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A Primer to Network Topologies

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Network topology involves the arrangement of various nodes and how they are interconnected in a network of computers.

There are two types of network topologies: Physical topologies and logical topologies.

Physical topology refers to the physical arrangement of nodes and devices. Here, two or more systems are connected using cables.

There again five types of physical topologies:

1.  Bus Topologyss

2.  Ring Topology

3.  Star Topology

4.  Tree Topology

5.  Mesh Topology

In a bus topology, each node, including servers, computer, peripherals, etc., directly is linked to a common cable. It more frequently functions as the network’s backbone. In other instances, a bus connects small workgroups present in scenarios like classrooms or laboratories.

A logically closed loop is present in a ring topology. Normally, packets of data travel in a single direction around the ring, where one network device lies to the next. Every network device functions as a repeater, implying the signal is regenerated by it.

A star topology features each node having a dedicated set of wires that connect it to a central network hub. As all the traffic has to pass through the hub, it becomes a principal point for separating network problems and collecting network statistics.

In a tree topology, multiple star networks are connected to other star networks.

A mesh topology is a network format where all network devices and computers are interconnected with one another, facilitating distribution of most transmissions, in spite of a connection going down. It is not used commonly for most computer networks as it is complex and expensive for every computer to be redundantly connected. This topology is more widely used for wireless networks.

Logical topologies involves logical arrangement of nodes and devices. There are two models of logical topologies: Work group model/peer-to-peer model/stand-alone model and Domain model/ client-server model.

Work group model/peer-to-peer model//stand-alone model is popularly known as peer-to-peer model, where each peer refers to an individual computer.

If you install a client operating system (OS)/server OS, then that computer surely belongs to a work group model. In a work group model, one computer does not need to depend on other computers. In work group model computers, local user accounts are created. For local user accounts, the Security Accounts Manager (SAM) Database is used.

Domain model is also known as client –server model. We make use of active directory domain services (ADDS) here. ADDS is a database that stores information on computers, user identity, services, groups, and resources. ADDS domain controller also hosts the service that authentication user and computer accounts when they log on to domain purpose of ADDS. It provides user log in and authentication services using Kerberos, a network authentication protocol for computers. Using this service, we can centralize and decentralize the resources management. In other words, to centrally organize and manage computers, user accounts, passwords, network resource groups, accounts, etc. It allows authorized users to easily locate network resources.

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