Before installing a new network, it is important to have information about the topologies so as to make the right choice. A Topology is a physical and logical network layout; Physical in the sense of the actual layout of the computer cables and other network devices and logical in the sense of the way in which the network appears to the devices that use it. These include:
It uses a trunk or backbone to which all of the computers on the network are connected. The systems connect to this backbone using “T” connectors or taps. The advantages of the Bus Topology us that it requires less cable, it is cheap and easy to implement and it does not use any specialized network equipment. The disadvantages include a break in the cable will prevent all systems from accessing the networknetwork disruption when computers are added or removed, and lastly it is difficult to implement.
In this topology, data travels in circular fashion from one computer to another on the network. The technologies used to implement a ring are FDDI, SONET or Token Ring. A star configuration is mostly used in Ring networks. A Token Ring has multi-station access unit (MSAU), which is equivalent to a hub or a switch and performs token circulation. The advantages for this Topology include: Ring networks are moderately easy to install and cable faults are easily located, making troubleshooting easier. The flip side is that a single break in the cable can disrupt the whole network and network disruption in case of a network expansion
In this Topology, all computers/devices are connected to a central device called hub or switch. Each device requires a single cable thus a point-to-point connection between the device and hub. This Topology is the most widely implemented. In this Topology,the hub is the only single point of failure. The advantages included: it is easily expanded without network disruption, cable failure affects only a single user, and it is easy to troubleshoot and isolate. On the other hand, it requires more cabling, the central connecting device allows for a single point of failure and it is more difficult to implement.
In this Topology, each computer connects to every other in the network. There is a high level of redundancy with the mesh Topology. This Topology is rearely used as the wiring is very complicated, the cabling costs are high and troubleshooting a failed cable is tricky. The good thing with this network is that it provides redundant paths between devices and the network can be expanded without disruption to current uses. The disadvantages of this Topology are that it is has a complicated implementation and requires more cable than the other LAN topologies
Therefore, with this information at hand it is upon you to choose the best Topology for your network.