Network Topology

Any businesses today would be using the technology, networking, to communicate between computers and people. Depending on the business concept, a number of active computers, and budget line, IT experts would need to consider the right type of network topology for their business. There is four types of network topologies, which are the bus topology, the ring topology, star topology, and the mesh topology. These four diverse types of network topology can bring great benefit to businesses to have a flow and fault-tolerant network infrastructure for their business.

Types of Network Topology

Bus Topology

The first network topology that was ever used was called the bus topology. The simple design of getting all the networking devices to be connected to a single cable was the idea. A bus topology consists of a trunk cable with nodes either inserted directly into the trunk or tapped into the trunk using offshoot cables called the drop cables. (Pleasant Grove, 2017, 1.2.2 Topology Facts) Networking devices that are connected to this network topology would use that single cable to communicate with other network devices.

Ring Topology

We don’t see much nowadays, however, there is another network topology called the ring topology. In this topology, each node is connected to two other nodes in its immediate vicinity, forming a ring. It can be visualized as a circular configuration that requires at least three nodes. (Cengage Learning, Inc., 2013) Ring topology has networking devices connected to each other in the way of a loop. One information is passed on to the other to reach one of the computers in the ring.

Star Topology

The network topology called the star topology is the most common network topology we can see in LAN network of most offices today. In this topology, one central node is connected to each of the other nodes on a network-similar to a hub connected to spokes in a wheel. (Cengage Learning, Inc., 2013) Each network devices have their cable connection to a hub or a switch which allows easy scalability and fault tolerance.

Mesh Topology

Finally, we have a network topology called the mesh topology. There are two main types of a mesh topology, which are the partial mesh and the full mesh topology. A mesh topology exists when there are multiple paths between any two nodes on a network. Mesh topologies are created using point to point connections. (Pleasant Grove, 2017, 1.2.2 Topology Facts) Partial mesh topology has some nodes with multiple path connection redundancies and some nodes that don’t. Full mesh topology has multiple paths of redundant connection on every neighboring node on every node.

Choosing a Network Topology

For companies that have staffs with a hundred members, the most common option in the choice of a network topology would be the star topology in the local area network (LAN). Bus topology would not be an appropriate network topology since, one cable would not only be able to handle that much traffic, and if that one cable dies, everyone will lose connection. Installation may be cheap however fixing and troubleshooting the problem can be costly. An advantage of a bus topology is that installation can be very cheap and are good enough for cabling for broadcasting devices. A good use for bus topology would be an analog speaker or radio system around the building, such as for evacuation announcement during emergencies.

A ring topology would also not be a suitable network topology for this case since it also lacks fault tolerance and redundancy. Although, computers can communicate with other computers until the failure point of the ring. The disadvantage may be the difficulty installing and troubleshooting this network topology. It would require a lot of planning for the ring topology and rely on every pc to work correctly for this to work.

A mesh topology can operate ideal for this case however the problem would be the cost of implementing such an enormous network. There would be perfect fault tolerance and redundancy. However, there would be a lot more cable connection that we would need to manage and maintained. Weighing the difference, the star topology would be the best topology for the hundred staff infrastructure. For a star topology, all network connections would be located in a single place allowing easier troubleshooting, and it would be easy to add and remove network devices which allow few cabling issues affecting one node. (Pleasant Grove, 2017, 1.2.2 Topology Facts) Mesh topology can be very useful if they are used in the star topology of the switches that connect multiple computers. The mesh topology would allow scalability and redundancy of the switches however between the client cable connection; star topology would be the best solution.

Conclusion

Businesses today rely heavily on advanced technology we have in network communication. Networking brings computers and people together. Depending on the number of active computers, company goal, and the budget, companies have to consider the best type of networking infrastructure they would need for their business. The four types of network topology can bring great benefit businesses and the most typical network topology today, the star topology should be the one network topology that people can use to serve a hundred members of employees.

References

Cengage Learning, Inc. (2013). Computer Networking Demo in ‘C’: Electronics For You,

Electronics For You, ISSN: 0013-516X

LabSim Online Labs. (2017). TestOut Network Pro ISBN: 978-1-935080-43-5. Pleasant Grove,

UT.

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