Network Topology




Network topology relates to the presentation of various factors in the computer system. It outlines the topological structure and can be represented logically or physically. Some of the different elements include nodes and links. The logical topology portrays the flow of data in inside the system irrespective of the physical outlook.

Related: What is Point to Point Topology? Advantages and Disadvantages of Point to Point Topology

There may be variations in the in the distance between transmission rates, physical connection or the nodes though their topologies might be similar in nature. The physical topology involves the arrangement of different components of the network. These include the cable installation and the location of the device.




Types of network topologies

 

Bus topologies

It is a kind of system where a single cable is connected to the network device or computers. It is usually referred to as Linear Bus Topology if it has precisely two ends.

Features

  • A single cable is connected to ever device
  • Disseminates information through a single direction

Pros

  • It is cheaper compared to other network topologies
  • It is efficient in small networks
  • It is simple to understand
  • The topology can be expanded easily by connecting two cables
  • It has the least number of cables when compared to other topologies

Cons

  • It is slower in its operations compared to other topologies
  • It has a limited cable length
  • The network is terminated when the whole cable fails

Ring Topology

In this type of topology, the last computer is connected to the first one forming a ring. Each of these computers becomes attached to the other in essence having two neighboring networks.

Features

  • They have a unidirectional transmission which can also be altered to form a bidirectional. The dual ring topology can be effected by two connections that are attached to individual network nodes.
  • There is a subsequent transfer of data in small bits. The data being transmitted goes via each network node till it reaches the terminal.
  • Two ring systems are always configured where the data flows in different directions. The system is kept constant where one of the rings fails because the second one acts as a backup.
  • Uses a variety of repeaters

Pros

  • Ring topology has easier installations procedure and can also be extended.
  • High traffic cannot interfere with the transmitting network or additional nodes. It is because the nodes that have tokens are the only ones that can transmit the data.

Cons

  • The whole network is disrupted if one computer fails
  • Adjustments done on the computers can disrupt the network activity
  • It is hard to accomplish troubleshooting using the ring topology.

Star topology

The computers are usually connected through a cable using a single hub. All the nodes are joined by the hub as it marks the central point of the connection.

Features

  • It has repetitive properties for the flow of data
  • The topology can be utilized with a coaxial cable, twisted pair or optical fiber
  • Each node has their connection to the hub

Pros

  • Easier troubleshooting
  • The single hub can be upgraded
  • The few nodes lead to low network traffic which delivers a quick performance
  • Easier modification and configuration

Cons

  • The hub determines the performance of the topology which depends on the capacity
  • It is costly as the installation process is expensive
  • The whole network is terminated in an event where the hub fails

Mesh topology

It is a topology that combines all network nodes together. Routing and flooding are the two techniques that can be used to disseminate information over the mesh topology. The nodes usually have a routing logic depending on the specifications of the network. It directs the information to the terminal via the shortest route. Flooding transmits similar information to the entire network nodes. It has a massive network which increased its chances of losing data. The types of mesh topology include full mesh where every network nodes are combined. The partial mesh topology is also connected the same way though other devices are attached to multiple devices, either two or three.

Related: What is Bus Topology? Advantages and Disadvantages of Bus Topology

Features

It is massive, inflexible and possesses full connection.

Pros

  • The fault can easily be diagnosed
  • It provides privacy and security
  • It is massive, and the single links transmit their information

Cons

  • Complicated installation procedures
  • It is expensive
  • It requires bulk wiring
  • Complex configurations




Tree topology

The nodes are connected to a root node in a ranking manner and have at least three levels of hierarchy.

Features

  • It is utilized in broad area network
  • It is essential, especially where workstations are situated in groups.

Pros

  • Easier management
  • Easy detection of errors
  • It can be extended easily

Cons

  • It is expensive
  • The whole network terminates in case the root node fails
  • It has numerous cables
  • It is hard to maintain when there are additional nodes 

Hybrid Topology

Hybrid topology has two kinds of topologies that are a combination of a variety of topologies. For example, connecting star and ring topologies makes hybrid topology.

Features

  • Two mixtures of topologies
  • It is more advanced as it has the downsides and benefits of the combined topologies 

Pros

  • It can be adjusted quickly and is efficient in its operations
  • The size can also be increased
  • It is useful and reliable because of easy troubleshooting

Cons

  • It is quite expensive
  • It is complex 

 

What is a network topology mapper?

A network topology mapper indicates the nodes on your network giving the status and updates of the network connections between them and the nodes. The network can also be in interrelated and scalable maps having icons that can be customized. They supplement the monitoring system of the primary network and shows how specific nodes can broadly impact on your network.

 

What are the benefits of network topology mapper?

  • They map the connectivity of virtual devices

The network topology mapper gives a clear image of the connection between the virtual devices concerning your physical network.

  • They reuse and define credentials

It allows you to determine and store your credentials for future use. It also enables an individual to request a lively set of powers depending on how you would want them to be utilized by the mapping topology during discovery.

  • They schedule the device and help in discovering topologies

It uses multiple methods of discovery in mapping the different types of devices and their connections such as servers, routers, and switches.

  • Assist in reporting and encrypting maps

It can precipitate reports on subnets, equipment inventory, and switch ports. Network topology mapper allows for encryption using a passphrase for the stored exported maps.

  • Strategically management of maps

It lets you choose the display while working in relation to the scan discovery. It also gives options on whether to hide particular details of the nodes that are mapped with the connections in between. Network mapping technology is essential and can help you arrange the nodes depending on the predefined layouts. You can also drag them manually during the process. During management of maps, you can choose an area of the bigger map and then duplicate it on a discrete map.

 

The standard protocols used by the network topology mapper

It uses a variety of standard protocols to discover the network nodes and their interconnectivity. These tools include;

  • VMware Management,
  • Cisco Discovery Protocol
  • Simple Network Management Protocol
  • Link Layer Discovery Protocol
  • Windows Management Instrumentation
  • Cisco MIB
  • IF-MIB

 

What are the procedures for installation?

This kind of topology uses a simple system for installation. You should run the network topology mapper installer from an account situated in the operating system. This installer should have some administrator privileges.

The guide will be to:

  • Right-click the type of network topology mapper that you are using and run it as an administrator. You can also double click on the setup if you are using approved operating systems
  • Type in the email address that was used in registering the product download
  • Review the license agreement then click on agree to their terms and conditions. It will move to the next step that requires you to click the install button.
  • On the licensing information, you will be required to enter your activation key then proceed to the next step. In these spaces, you will provide the contact details and the appropriate name the click next and later the finish button.
  • Close the tab after the installation is complete




Conclusion

The network topologies usually work in differently depending on the number of cables and hubs. The most popular network topology is the star topology. It is because it has more advanced features compared to the previous topologies. Its popularity makes the bus and ring old forms of topologies. A network mapper is also an essential tool because of the beneficial characteristics of the network nodes. It is also important in managing, reporting encrypting and defining the mapping. All the network topologies have a distinctive feature that makes them different from the rest.

Related: What is Ring Topology? Advantages and Disadvantages of Ring Topology

 They can be distinguished depending on the number of cables, shapes, traffic and method of transmitting data. The hybrid is useful but may also cause low network connectivity because of their large properties. All these topologies are important and impact on how the information is disseminated between the devices.