Ring, star and mesh architecture
Ring, star and mesh are the “three basic architectures used in dedicated-circuit networking.” (Fitzgerald & Dennis, 2001, page 6) Imagine that you’re 5 years old again and you’re learning to draw so you have a ‘connect the dots book’. The first dot is in New York, the second in Illinois, the third in Oregon, the fourth in California, the fifth in Texas and the sixth in Florida. When you connect the dots starting from New York in a counter clock wise manner what you end up with looks like ring architecture. “A ring architecture connects all computers in a closed loop, with each computer linked to the next.” ((Fitzgerald & Dennis, 2001, page 8)
In comparison to other topologies such as mess and star this one takes a long time to go through its cycle. In the connect the dots book example, if a person sends a message from New York to California it takes a long time whether the message is sent through the links counter clock wise or vice versa. It takes very long for the message to get from one place to the other, there are no shortcuts. Henceforth, there’s a traffic problem. When so many messages are trying to go through the same route something ought to happen. The ring topology is like New York City traffic. If any one location has too many cars going through it gets overloaded and people try to go through other streets and the entire city’s traffic network is affected even though there are shortcuts in the New York City topology. (Fitzgerald & Dennis, 2001, page 8)
Christmas lights used to be the kind where if one bulb went out the entire set of lights would go it. Then new types of lights were introduced where if one circuit went out the rest would still be okay. The same goes for the ring topology. If you want to send a message from New York to Texas and the circuit in Illinois is not working then you can send the message through Florida. But just like New York City traffic this can cause a lot of problems and create further traffic jams. (Fitzgerald & Dennis, 2001, page 8)
Star architecture is like a totalitarian government. There’s one big guy in the middle and to do or say anything you must pass through him. But unlike actual totalitarian governments the network doesn’t oppress anyone and works better and faster than ring architecture. In the connect the dots example if we add another dot right in the middle of the United States and connect each state with that dot using a separate line we have star architecture.
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