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Dated: Jun. 24, 2012
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Networking In General
Overview of Network Topologies and Bus Oriented Network
In a nutshell, network topologies are the physical alignments of computers and the way they are connected to each other. For example, if all the computers are connected to each other via a central device (Hub or Switch), the type of topology is Star. Likewise, if all the computers are connected to each other via a main cable, this means it is Bus Topology.
Bus oriented network was a network setup in which all computers were connected via a single cable known as a Trunk or sometimes it was also referred to as Backbone cable. Trunk cable was then connected to the branch cables which were further connected to the PCs. This type of network setup was quite cost-effective. When this type of network setup was configured, the topology was technically known as Bus Topology.
In this topology data used to travel on the trunk cable which resembled the behavior of a bus that use to carry passengers from one place to another on a straight road.
Components Used in Bus Topology
Bus topology required a set of cables, some connectors and most importantly the terminators. Detailed description of the components is as below:
Cables: While configuring bus topology, two different grades of Co-axial cables were used. The two grades were RG-58 (Radio Grade 58) and RG-8 (Radio Grade 8). RG-58 is also referred to as Thicknet or sometimes as 10Base5. RG-58 was used as the trunk or backbone cable in bus topology. On the other hand RG-8 was referred to as Thinnet or sometimes as 10Base2 and was used as branch cables that used to connect the PCs with the backbone cable.
T-Connectors: T-Connecters were used to join the branch cables with the trunk and were T in shapes.
Terminators: Terminators were the 50 ohms resistors that were connected to each end of the trunk. These resistors were grounded in order to ground and neutralize all garbage data of the trunk cable that was generated because of the collisions that used to occur in a bus topology.
British Naval Connectors or BNCs: These connectors were used to connect the branch cables with the PCs. The branch cables were crimped with the BNC connectors and then the connectors were connected to the available ports in the NICs (LAN cards) that were installed in the PCs.
Drawbacks of Bus Topology
Although the entire setup of bus topology was quite cost-effective, it had several drawbacks because of which most administrators switched over to the Star Topology.
One of the biggest drawbacks that bus topology had was, that since the data travelled on a main backbone cable, if two PCs tried to transmit data simultaneously, the collisions occurred. This caused reduced speed of the entire network and also created a lot of congestion because of heavy amount of data signals on the backbone cable.
Another drawback that compelled administrators to switch over to star topology was that bus topology had single point of failure. This means that if something goes wrong with the backbone cable, the entire network setup used to get jeopardized.
Yet another drawback with bus topology was that administrators had to face hard times in case they wanted to expand the network. Even if they wanted to add a single PC to the network, they had to add a branch cable, connect it with T-Connector, rearrange the Terminators, etc.
Because of the above reasons, administrators started preferring star topology over bus topology.
Bus topology is nowadays considered obsolete and is not used anymore in any network setup.
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