Network topology is the arrangement or mapping of the elements like links, nodes, etc. of a network, especially the logical and physical interconnections between nodes. There is one example of a network, a local area network (LAN) is that exhibits both a physical and a logical topologies. Any node in the LAN will have one or more links to one or more other nodes in the network and the mapping of these nodes and links onto a graph results in a geometrical shape that determines the physical topology of the network.
The logical and physical topologies might be identical in any particular network but they also may be distinct.
Any particular network topology is determined only by the graphical mapping of the configuration of logical and/or physical connections between nodes. Therefore, LAN Network Topology is technically a part of graph theory. Distances between nodes, physical interconnections, transmission rates, and/or signal types may differ in two networks.
There are three basic types of topology in networks:
1.) Bus Topology: It is often used when network installation is small, simple or temporary. On a typical bus network the cable is just 1 or more wires with no active electronics to amplify the signal or pass it along from computer to computer.
- It is easy to handle and implement.
- It is best suited for small networks.
- The cable length is limited. This limits the number of stations that can be connected.
- This network topology can perform well only for a limited number of nodes.
2.) Mesh Topology: each network node is connected to every other node in the network.
The arrangement of the network nodes is such that it is possible to transmit data from one node to many other nodes at the same time.
The arrangement wherein every network node is connected to every other node of the network, many of the connections serve no major purpose. This leads to the redundancy of many of the network connections.
3.) Ring Topology: each computer is connected to the next computer with the last one connected to the first.
- The data being transmitted between two nodes passes through all the intermediate nodes.
- A central server is not required for the management of this topology.
- The failure of a single node of the network can cause the entire network to fail.
- The movement or changes made to network nodes affects the performance of the entire network.
4.) Star Topology: all the cables run from the computers to the central location where they are all connected by a device called hub or switch.
- Due to its centralized nature, the topology offers simplicity of operation.
- It also achieves an isolation of each device in the network.
The network operation depends on the functioning of the central hub. Hence, the failure of the central hub leads to the failure of the entire network.
So, now we hope you all understand the advantages and disadvantages of all Network Topologies.