In our blog entitled, “The Handling and Installation of UTP, Part 1” we wrote that there are three methods by which data is distributed throughout a facility. They are Star topology, Bus topology and Ring topology. The method that is used with IP camera surveillance, access control, and other data-driven services is Star topology.
Apart from being the method used with IP camera surveillance, star topology, also known as a star network, is one of the most common computer network topologies.
In its network setup, each individual part of the network is attached to a central node. The central node is often called a central network device, hub or switch. When visually represented in a diagram, the connection of these network parts to the central node, looks like a star.
The central network device acts as a server and the peripheral devices act as clients. Data on a star network passes through the hub before continuing to its clients. The hub manages and controls all functions of the network. It also acts as a repeater for data flow.
By independently connecting each client host to the hub, each host can then communicate with all others by transmitting to, and receiving from, the hub. If there is any type of transmission failure from host to hub, the hub will separate that host from all others, but it won’t affect the rest of the network.
The star configuration is commonly used with cables such as twisted pair and optical fiber, although it can also be used with coaxial cable or a RJ-45 network cable. This may depend on the type of network card used in each computer.
Advantages of star topology
- Centralized management of the network, using a 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 will continue to function normally.
Disadvantages of star topology
- Implementation costs may be higher, especially when using a switch or router as the central network device.
- The central network device determines the performance and number of client hubs 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.
In our next blog article we’ll discuss Bus topology and Ring topology.