computer. This can prove invaluable in making sure
that network security has not been breached.
The main disadvantage of the star topology is its
reliance on the central computer for performing
almost all the functions of the network. When the
central computer fails, all nodes also stop functioning,
resulting in failure of the entire network.
The distributed star, or tree, topology is shown in
figure 8-4. It provides many of the advantages of
both bus and star topologies. It connects workstations
to a central point called a hub. This hub can support
several workstations or hubs which, in turn, can
support other workstations. Distributed star
topologies can be easily adapted to the physical
arrangement of the facility site. If the site has a high
concentration of workstations in a given area, the
system can be configured to more closely resemble a
star topology. If the workstations are widely
dispersed, the system can use inexpensive hubs with
long runs of shared cable between hubs, similar to the
In a ring network, all the components or nodes are
connected to the main cable, and the cable forms a
ring, as shown in figure 8-5. This topology allows a
node to send a message to another node on the ring.
Figure 8-5.A ring network topology.
However, the message must be transmitted through
each node until it reaches its destination. Messages
proceed from node to node in one direction only.
Should a node fail on the network, data can no longer
be passed around the ring unless the failed node is
either physically or electronically bypassed. Using
bypass software, the network can withstand the failure
of a workstation, by bypassing it, and continue to
maintain the integrity of the network. One of the
major issues in a ring topology is the need for making
sure all workstations have equal access to the
One of the major disadvantages of ring topologies
is the extreme difficultly of adding new workstations
while the network is in operation. Normally the
entire network has to be brought down while a new
node is added and cabling reattached. However, this
particular problem can be overcome by the installation
Figure 8-4.A distributed star (tree) network topology.
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