Background: Know: Recognize:





Network topology is the physical arrangement of connecting various elements by transmission medium. For example the position of the distribution of computers and the way how cables pass through them. When designing a network, it is necessary to choose the proper topology according to practical situation. Every topology has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Star Topology:

Star topology was developed in late 1990s. It consists of central node and sub-nodes. Central node could directly connect with sub-nodes, however sub-nodes should connect with other sub-nodes through central node.


1. Easy to Maintenance Management: sub-nodes are directly connected with the central node, which lead to an easy MAC Media Access Control.

2. Easy fault diagnosis and insulation: the central node could insulate the interconnecting link one by one to diagnose and locate the fault. The single fault just effect one equipment, but not the whole network.

3. Convenient services: The central node could provide the service and network reconfiguration for every sub-nodes.

Bus Topology:

Bus topology was developed from 1980s. The common bus topology network is Ethernet. Coaxial-cable used to be its major transmission medium. But now twisted-pair take place of coaxial-cable.

In bus topology there is a central cable called backbone cable that carries all traffic, each computer or server is connected to the single bus cable. A signal from the source travels in both directions to all machines connected on the bus cable until it finds the intended recipient. So it could be called Broadcasting Network.The node doesn’t accept the data until the machine address matches the intended address for the data.

By the way, when there are more than one device tries to manage the network at the same time, the network would have collisions. The method to solve this problem calls spinlock. This method could be found in

The advantages of bus topology are simple structure and highly expandability. When we need to add a device to the network, we only need to add a interface in the central cable. And we also could expand the bus. What's more bus topology needs less cable and it is easy to build. However bus topology is hard to maintain.

Further reading