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Topologies - Structure Star – All the network devices connected to a central computer which is often used as the file server Ring – Each of the devices on the network is connected in a ring or a loop. (Each machine has a connection to the one previous and the one after it in the loop) Bus – Each of the devices is connected directly to a main communications line, called a bus MESH – All the computers connected to each other Click here to view animations on topologies CJR 2008 9
Star: Advantages and Disadvantages Advantages of a Star – If one cable fails the other stations are not affected – Consistent performance even under heavy use – Reliable market proven system – No problems with collisions of data since each station has its own cable to the server – Easy to add new stations without disrupting the network Disadvantages of a Star – May be costly to install because of the cable lengths required CJR 2008 11
Bus: Advantages and Disadvantages Advantages of a Bus – Easy and inexpensive to install as it requires the least amount of cable of the network types – Easy to add more stations without disrupting the network Disadvantages of a Bus – The whole network goes down if the main cable fails at any point – Cable failure is difficult to isolate – Network performance degrades under a heavy load – Information can be transmitted in either CJR 2008 direction and occasionally there is data collision. 13
Ring: Advantages and Disadvantages Advantages of a Ring – No dependence on a central computer or file server and each node controls communication to and from itself – Transmission around the network is one way only – High data transmission rates are possible Disadvantages of a Ring – If one node breaks down transmission is disrupted CJR 2008 15
Mesh: Advantages and Disadvantages Advantages of a MESH – Communication is not disrupted – Alternative routes to node points/machines – Security – packages can arrive/be sent via many different routes – Backup – with multiple connections it is easier to distribute the data in case of disaster Disadvantages of a MESH – Cost • of cables required to link machines together • Of machines – similar spec machines required at each location to be able to take over – Difficult to install and reconfigure CJR 2008 17