Network Hardware


Types of Network Topologies

Bus Star

Ring Mesh


Bus Topology

1. A Bus Topology Network uses a long cable , called the BACKBONE 2. PC¶s are connected to the BACKBONE with Small Cables ( called DROP Cables ) using T-Connectors & BNC connectors . 3. To avoid Signal- Bouncing , the backbone is ³Terminated´ both ends 4. BUS is a Passive Topology as there are no Active electronics to amplify the signal in this type of Network

Bus Topology
1. Ethernet 10Base2 is a common Network ( Thinnet ) BUS topology

Ethernet 10Base5 is known as Thicknet . 2. 3. Cables used are Thick & Thin Co-Axial cable Segment length is 185 metres for Thin Co-axial Cable ( RG-58 )& 500 metres for Thick Co-Axial Cable ( RG-11 ) Bandwidth is 10 MBPS To increase the segment length REPEATERS are used .

4. 5.

Advantages of BUS Topology
1. 2. The bus is simple, reliable in very small networks, easy to use & install , and easy to understand. The bus requires the least amount of cable to connect the computers together and is therefore less expensive than other cabling arrangements. It is easy to extend a bus. Two cables can be joined into one longer cable with a BNC barrel connector, making a longer cable and allowing more computers to join the network. A repeater can also be used to extend a bus; a repeater boosts the signal and allows it to travel a longer distance.



Disadvantages of BUS Topology
1. If there is any breakage in the BUS the whole network is down . It is difficult to troubleshoot a bus. A cable break or malfunctioning computer anywhere between two computers can cause them not to be able to communicate with each other. A cable break or loose connector will also cause reflections and bring down the whole network, causing all network activity to stop.



Star Topology


Star Topology

In a star topology, all the cables run from the computers to a central location, where they are all connected by a device called a hub. Stars are used in concentrated networks, where the endpoints are directly reachable from a central location; when network expansion is expected; and when the greater reliability of a star topology is needed.


How a Star Network Works
Each computer on a star network communicates with a central hub that resends the message either to all the computers (in a broadcast star network) or only to the destination computer (in a switched star network). An active hub regenerates the electrical signal and sends it to all the computers connected to it. This type of hub is often called a multiport repeater. Active hubs and switches require electrical power to run. Ethernet 10baseT is a popular network based on the star topology.

Advantages of STAR Topology

It is easy to modify and add new computers to a star network without disturbing the rest of the network. Provides centralized monitoring and management of the network. Single computer failures do not necessarily bring down the whole star Network.


Disadvantages of STAR Topology

If the central hub fails, the whole network fails to operate.

It costs more to cable a star network because all network cables must be pulled to one central point, requiring more cable than other networking topologies.


RING Topology
In a ring topology, each computer is connected to the next computer, with the last one connected to the first.


How a Ring Network Works
1. No terminators read.

2. Signals travels around the loop in one direction and passes through each computer .

3. It is an Active topology , because , each PC acts as a repeater to boost the signal to the next PC.

4. Because the signal passes through each PC , the failure of one PC can impact the entire network .

How a Ring Network Works (Cont.)
5. One method of Transmitting data around the Ring is called Token passing. 6. The sending PC modifies the Token by putting electronic address on the data and sends it around the Ring . 7. The data passes through each PC until it finds the actual destination address PC that is encoded with the data . 8.The receiving PC returns a message to the sending PC indicating the receipt of data . After the acknowledgement is recd by the sending PC , it creates a new token and releases it on the network . FDDI is a fast fiber-optic network based on the ring topology.

Advantages of RING Topology

Because every computer is given equal access to the token, no one computer can monopolize the network. The fair sharing of the network allows the network to degrade gracefully (continue to function in a useful, if slower, manner rather than fail once capacity is exceeded) as more users are added.


Advantages of RING Topology

Failure of one computer on the ring can affect the whole network. It is difficult to troubleshoot a ring network. Adding or removing computers disrupts the network.


Mesh Topology
For 5 devices -------a 4+3+2+1 = 10 concatenations Advantage : 1. Extremely fault tolerant

Disadvantage: 1. Very Complex to install & troubleshoot 2. High Cabling cost.


Considerations When Choosing a Topology: 

Money. A linear bus network may be the least expensive way to install a network; you do not have to purchase concentrators. 

Length of cable needed. The linear bus network uses shorter lengths of cable. 

Future growth. With a star topology, expanding a network is easily
done by adding another concentrator. 

Cable type. The most common cable in schools is unshielded
twisted pair, which is most often used with star topologies.

Summary Chart




Types of Network Media

1. Cable Media 2. Wireless Media


Cable Media: 1. 2. 3. Coaxial Twisted Pair Fiber-optic

Wireless Media : 1. 2. 3. Radio frequency Microwave Infrared

Co-axial Cable (Commonly called ³Coax´) is made of Two conductors that common axis , hence the name (³ co,´ ³axis´ ). Typically the center of the cable is relatively stiff solid copper wire or stranded wire incased in insulating plastic foam . The foam is surrounded by the second conductor , a wire meshed tube ( Some include conductive foil wrap ), which serves as a shield from EMI. A tuff, insulating plastic tube forms the cover of the cable .


Types of Coaxial Cable:

1.Thin Ethernet 2.Thick Ethernet 3. Arc net


Comparison between types of Co-axial Cables Co-


Thin Ethernet

Thick Ethernet

Arc net

Cable Code Terminator value

RG-58 50 Ohm

RG-8,RG-11 50 Ohm

RG-62 93 Ohm

Segment Length

185 Mts.

500 Mts.


Connectors used




Data transmission rate

10 Mbps

10 Mbps

2.5 Mbps



Bus Confidential


2. Twisted Pair

Twisted pair cable uses one or more pairs of two twisted Copper wires. The twists in twisted - pair cable decrease cross talk because radiated signals from the twisted wires tend to cancel each other out. Types of twisted-pair cables: 1. UTP 2. STP


1. UTP (Unshielded twisted pair) 2. UTP cable consists of four pairs of twisted solid copper wires. All four pairs are colour coded and is encased in a plastic outer casing. Normally category 3 and 5 (commonly known as CAT-3 & CAT-5) are used for computer networks . CAT-3 is meant for data transmission rate of 10 Mbps whereas CAT-5 is meant for upto 100 Mbps. Connectors used is RJ ± 45. Topology is Physical STAR- Logical BUS

Categories of Unshielded Twisted Pair


2. STP (Shielded twisted pair) STP has two pairs of color coded conductors wrapped in a foil shielding above this shielding a plastic encasement is provided. STP cables are made for upto 155 Mbps data transmission rate.


3. Fiber optic
Fiber optic cable is made of light-conducting glass or plastic core surrounded by more glass called Cladding, and a tuff outer sheet . The centre core provides the light path or wave-guide while the cladding is composed of varying layers of reflective glass. The Glass cladding is designed to refract light back in to the core. Each core and cladding strand is surrounded by a tight or loose sheath . Current fiber optic technologies allow data rates from 100 Mbps to 2 Gbps. Connectors used is ST connectors Two types of fiber optic cables are available 1. Single-mode fiber ( Segment length = 40 Kms.) 2. Multi-mode fiber ( Segment length = 2 Kms.)

SMF (Single-mode Fiber) 

Narrow core through which laser-generated light travels over one path, reflecting very little 

Accommodates high bandwidths and long distances 



MMF (Multimode Fiber) 
Benefits over copper cabling:  Nearly unlimited throughput 

Very high resistance to noise 

Excellent security 

Ability to carry signals for much longer distances before
requiring repeaters than copper cable 

Industry standard for high-speed networking

MMF (continued) 
Throughput: transmission rates exceed 10 Gigabits per

Cost: most expensive transmission medium  Connector: 10 different types of connectors  Typically use ST or SC connectors  Noise immunity: unaffected by EMI  Size and scalability: segment lengths vary from
150 to 40,000 meters 

Optical loss: degradation of light signal after it travels a
certain distance away from its source


Cable Design and Management 
Cable plant: hardware making up enterprise-wide cabling

Structured cabling: TIA/EIA¶s 568 Commercial Building
Wiring Standard 

Entrance facilities point where building¶s internal cabling
plant begins 

Demarcation point: division between service carrier¶s
network and internal network 

Backbone wiring: interconnection between
telecommunications closets, equipment rooms, and entrance facilities

Cable Design and Management (continued) 

Structured cabling (continued):  Equipment room: location of significant networking hardware, such as servers and mainframe hosts  Telecommunications closet: contains connectivity for groups of workstations in area, plus cross connections to equipment rooms  Horizontal wiring: wiring connecting workstations to closest telecommunications closet  Work area: encompasses all patch cables and horizontal wiring necessary to connect workstations, printers, and other network devices from NICs to telecommunications closet

Installing Cable 
Many network problems can be traced to poor cable installation

Two methods of inserting UTP twisted pairs into RJ-45 plugs:
TIA/EIA 568A and TIA/EIA 568B 

Straight-through cable allows signals to pass ³straight through´
between terminations 

Crossover cable: termination locations of transmit and receive wires
on one end of cable reversed

Wireless Transmission 

Networks that transmit signals through the atmosphere via
infrared or RF waves are known as wireless networks or wireless LANs (WLANs)


The Wireless Spectrum

Figure : The wireless spectrum

Characteristics of Wireless Transmission

Figure : Wireless transmission and reception


Radiation pattern describes relative strength over threedimensional area of all electromagnetic energy the antenna sends or receives 

Directional antenna issues wireless signals along a single

Omnidirectional antenna issues and receives wireless
signals with equal strength and clarity in all directions 

Range: geographical area an antenna or wireless system
can reach


Signal Propagation

Figure : Multipath signal propagation

Signal Degradation 
Fading: change in signal strength resulting from
electromagnetic energy being scattered, reflected, or diffracted after being issued by transmitter 

Wireless signals experience attenuation  May be amplified and repeated 

Interference is significant problem for wireless

Atmosphere saturated with electromagnetic waves


Narrowband, Broadband, and Spread Spectrum Signals 
Narrowband: transmitter concentrates signal energy at
single frequency or in very small range of frequencies 

Broadband: uses relatively wide band of wireless spectrum  Offers higher throughputs 

Spread spectrum: use of multiple frequencies to transmit a

Frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS)  Direct sequence spread spectrum (DSSS)


Fixed versus Mobile 

Fixed wireless system: locations of transmitter and receiver
do not move 

Point-to-point link  Efficient use of signal energy 

Mobile wireless system: receiver can be located anywhere
within transmitter¶s range 

More flexible


Infrared Transmission 

Transmitted by frequencies in the 300-GHz to 300,000-GHz

Most often used for communications between devices in
same room 
Relies on the devices being close to each other  May require line-of-sight path  Throughput rivals fiber-optics


Wireless LAN (WLAN) Architecture

Figure : An ad-hoc WLAN

Wireless LAN Architecture (continued)

Figure : An infrastructure WLAN

Wireless LAN Architecture (continued)

Figure : Wireless LAN interconnection



Fundamentals of LAN

‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡

Typically Ethernet based Star topology oriented UTP (twisted pair) and fiber media Conforms to IEEE 802.3 standard Works at 10, 100, 1024 Mbps Reduced throughput as the nodes increase (Collision)

IEEE Standards 
An association that promotes engineering and electronic

IEEE 802 was started in February 1980  IEEE 802 committee defines frames, speed, distances and types of
cabling to use for networking


Protocols and Procedures 
Protocols are set of rules which are used by the nodes on a network to communicate with each other  Protocols are developed by committees, different companies developed products confirming to those protocols

Standard Protocols


Token Ring



LAN Architecture - I 

802.3  Defines a standard for physical layer and data link layer of the Ethernet architecture that uses wired connection  Ethernet is an architecture that mainly uses bus topology  Defines various cabling used for different types of topologies


LAN Architecture - II 


Defines a standard for Token Bus architecture  Token bus is similar to token ring, but it uses coaxial cables


LAN Architecture - III 
Defines a standard for Token ring architecture  Uses the 10 Base T cabling standard  Uses twisted pair cabling to connect devices instead of coaxial cable  Passes data from one computer to another like in a token bus network


IEEE 802.3 Logical relationship with OSI Reference Model 

IEEE 802.3 physical layer corresponds to the OSI physical layer 

OSI data link layer is divided into two IEEE 802 sublayers 
The Media Access Control (MAC) sublayer  The MAC-client sublayer




Defined by IEEE as the 802.3 standard Most widely adapted LAN technology Supports data transfer rates of 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps


Introduction to Ethernet 

Three data rates currently defined for the operation over optical fiber and twisted-pair cables 

10 Mbps ± 10Base-T Ethernet  100 Mbps - Fast Ethernet  1000 Mbps - Gigabit Ethernet


Working of Ethernet 

Ethernet frame is used to transfer data over a network  Each device in an Ethernet network is uniquely identified by a 48 bit
(6 bytes) address called Ethernet address 

Ethernet addresses are represented as six pairs of hexadecimal
digits separated by a colon.


Elements of Ethernet System

Elements of Ethernet System


Set of Medium Access Control Rules

Ethernet frame


Ethernet Medium 
Transmits information over the network  Computer D transmits information for Printer C  Computer B and A also receives the information  All device inspects the destination address  If the received frame is not meant for them, they will reject the frame


Data Transmission 

When a computer wants to transmit, it listens to the cable
(transmission medium) 

If two or more devices simultaneously transmit data on an idle cable,
collision may occur


Example of Collision 

Each device decides to broadcast an Ethernet frame to other device 

Devices listens to the Ethernet medium and detects that no carrier is present 

Devices transmit simultaneously, causing a collision


Carrier Sense Multiple Access/ Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) 

Permits one device to access to the network media at a time to
avoid collision 

Networks using CSMA/CD technology such as Ethernet, network
devices compete for the network media


Working of CSMA/CD


Carrier Sensing Multiple Access / Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA) 

Set of rules that can avoid collisions, unlike CSMA/CD that handles network transmissions once collisions are detected 

In CSMA/CA, all devices are forced to wait for a random number of time slots and sense the medium again 

If the medium is sensed to be busy, the device stops the timer until it becomes free again.


Token Ring - I 
   Token Ring is a network architecture developed by IBM Also known as IEEE 802.5 Uses logical ring topology Multiple MAUs can be connected to extend the ring


Token Ring - II 
Data transfer is facilitated with the help of token passing mechanism


Token Ring - III 


Speed is either 4 or 16 Mbps Performance is significantly faster than Ethernet networks Uses physical star topology Hides logical ring inside a hub, known as Multistation Access Unit (MAU) Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) or Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) cables are used connect nodes to the hub


Token Ring - IV 

Data collision does not occur  Every station is allowed to transmit data  Time required to carry the amount of data can be calculated  Minimum cable requirement 

System collapses if links between nodes are malfunctioning  No alternative link to transmit the data  Data transmission is through single direction  Performance degrades when junk data is transmitted


Token Ring Vs Ethernet
Token Ring Token Ring network uses token passing mechanism. Physical star topology is used. Any topology can be used as physical topology. Defined by IEEE 802.5 standard. Devices in token ring may transmit only at specific time. Support heavy network traffic and maintains the network performance. Token Ring network is deterministic. Defined by IEEE 802.3 standard. Devices can transmit as soon as the medium is free. The performance of the Ethernet network degrades as network traffic increases. Ethernet network is not deterministic as token ring. Token ring network provides bandwidth efficiency up to 90%. The network setup and maintenance of token ring is expensive than Ethernet. Ethernet network provides bandwidth Ethernet Ethernet network use CSMA/CD mechanism.

efficiency up to 40%. The cost of network equipment is lower for

Confidential Ethernet.

Types of Ethernet

Cabling Standards






    Thick coaxial cable is also referred to as thicknet 10Base5 refers to specifications of thick coaxial cable carrying Ethernet signals The 5 refers to the maximum segment length being 500 meters RG-8 coaxial cable is used A 15-pin female DB connector called AUI connector is used to connect the device


  10Base-2 (thin coaxial cable) is also referred to as thinnet In 10Base-2, ³2´ refers to approximate maximum segment length of the cable which is 185 meters 10Base2 uses RG-58 coaxial cable with BNC connectors


   Allows stations to be attached via twisted pair cable 10 refers to the transmission speed of 10 Mbps ³T´ refers to twisted pair cable In a 10BaseT network, each computer (node) is connected to a hub


10 Base-F 
 Uses fiber optics Possesses excellent noise immunity and is the method of choice when running between buildings or widely separated hubs  10 Base-F is expensive as the connectors and terminators used in 10 Base-F are costly


5-4-3 Rule - I 
  Developed to limit the size of an Ethernet collision domain. Implemented by Ethernet (IEEE 802.3) for number of repeaters and segments on shared access The rule states that: Any two nodes in the network should not be separated by more than 5 segments, 4 repeaters and 3 populated segments


Network using 5-4-3 rule 
  5 ± Specifies that maximum 5 segments can be used in the network 4 ± Specifies the number of repeaters/concentrators used to connect the network segments 3 ± Specifies the number of populated segments


Comparing Ethernet Types
Ethernet types Media Type 10Base5 Thick 10Base2 coaxial Thin 10BaseT coaxial UTP 10BaseF Fiber-optic

(RG8) Max.segment length (meters) Frequency(MHZ) 10 10 500 185

(RG58) 100 1000



Max Nodes/Segme nt






Extending the network 


A computer network can be extended using repeaters, hubs and bridges In computer networks, a bridge is an Internetworking device Repeater regenerates signal Repeaters remove the unwanted noise in an incoming signal A hub is a multi port repeater which provides a common point for the connection of network devices


Introduction to Advanced Ethernet 


Ethernet is most widely used network technology Introduced by IEEE 802.3 Ethernet systems are 10Base-T and 10Base-FL High speed Ethernet includes 
100Base Ethernet  Gigabit Ethernet  Switched Ethernet  Full Duplex Ethernet


Features of Advanced Ethernet 

Advanced Ethernet would use a physical star to match the robustness of Token ring 

It would not use more expensive coaxial cables and adopt inexpensive UTP cabling 

It would use the same frame types and speeds of the older Ethernets so that new Ethernets will be compatible with older ones


10BASE-T - I 


Ethernet standard known as twisted pair Ethernet Uses a star bus topology Stations are connected to a hub using pairs of twisted cables Features: 
Failure of one system does not affect entire network  Easy troubleshooting  Addition and removal of device does not affect network


10BASE-T Topology 

It uses a physical star topology in which each node connects to a central hub The hub is a multiport repeater. It receives the signal from one port, regenerates it and passes the signal to all the other ports


Meaning of 10BASE-T 

10 refer to 10 Mbps transmission speed, Base is for baseband signaling and T stands for twisted pair cable


10Base T Specifications and Limitations 

Specifications include:  Fault Tolerant  Easy Troubleshooting  Easy Moves and Changes 

Limitations include:  Distance  Sensitive to noise  Number of computers connected


Ethernet standard that operates over fiber optic cable and covers a distance up to 2 k.m.  Multimode fiber and Straight Tip (ST) connector are used to build 10Base-FL segment

10Base FL components

Network Medium

Medium Attachment Unit (MAU)


5-4-3 Rule - I 
  Developed to limit the size of an Ethernet collision domain. Implemented by Ethernet (IEEE 802.3) for number of repeaters and segments on shared access The rule states that: Any two nodes in the network should not be separated by more than 5 segments, 4 repeaters and 3 populated segments


5-4-3 Rule - II 

Categories of physical segments: 
User segments used to connect the systems in the network. These segments are also known as populated segments.  Link segments used to connect repeaters in the network. These segments are also known as unpopulated segments.


Network using 5-4-3 rule 
  5 ± Specifies that maximum 5 segments can be used in the network 4 ± Specifies the number of repeaters/concentrators used to connect the network segments 3 ± Specifies the number of populated segments


High Speed Ethernet 
Developed to increase connectivity speed between the terminals or computers in a network.

Ethernet Standards

Fast Ethernet (100Base Ethernet)

Gigabit Ethernet

10-Gigabit Ethernet


100Base Ethernet
Supports data transfer rate up to 100 Mbps Also called as Fast Ethernet Makes use of CAT 5 cable and fiber cable 



Advantages and Disadvantages 


Advantages Speed ± Ten times faster than regular 10Base-T network Throughput ± Faster for video, multimedia, graphics, Internet surfing and other applications that require high speed Disadvantages Mode of data transfer ± 100Base-T4 Ethernet cannot support full duplex mode of data transfer Wiring ± 100Base-T4 requires four pair of wiring for data transfer


Gigabit Ethernet 
 Supports data transfer rate up to 1000 Mbit/s Also called as 1000BASE-T Ethernet

Gigabit Ethernet Standards







10-Gigabit Ethernet - I 


Was developed by IEEE 802.3ae in 2002. Supports data transfer rate that is ten times faster than Gigabit ethernet Compatible with Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) Supports segment length up to 40 Kms Uses Media Access Control (MAC) protocol Uses full-duplex mode of transmission and mostly run on fiber


10-Gigabit Ethernet - II 
Standards included:  10GBASE-CX4  10GBASE-T  10GBASE-SR (Short Range)  10GBASE-LRM (Long Reach Multimode)  10GBASE-LR (Long Range)  10GBASE-ER (Extended Range)  10GBASE-LX4


Summary of Physical Layer Standard


Summary of Physical Layer Standard (Contd)


Switched Ethernet 

Employs a switch instead of a repeater or an Ethernet hub to connect individual hosts or segments 

Uses three types of switching: 
Cut-through  Store and forward  Fragment-free


Basic Structure of Switched Ethernet


Full-Duplex Ethernet 


Devices at both ends can send and receive data at the same time Provides twice the bandwidth of normal (half duplex) Ethernet Each pairs of wires acts as a separate channel and allows the devices at each end to communicate with one another in full duplex mode


Case Study

The MoneyMaker bank has recently upgraded its Ethernet network from 10Base-T to 100Base-T network. It has also changed its cabling from CAT5 to CAT6 straight through cables and 10 Mbps NIC cards are replaced with 10/100 Mbps for future compatibility. After upgradation, some computers in the accounts department of the bank are facing the slower connectivity problems.



Identifying problem related to cabling and crimping of RJ-45 jack for new CAT6 cables.


Suggested Solution

Check the crimping of RJ-45 connector and configure the NIC to operate in 100 Base full duplex mode.


Information can be transmitted via two methods: analog or digital  In multiplexing, the single medium is logically separated into multiple channels, or sub channels  Throughput is the amount of data that the medium can transmit during a given period of time  Baseband is a form of transmission in which digital signals are sent through direct current pulses applied to the wire  Noise is interference that distorts an analog or digital signal


Summary (continued) 
Analog and digital signals may suffer attenuation 

Cable length contributes to latency, as does the presence of any intervening connectivity device 

Coaxial cable consists of a central copper core surrounded by a plastic insulator, a braided metal shielding, and an outer plastic cover (sheath) 

Twisted-pair cable consists of color-coded pairs of insulated copper wires 

There are two types of twisted-pair cables: STP and UTP

Summary (continued) 
There are a number of Physical layer specifications for
Ethernet networks 

Fiber-optic cable provides the benefits of very high
throughput, very high resistance to noise, and excellent security 

Fiber cable variations fall into two categories: single-mode
and multimode 

Structured cabling is based on a hierarchical design that
divides cabling into six subsystems

Summary (continued) 

The best practice for installing cable is to follow the TIA/EIA
568 specifications and the manufacturer¶s recommendations 

Wireless transmission requires an antenna connected to a

Infrared transmission can be used for short-distance




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