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Hybrid Network Topologies

November 4, 2014
Ilja Zegars
Posted in:

Modern networks rarely rely on pure topologies like bus, ring, or star. Most common solutions use hybrid topologies, which are combinations of features from those three.


Star-Wired Ring

As it is clear from the name, star-wired ring topology has features of star and ring topologies. You can see example of this topology from Figure 1. In this figure, purple wires represent physical links (which form star connection), while orange lines represent logical data paths around the network. As the one can see, logical paths form circular or ring topology over the star network. This combination is fault tolerant, since it does not depend on each workstation to act as a repeater.


Star-wired ring topology network

Star-wired ring topology network

Figure 1. Star-wired ring topology network.


Star-Wired Bus

This particular topology exploits benefits of bus and star topologies. Figure 2 provides view of this kind of network. Two star-connected parts of the network are interconnected using single bus line. Connecting different parts of network using bus has proven to be useful for long-distance connections, and ability to isolate separate parts of the network. However, this type of connection require additional wiring and equipment, which would result in cost increase. Nevertheless, this topology is the most common solution for modern Ethernet networks, due to simple troubleshooting and management routines.


Star-wired bus

Star-wired bus network topology

Figure 2. Star-wired bus topology network.


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