In a computer network, there are links and nodes, which help workstations connect to each other. Such a pattern is referred to as a network topology. It is divided into physical topology and logical topology. When one is talking about the nodes, links, devices, locations, etc., one is actually referring to the physical topology. On the other hand, when one talks about transferring of data within the network, one is talking about the logical topology.
There are many types of physical topologies, namely point-to-point, bus, ring, mesh, and hybrid topology. The classification of topologies is made based on the connection between different nodes in the network. The choice of using a particular topology depends on various factors. Each of the topologies has its own advantages and disadvantages.
What is a Hybrid Topology?
A combination of two or more different topologies makes for a hybrid topology. When different topologies are connected to one another, they do not display characteristics of any one specific topology. This is when it becomes a hybrid topology. It is chosen when there are more than two basic working topologies in place already, and these have to be connected to one another.
When there is a star topology connected to another star topology, it still remains a star topology. However, when a star topology and bus topology are connected to one another, it gives rise to the creation of a hybrid topology. Often when the topologies are connected to one another, the layout of the resultant topology is difficult to comprehend, however, the new topology works without any problems.
Advantages and Disadvantages
One of the prominent advantages of this topology is its flexibility. The topology is designed, so that it can be implemented for a number of different network environment. Often it is a combination of different configurations, due to which it works perfectly for different amounts of network traffic. Adding other peripheral connections is easy, as the new nodes and/or peripherals can be connected into a topology and the said topology can be connected to the hybrid topology with ease.
As compared to most other topologies, this topology is reliable. It has better fault tolerance. Since, a number of different topologies are connected to one another, in case of a problem, it becomes rather easier to isolate the different topologies connected to each other and find the fault with the hybrid topology. When a particular link in the network breaks down, it does not hamper the working of the network.
Any type of topology can be combined with another without making any changes to the existing topology. The speed of the topology is consistent, as it combines the strengths of each of the topologies and eliminates the weakness. It is also therefore, more efficient.
The most important advantage of this topology is that the weakness of the different topologies connected are neglected and only the strengths are taken into consideration. Although it makes for a very complicated topology, it is among the most effective and efficient ones.
Since different topologies come together in a hybrid topology, managing the topology becomes difficult. It is also very expensive to maintain. The cost of this topology is higher as compared to the other topologies. Cost factor can be attributed to the cost of the hub, which is higher, as it has to continue to work in the network even when any one of the nodes goes down. The cost of cabling also increases, as a lot of cabling has to be carried out in this topology.
Installation and configuration of the topology is difficult. Since there are different topologies, which have to be connected to one another. At the same time, it has to be ensured that none of them fails and this makes the installation and configuration very difficult.
If there are two or more than two topologies in place, which you want to connect to one another, then it is best to opt for a hybrid topology and not worry about changing the entire topology structure. As opposed to all the other topologies, it has many more advantages and lesser disadvantages, and you would definitely want to harness them, won't you?