Star topology is a type of network topology in which every device in the network is individually connected to a central node, known as the switch or hub. When represented visually, this topology resembles a star which gives it its name.
Star topologies are often combined with bus topologies, resulting in what’s called a tree. This occurs when the switch of the star topology is connected to the backbone of the bus topology.
Advantages of Star Topology
- Limits the impact of a single point of failure because each device is isolated by its relationship to the switch
- Adding or removing devices to the network is simple and doesn’t disrupt the network
- High-performance as no data collisions can occur
- Fault detection is easy
- Each device only requires one port to connect to the switch
Disadvantages of Star Topology
- Requires more cabling and is more expensive than some alternatives
- If the switch fails, all the connected devices are disabled
- The switch requires more resources and maintenance
- Performance is dependent on the switch
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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