A network's topology is the arrangement, or pattern, in which all nodes on a network are connected together. There are several common topologies that are in use, but today the most common topologies are:
Star topologies are used in many networks, large and small.
In a star topology all nodes indirectly connect to each other through one or more switches. The switch acts as a central point through which all communications are passed.
Large networks using a star topology are usually controlled by one or more servers. Hence, the client-server model usually uses a star topology. However, peer-to-peer networks can also have a star topology. Even though no single computer controls the network, all communications still pass through the central switch.
Having nodes arranged in a star topology brings some benefits:
However, star topologies also have their disadvantages:
Star topologies tend to be found in large organisations, such as educational establishments and businesses, where high performance is a must.