What is a Network Topology?

A company with different departments and floors in a building uses a networking procedure to keep their computers connected with each other. It may be needed to connect computers in specific areas of the company departments to another one. This can be done thru network topology.

Network Topology

Network Topology

The connection structure of a computer network to another is called the network topology. Old ways of doing topological structures on network was done manually, where in engineers connect each server or routers from each other by the use of cables. However, this method is innovated into an easier way to connect networks without the need to stand up and manually connect it.

There are two main categories of network topologies, the physical and logical topologies. This two topologies work hand in hand to complete the connection of each computer networks. The physical topology of a network is the actual connection of network by the use of cables. It is responsible for the following which it can be determined of:

  • The fault tolerance or control level desired in a network.
  • The cost related with telecommunications circuits or cabling.
  • The network access media and devices capabilities.

On the other hand, the logical topology is the one responsible for sending signals from one device to another where data are transmitted and received from each point. It is associated closely with protocols and methods of media access control plus can be reconfigured by the use of devices like switches and routers. Network topology identifies eight basic diagrams which is responsible for the successful passing and receiving of data.

Network Topology Diagrams

Network Topology Diagrams

Diagrams are used to be able to site how your network would communicate from one point to another. The basic diagrams are:

  • Bus

Bus is found in LAN or Local Area Networks where nodes are connected into a single cable. The behavior of bus connection is that signals from the source will travel in all the devices, on both directions, connected with it. It will find the device where the signal is intended for. If the signal went to the wrong device, it will simply ignore it and look for the right recipient. Bus is also categorized into two, the Linear and Distributed bus.

Linear Bus is composed of only two endpoints where data are transmitted between the nodes present in the network. Distributed Bus has more than two endpoints which can be done through additional branches on the main section of the transmission medium.

  • Ring

Ring also known as circular network topology transmits data by making it travel around the ring in one direction. Devices connected in the network acts as a receiver and a transmitter as well to keep the flow of data circulating until it reach its matched device.

  • Tree

Tree is based on the structure of a tree itself. It is composed of root nodes, intermediate nodes and leaves, where in the root node is the main node of the structure that may produce one to two intermediate nodes which is known as parent nodes, and these parent nodes are allowed to have two child nodes in maximum, which makes the child nodes the leaves. Schools and other mobile applications are one of the common users of tree based network.

  • Daisy Chain

Daisy chain is the easiest way to put more devices into a network. The message from the source will be bounced by each system until it reaches its device destination. It is formed by combining a linear and ring connection.

  • Hybrid

Hybrid combines at least two different topologies that will not turn into a standard topology. One of the best examples is the star bus network, it is composed of two topologies where in two or more stars are connected thru a bus trunk which serves as the backbone of network.

Mesh Network Topology

Mesh Topology

Mesh topology can be identified thru a fully connected network or a partially connected one. A fully connected network makes communication with each node by having it connected with each other. The advantage of this is that you won’t need any broadcasting or switching. Partially connected are nodes that are connected to several nodes with a point-to-point linkage.

  • Star

Star connection makes use of hub and switch to be able to connect with other computer. The formation does not need to look like exactly like a star but the peripherals must be connecting into one central device. The hub or switch acts as the immediate receiver of the data and the messenger who identifies which connected device the data is for. Star can be arranged into Extended and Distributed.

Extended star has one or more repeaters between the central device and the spokes or nodes. The repeaters are used to extend the transmission distance to its maximum. Distributed star is made out of a single network where the star topology is connected with a linear connection.

  • Point-to-point

Point-to-point is the most common form because it is the simplest diagram that makes a permanent link of two endpoints. Point-to-point has to ways of arrangement, the Permanent and Switched. The Permanent or dedicated linking of two peripherals are done thru a single cable. It is intended to behave in a direct way where in the transmitter will deliver the data straight to its receiver. Switched makes use of packet-switching or circuit-switching technologies that is used to make the data travel into other nodes connected in the system.

Putting up a network for your company or any other establishment or business must be studied fully in order to come up with the most efficient one. In today’s technology software for network topology are created abundantly to deliver their clients need. It is easier today to connect and disconnect links between servers, routers or peripherals by the graphical representation of the application that is physically connected with your computers or workstations. It is indeed easier to analyze and identify which topology to use to keep the communication between your nodes run smoothly.