Bus topology, also known as line topology, is a type of network topology in which all devices in the network are connected by one central RJ-45 network cable or coaxial cable. The single cable, where all data is transmitted between devices, is referred to as the bus, backbone, or trunk.
There are two types of bus topologies:
- Linear bus topology. All devices are connected to a single cable with two end points.
- Distributed bus topology. All devices are connected to a single cable that branches off into multiple sections, resulting in more than two end points.
Advantages of Bus Topology
- Works efficiently for small networks
- Easy and cost-effective to install and add or remove devices
- Doesn’t require as much cabling as alternative topologies
- If one device fails, other devices are not impacted
Disadvantages of Bus Topology
- If the cable is damaged, the entire network will fail or be split
- Difficult to troubleshoot problems
- Very slow and not ideal for larger networks
- Requires terminators at both ends of the cable to prevent bouncing signals that cause interference
- Adding more devices and more network traffic decreases the entire network’s performance
- Low security due to all devices receiving the same signal from the source
Why You Need Network Topology Diagrams
Network topology diagrams are used to visually represent a network’s devices and connections, allowing you to picture how devices are devices communicate with each other.
Network diagrams help improve:
- Uptime. Accurate network documentation enables quick diagnosis in the event of network issues or planned maintenance.
- Efficiency. A real-time view of your network helps you maximize the utilization of your existing capacity and forecast when you will run out of capacity.
- Productivity. Reliable network diagrams allow you to save time troubleshooting issues and deploying new equipment so you can focus on more strategic projects.
Top Challenges of Documenting Network Topologies
Spreadsheets and drawing tools are commonly used for network documentation, but they are:
- Time-consuming. Network topology diagrams must be manually updated every time you move, add, or change equipment. Resources need to be spent on this job instead of more productive work.
- Inaccurate. When network diagrams are updated manually, human error is bound to occur. Inaccurate data can lead to costly downtime and stranded capacity.
- Difficult to manage. Poor version control results in different team members having different documentation and data. Poor data sharing and collaboration practices can wreak havoc across your organization.
Automatically Generate Complete Network Diagrams
Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software automatically renders network topology diagrams so you can visualize your entire network in a single pane of glass.
You can filter by types of equipment, click any node to highlight connections to other nodes, see details of assets and connections, edit the layout, and drill down to see circuit trace diagrams. You can even view a tiered layout where the devices are organize by core network, distribution network, and access network.
Automatic network diagrams greatly decrease the time spent troubleshooting and performing impact analysis. Modern DCIM tools make it easy to visualize what's connected to what, across both active and passive (i.e., patch panels and structured cabling), and across all sites.
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