Why do we need network topology? Explain star topology along with its merits and demerits.

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A network topology is the physical and substantial arrangement of a network. This decides, how do these computers in the network link to each other.

A network topology is all about the positioning of a network, including its nodes and relating lines. Generally, it denotes the interrelated model of network components.

Network topology is important because of the following reasons:

1. Performance management:

Performance management, therefore, is the key to topology, no matter the size or nature of a network and its various devices. There are also multiple different types of topology beyond the physical and logical classification.

2. Scalability  and Flexibility:

Hybrid topology, meanwhile, incorporates the best of several models. It may allow scalability and flexibility, for example, to move between point-to-point systems and ring topologies.

3. Smooth Communication:

A good topology that works well in practice will help you create ‘systems.’ These can be helpful to use as reference points. Once again, topology diagrams work brilliantly as roadmaps.

4. Network Health Diagnostics:

Topologies also help us to identify problem areas in our networks. For example, we may experience packet loss at points A through F. Which of the points between the two are letting down the network?

Topology allows you to home in on weak links in the chain. You can narrow down the field too, for example, points C or D, and make adjustments.

Start Topology:

A star may be a topology for a Local Area Network (LAN) during which all nodes are individually connected to a central connection point, sort of a hub or a switch. A star takes more cable than e.g. a bus, but the benefit is that if a cable fails, just one node is going to be brought down. Each device within the network is connected to a central device called the hub.

Star Topology

Advantage:

  • Centralized management of the network through the use of the central computer, hub, or switch.
  • Easy to add another computer to the network.
  • If one computer on the network fails, the rest of the network continues to function normally.

Disadvantage:

  • It may have a higher cost to implement, especially when using a switch or router as the central network device.
  • The central network device determines the performance and number of nodes the network can handle.
  • If the central computer, hub, or switch fails, the entire network goes down, and all computers are disconnected from the network.
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