To understand Star Topology, we’ve to understand Network Topology first. Network topology refers to the physical layout of the network in which all the devices are connected. There are several types of topographical design and strategies used to implement LAN. Network designers consider several factors when determining which topology or combination of topologies to use: the type of computers installed, type of cabling, the cost of components, distance between each computer and the speed with which data must travel around the network. The commonly used physical network topologies are bus, star and ring.
Star topology is the most common topology in use today. In a star topology, each device has a dedicated point to point link only to central controller “hub”. A hub is a rectangular box-shaped device with multiple plug-in points called ‘ports’. Groups of data are routed through the hub and sent to all the attached nodes, thus eventually reaching their destinations.
Advantages of Star topology are:
- Stations can be easily added to or removed from the LAN.
- All other links stay active even if one link fails to work.
- Easy to find the failure link.
- It is less expensive.
- Very few data collisions as each workstations has its own cable to the server.
- Good security – no workstation can interact with another without going through the server first.
Disadvantages of Star topology are:
- The entire network becomes inoperable, if the central hub fails to work.
- More cabling is needed as compared to bus or ring topologies.
- If traffic between the workstations is high, an undue burden is placed on the central hub.
- Difficult to expand.
Bus network is an arrangement in a local area network (LAN) in which each node is connected to a main cable or link called the bus. Transmission from any station travels the length of the bus. Transmission from any station travels the length of the bus, in both directions, and can be received by all other stations. The bus has terminators at either end which absorb the signal, removing it from the bus.
In the ring topology, nodes are connected to each in a closed loop by a single communication cable. Data transfers in one direction, from one node to another around the ring. Thus, the data packets circulate along the ring in either clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. As a packet circulates past each station, the destination station recognizes its address on the packet header, and copies the packet contents onto itself. After a packet travels a full circle, it is removed at the source station. A ring topology is also called loop network.
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