Network Topologies Network topologies are an important part of the network. Without the proper topology, the network may not meet the needs of the organization. The layout of a network is referred to as the topology. How nodes in a network are connected to each other and communicate is determined by the topology. There are three basic topologies with several typical variations, or combinations. A description of four topologies follows.
Mesh Topology Mesh topology is the first topology discussed. In a mesh topology, the devices are connected with many redundant interconnections between nodes. Each device in the mesh topology is connected to every other device in the network. The mesh topology is the most expensive to implement but is
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Token Ring In a Token Ring network, the computers are connected in ring and the token travels around the ring in one direction (Cashman, Serwatka, and Shelly, 2004). Only one token is allowed on the ring at a time in a Token Ring network. The Token Ring architecture uses a simple twisted pair wiring structure that connects the computer to the network through an outlet. All computers receive equal time on the network in Token Ring architecture. With the Token Ring, there are fewer collisions because everything travels in one direction sequentially, so data seldom has to be re-sent. The token ring handles increases in network size and bandwidth well and traffic stays consistent in the network. Larger data packets can be sent with a token ring because there are no collisions in transmission.
Fiber Distributed Data Interface Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) uses fiber optic cable and involves the use of a double ring unlike the Token Ring, which uses only one ring, with point-to-point links between clients. The base to FDDI is Token Ring architecture and can support thousands of users. FDDI can reach longer distances due to the use of fiber optic cables and tends to be more secure than other networks. The traffic flows on each ring of FDDI in opposite directions allowing for better reliability and robustness. Disadvantages to FDDI are the greater expense and difficult installation.
Wireless refers to the type of electrical or