Network topology is a term that refers to the layout of an internet network. This includes both wired and wireless networks, as well as how data will flow between computers on the network. The best way to understand this concept is by examining the various types of topologies that exist in these networks.
A good example would be if you want to create an Ethernet connection in your office building for all of your employees’ desks using only one cable run (cabling infrastructure). One possible solution might be what is known as star wiring where each node connects directly to a hub with no shared connections between other nodes.
Another alternative could involve daisy-chaining multiple switches together so every device has its own wire back to a central unit which then distributes the signal to other devices.
The following are different types of common topologies found in computer networks today:
- Bus – A bus system requires all devices connected to it share time equally with one another, regardless if they need more or less bandwidth than others do. Most modern Ethernet systems use a bus design because it’s inexpensive and easy to implement. These days most routers also utilize this type of topology for connecting nodes together via their WAN interfaces.
- Ring – A ring topology is a type of network configuration in which all nodes have one or more connections to the next node and data travels from one device to another around the group until it reaches its destination.
- Line – In a linear topology, all computers are on one continuous network, most nodes are connected to two other nodes. However, first and last node are not like in ring type where all the cables connect to each other.
- Star – A star topology is the simplest type of physical network design and has just one central connection point.
- Tree – This more complex configuration may also be considered to have three different levels or tiers: core (the trunk), distribution, and access. Core nodes provide high-bandwidth/high-capacity connections among other core nodes within the same tier; distribution devices connect lower bandwidth “trunk” links between various cores in the same level; and access points are end stations that share their resources with client machines at the edge of an LFN subnet.
A network administrator that wishes to structure a network should be able to recognize the various advantages and disadvantages associated with each network topology. The network administrator can select the appropriate topology by weighing the benefits of each type, and choosing one that is most efficient for the network’s intended purpose.