Network Topologies

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Mesh, Bus, Ring and Star topologies The term Topology refers to the physical or logical shape or layout of a network. Communication between different nodes within a network is determined by its topology. Mesh, Bus, Ring and Star are four of the most common network topologies, each with advantages and disadvantages in relation to each other. Mesh Topology The Mesh topology is true to its name in that there are multiple redundant interconnections between network nodes. A mesh network can employ one of two connection arrangements, full mesh or partial mesh. Full mesh topology is when each node is directly connected to every other node on the network. Partial mesh topology occurs when some nodes are connected to every other, but others are only connected to those with which they will exchange the most data. Mesh networks are reliable, stable, and redundant. If a node can no longer operate, all the others are not affected as they can still communicate either directly or through one or more intermediate nodes. Mesh networks can be very expensive due to the large amount of cable and connections required. Bus Topology Bus topology refers to a local area network (LAN) arrangement where each node or device is connected to a main cable or link called a bus. A bus network is simple yet very reliable. Since nodes themselves are not relied upon for communication, the failure of a single node is not problematic for the rest of the network. For a major issue to occur, there must be a problem with the bus itself. Despite its simplicity and reliability the bus network does have several limitations. The cable length of the bus is limited due to data loss. Also, a bus network may have performance issues if the nodes are located a... ... middle of paper ... ...IP Function? TCP/IP operates at both levels 3 and 4 of the OSI model. The TCP portion of TCP/IP operates at level 3 (Network) as its primary function is to control the flow of data. IP operates at level 4 (Transport) of the OSI model. IP is the protocol responsible for the actual transmission of packet across the network. What are the benefits of the OSI model? There are several advantages to the layered approach provided by the OSI model. With the design separated into smaller logical pieces, network design problems can be easier to solve through divide and conquer techniques. Vendors who follow the model will produce equipment that is much more likely to be compatible with equipment from other vendors. The OSI model also provides for more extensible network designs. New protocols and other network services are more easier added to a layered architect.

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