways of defining network geometry: 1. 2. Physical topology Logical (or signal) topology.

Physical Topology The physical topology of a network is the actual geometric layout of workstations. Logical Topology It is the arrangement of devices on a computer network and how they communicate with one another. Logical (or signal) topology refers to the nature of the paths the signals follow from node to node. In many instances, the logical topology is the same as the physical topology. But this is not always the case. For example, some networks are physically laid out in a star configuration, but they operate logically as bus or ring networks. Physical Topologies Bus Topology In the bus network topology, every workstation is connected to a main cable called the bus (backbone or trunk). Therefore, in effect, each workstation is directly connected to every other workstation in the network. A bus network is an arrangement in a local area network (LAN) in which each node (workstation or other device) is connected to a main cable or link called the bus. A bus network is simple and reliable. If one node fails to operate, all the rest can still communicate with each other. A signal from the source is broadcasted and it travels to all workstations connected to bus cable.

Advantages (benefits) of Linear Bus Topology 1) It is easy to set-up and extend bus network. 2) Cable length required for this topology is the least compared to other networks. 3) Bus topology costs very less. 4) Linear Bus network is mostly used in small networks. Good for LAN. Disadvantages (Drawbacks) of Linear Bus Topology 1) There is a limit on central cable length and number of nodes that can be connected. 2) Dependency on central cable in this topology has its disadvantages. If the main cable (i.e. bus ) encounters some problem, whole network breaks down. 3) It is not suitable for networks with heavy traffic. 4) Security is very low because all the computers receive the sent signal from the source. Star Topology A star network is a local area network (LAN) in which all nodes (workstations or other devices) are directly connected to a common central computer. Every workstation is indirectly connected to every other through the central computer. In some star networks, the central computer can also operate as a workstation.


In a star network, a cable failure will isolate the workstation that it links to the central computer, but only that workstation will be isolated. All the other workstations will continue to function normally, except that they will not be able to communicate with the isolated workstation. If any workstation goes down, none of the other workstations will be affected. But if the central computer goes down, the entire network will suffer degraded performance or complete failure. Advantages of Star Topology 1) As compared to Bus topology it gives far much better performance, signals don’t necessarily get transmitted to all the workstations 2) Easy to connect new nodes or devices. In star topology new nodes can be added easily without affecting rest of the network. Similarly components can also be removed easily. 3) Centralized management. It helps in monitoring the network. 4) Failure of one node or link doesn’t affect the rest of network. At the same time it is easy to detect the failure and troubleshoot it. Disadvantages of Star Topology 1) Too much dependency on central device has its own drawbacks. If it fails whole network goes down. 2) The use of hub, a router or a switch as central device increases the overall cost of the network. 3) Performance and as well number of nodes which can be added in such topology is depended on capacity of central device. Ring Topology In the ring network topology, the workstations are connected in a closed loop configuration. Adjacent pairs of workstations are directly connected. Other pairs of workstations are indirectly connected, the data passing through one or more intermediate nodes. A break in the cable of a ring network may result in degraded data speed between pairs of workstations for which the data path is increased as a result of the break. If two breaks occur and they are not both in the same section of cable, some workstations will be cut off from some of the others. Advantages of Ring Topology 1) This type of network topology is very organized. Each node gets to send the data when it receives an empty token. This helps to reduces chances of collision. Also in ring topology all the traffic flows in only one direction at very high speed. 2) Even when the load on the network increases, its performance is better than that of Bus topology. 3) There is no need for network server to control the connectivity between workstations. 4) Additional components do not affect the performance of network. 5) Each computer has equal access to resources.

Disadvantages of Ring Topology 1) Each packet of data must pass through all the computers between source and destination. This makes it slower than Star topology. 2) If one workstation or port goes down, the entire network gets affected. 3) Network is highly dependent on the wire which connects different components. 4) (Media Access Unit) MAU’s and network cards are expensive as compared to Ethernet cards and hubs. Mesh Topology


The mesh network topology employs either of two schemes, called full mesh and partial mesh. In the full mesh topology, each workstation is connected directly to each of the others. In the partial mesh topology, some workstations are connected to all the others, and some are connected only to those other nodes with which they exchange the most data. A mesh network is reliable and offers redundancy. If one node can no longer operate, all the rest can still communicate with each other, directly or through one or more intermediate nodes. Mesh networks work well when the nodes are located at scattered points that do not lie near a common line. The chief drawback of the mesh topology is expense, because of the large number of cables and connections required. In some scenarios, a ring network or star network may prove more cost effective than a mesh network. If all the nodes lie near a common line, the bus network topology is often the best alternative in terms of cost. Advantages of Mesh topology 1) Data can be transmitted from different devices simultaneously. This topology can withstand high traffic. 2) Even if one of the components fails there is always an alternative present. So data transfer doesn’t get affected. 3) Expansion and modification in topology can be done without disrupting other nodes. Disadvantages of Mesh topology 1) There are high chances of redundancy in many of the network connections. 2) Overall cost of this network is way too high as compared to other network topologies. 3) Set-up and maintenance of this topology is very difficult. Even administration of the network is tough. Tree Topology The tree network topology uses two or more star networks connected together. The central computers of the star networks are connected to a main bus. Thus, a tree network is a bus network of star networks. The tree network topology is ideal when the workstations are located in groups, with each group occupying a relatively small physical region. An example is a university campus in which each building has its own star network, and all the central computers are linked in a campus-wide system. Advantages of Tree Topology 1. It is an extension of Star and bus Topologies, so in networks where these topologies can't be implemented individually for reasons related to scalability, tree topology is the best alternative. 2. Expansion of Network is possible and easy. 3. Here, we divide the whole network into segments (star networks), which can be easily managed and maintained. 4. Error detection and correction is easy. 5. Each segment is provided with dedicated point-to-point wiring to the central hub. 6. If one segment is damaged, other segments are not affected.

Disadvantages of Tree Topology 1. Because of its basic structure, tree topology, relies heavily on the main bus cable, if it breaks whole network is crippled. 2. As more and more nodes and segments are added, the maintenance becomes difficult. 3. Scalability of the network depends on the type of cable used.