Updated June 9, 2023
Introduction to Physical Topology
Topology is the way in which the network is organized. Any structure interconnected to each other in a Local Area Network (LAN) is called physical topology. The way in which the network is physically laid is called physical topology. It acts as a map for various devices to connect with each other. It includes the method used to connect the network of physical devices with cables and the type of cables used in connecting the devices. Also, we have a logical topology that passes information from one device to another and both are different from each other.
Top 7 Types of Physical Topology
The various types of physical topology are:
1. P2P Topology
The network that direct links two computers are called point to point topology. This is the easiest and simplest topology among all. An operating system is not needed and it is the fastest connection. Also, servers and dedicated technicians are not needed here. But it can be used only for small networks and the topology does not offer any security.
2. Bus Topology
A single cable is used to connect all the nodes in this topology. One computer acts as a server and if the connection is linear, it is called linear bus topology. The computers on the bus take care of only the data to be sent and do not care about the moving data. The main drawback is that if the main cable fails, the entire topology is affected. Cables are small and hence only connects a small network.
3. Ring Topology
All the devices are connected in the form of a ring and hence the device has a neighbor each on either side. All the devices are connected to each other in the form of a ring. A token is used to pass the information and the messages travel in the same direction as of a ring. If a computer fails, the entire network is affected. Troubleshooting is difficult in this topology. Since the rings are circulating always, the power consumption is more.
4. Star Topology
All the computers are connected to each other with a common point is called star topology. The common point is called the central node and other computers are well connected with this. Star topology is easy to install and less expensive. Troubleshooting is easy and if a computer fails, others work without any interruption. We can add, delete or remove other nodes easily. But if the central node fails, other computers are affected. The installation is costly and the speed depends on the speed of the central node. We should be careful in checking the nodes as termination can happen easily.
5. Mesh Topology
Each network has a unique design in which the system is connected to each other. Point to point connection is established with each system. Partially connected mesh topology connects all the devices and two or three devices are connected with some devices always. In full mesh topology, all devices are connected to each other. The network is expanded whenever is needed. The implementation is complicated but there is no traffic problem in this topology. The topology is robust and connected with each other. More space is needed to connect the cables. The security and privacy are good in this topology.
6. Tree Topology
There is a root node in this topology and all other nodes are connected through the root node. The topology is connected in a hierarchical manner and is called hierarchical topology. When star topology is connected with bus topology, it is called star bus topology. This network is common as it uses both star and bus topology. The main disadvantage is that when one node fails, all the network is affected. An error in the network is easily found out in this topology. There are many cables in this network and if more nodes are added, the maintenance is difficult.
7. Hybrid Topology
More than two topologies are interconnected in this topology. Any standard topology is not singled out here as all other topologies are connected. When two topologies are connected, hybrid topology is formed. This topology is flexible and we can scale it to our need. the design of the topology is complex and the topology is costliest.
Why Should We Use Physical Topology?
The reason why we should be using physical topology.
- The network functions well with physical topology. The media type to be used can be easily found out in the topology. All the cables and media type is determined and the functions are better with the topology as it connects the network. This topology helps the system to function well as the network is connected with each other.
- Operational and maintenance costs are reduced when we use topology. With the help of different topology, costs are reduced as we can select the topology based on the need and performance. This helps the topology to maintain well and users can maintain well with the topology.
- The resources and components are well used and utilized with the topology.
- The performance is better when the topology is used and this maintains the systems and network well when it is connected.
Following points describes the importance of physical topology.
- Network routing is done through network cables. If the nodes are not shared, the routes are not established well.
- Datasets are created with better quality control and data integrity in the topology. The datasets are validated and the errors are easily found out in the topology. This helps to manage the data well. The integration of datasets are important to manage the data.
- Relationships between the topologies are easily found out and the features are shared with each type of topology. One dataset is edited and the features are updated with other datasets. All the datasets are synchronized with each other which helps in other features.
- The systems and devices are kept close to each other with the help of topology as the cables and the features are linked with each other. The interconnection of systems helps in managing the network and this manages the systems in the entire topology. The systems are continuously connected with each other.
This is a guide to Physical Topology. Here we discuss the basic concept and why should we use physical topology along with the top 7 types and importance of it. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –