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Network Topology Cables and connectors Network Devices

Network Topologies

LANs and WANs - Geographical coverage LANs

A single geographical location, such as office building, school, etc Typically High speed and cheaper.
Spans more than one geographical location often connecting separated LANs Slower Costly hardware, routers, dedicated leased lines and complicated implementation procedures.


Network Topologies

Topology - Physical and logical network layout

Physical actual layout of the computer cables and other network devices Logical the way in which the network appears to the devices that use it. Bus, ring, star, mesh and wireless

Common topologies:

Bus topology

Uses a trunk or backbone to which all of the computers on the network connect. Systems connect to this backbone using T connectors or taps. Coaxial cablings ( 10Base-2, 10Base5) were popular options years ago.

Bus Topology

Cheap and easy to implement

Network disruption when computers are added or removed A break in the cable will prevent all systems from accessing the network. Difficult to troubleshoot.

Require less cable

Does not use any specialized network equipment.

Ring Topology

Logical ring

Meaning that data travels in circular fashion from one computer to another on the network. Typically FDDI, SONET or Token Ring technology are used to implement a ring network Ring networks are most commonly wired in a star configuration

Token Ring has multi-station access unit (MSAU),equivalent to hub or switch. MSAU performs the token circulation internally.

Ring Topology

Cable faults are easily located, making troubleshooting easier Ring networks are moderately easy to install

Expansion to the network can cause network disruption A single break in the cable can disrupt the entire network.

Star Topology

All computers/devices connect to a central device called hub or switch. Each device requires a single cable point-to-point connection between the device and hub. Most widely implemented Hub is the single point of failure

Star Topology

Easily expanded without disruption to the network Cable failure affects only a single user Easy to troubleshoot and isolate problems

Requires more cable

A central connecting device allows for a single point of failure More difficult to implement

Mesh Topology

Each computer connects to every other. High level of redundancy. Rarely used.

Wiring is very complicated Cabling cost is high Troubleshooting a failed cable is tricky A variation hybrid mesh create point to point connection between specific network devices, often seen in WAN implementation.


Mesh Topology

Provides redundant paths between devices The network can be expanded without disruption to current uses

Requires more cable than the other LAN topologies Complicated implementation


Wireless networking

Do not require physical cabling Particularly useful for remote access for laptop users Eliminate cable faults and cable breaks. Signal interference and security issue.


Wireless networking

Allows for wireless remote access Network can be expanded without disruption to current users

Potential security issues associated with wireless transmissions Limited speed in comparison to other network topologies

Cabling and Connectors

General media considerations

Broadband versus baseband

Baseband transmissions use digital signaling and Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) Broadband transmissions use analog and Frequency Division Multiplexing(FDM)

Dialog modes: Simplex, half duplex and full duplex

Cabling and Connectors

Media interference

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) and cross talk Network media vary in their resistance to the effect of EMC.

UTP is susceptible and fiber is resistant


Resistance :Coaxial cable > UTP, STP > UTP, Fiber > all Maximum distance Repeaters Attenuation-related problems require a network analyzer to detect Transmission capacity of a media Data throughput is measured in bits per second(bps), Mbps, and Gbps For todays application-intensive networks, Old 10Mbps is not enough, 100Mbps is very common and 1000Mbps is used too.



Network Media

Cable-based media Coaxial

Copper wire to conduct the signals electronically Was the choice for LAN for many years. Retiring
Copper wire to conduct too Most widely used transmits the signals as light Uses glass or plastic conductor and High Cost. Restricted to where segment length and higher speeds are needed.

Twisted pair


Server room, backbone

Twisted-pair cabling

Has been around for a long time Created for voice transmissions Most widely used media for networking

Lighter More flexible Easier to install Cheaper Greater speeds Unshielded twisted pair (UTP) Shielded twisted pair (STP)

Two types:

Twisted-pair cabling

UTP is more commonplace STP

provides the extra shielding by using an insulating material wrapped around the wire Greater resistance to EMI and attenuation More cost

Five main categories

Category Cable Types

1 2 3 4 5, 5e 6, 6e UTP UTP UTP, STP UTP, STP UTP, STP UTP, STP

Analog voice Digital voice, 1Mbps data 16Mbps data 20Mbps data Data, 100Mbps, 1G Data, 1G, 10G

RJ-45 connectors

RJ-45 are used with twisted-pair cabling. Resemble ordinary phone jacks (RJ-11) Eight wires instead of four Larger. Check out this page for how to make cat5 cable.

Fiber-optic cable

Use light transmissions EMI, crosstalk and attenuation become no issue. Well suited for data, video and voice transmissions Most secure of all cable media Installation and maintenance procedures require skills Cost of cable Cost of retrofitting of existing network equipment because incompatible with most electronic network equipment

Fiber-optic cable

Single mode fiber:

A single direct bean of light, allowing for greater distances and increased transfer speeds. Many beams of light travel through the cable This strategy weakens the signal, reducing the length and speed the data signal can travel.

Multimode fiber:

Fiber-optic connectors
There are a variety of connectors and several ways of Connecting these connectors, such bayonet, snap-lock, and push-pull connectors. A couple here: FC

MIC, Standard FDDI connector ST


SC duplex SC

Wireless media

Three types:

Radio wave Infrared Microwave

Speeds of wireless solutions dont keep pace with cable solutions Installation and maintenance are far more complicated and costly. Some solutions require line-of-sight, such as infrared and microwave.

IEEE 802.3 standards

IEEE 802.3 standards defines a range of networking systems that are bases on the original Ethernet standard.

Cable type
Thin Coaxial

Segment Length
185 meters


Physical bus


Thick Coaxial Category 3,4,5 twisted pair

500 meters

Vampire Taps Physical bus


100 meters


Physical star

Fast Ethernet IEEE 802.3u

Standard Cable Type Segment Length
100 meters

Conn Topology ector

RJ-45 Physical star

100BaseTx Category 5 UTP

100BaseT4 Category 3,4,5 UTP

100 meters

RJ-45 Physical star

100BaseF X

Multimode/Single-mode fiber-optic cable

412/Multimode fiber-optic 10,000/singlemode fiberoptic

SC,ST Physical star ,MIC

Gigabit Ethernet 802.3z and 802.3ab

Standard 1000BaseLX 1000BaseSX Cable Type Multimode/ singlemode fiber Multimode fiber Segment length 550/multimode 5000/single-mode 550 meters using 50 Micron multimode fiber 25 meters Connector Fiber connectors Fiber connectors


STP twisted pair

9-pin shielded connector, 8-pin fiber channel type 2 connector RJ-45


Category 5 UTP

100 meters

Check out this page for how to make cat5 cable. Color codes


Pin Number Designations There are pin number designations for each color in T568B The pin designations are as follows: Color Codes for T568B Pin color pair name --- ---------------1 wh/or 2 TxData + 2 or 2 TxData 3 wh/grn 3 RecvData+ 4 blu 1 5 wh/blu 1 6 grn 3 RecvData7 wh/brn 4 8 brn 4


The pinouts for a crossover cable


Crossover cable


Networking Devices
31 repeaters Hubs Switches Bridges Routes Gateways Network Interface Cards (NICs) Wireless access points Modems Punch_down panels


The bottom of the networking food chain Connect device and create larger networks Small hubs 5-8 ports (workgroup hubs) Some hubs have more ports, up to 32 normally Direct data packets to all devices connected to the hub - shared bandwidth

Scalability, Collision, inefficient



Divide larger networks into smaller sections Check MAC address, forward or block the data Learning bridge builds list of MAC address by watching the traffic on the network. Two issues to consider:

Placement 80/20 rule Bridging loops

IEEE 802.1d Spanning tree protocol

Types of bridges

Transparent bridge Source route bridge Translational bridge



Source Route Bridge

Used in Token Ring networks. . The entire path (ring number and bridge number) is embedded within Packet

Search frame Route discovery frame

Translational bridge

Used to convert one networking data format to another.

For example, from Token Ring to Ethernet and vice versa.



Like hub, connectivity points of Ethernet network Forward only to the port that connects to the destination device

knows MAC address Match the MAC address in the data it receives.

Fully switched network, a dedicated segment for each device is connected to switch. Expensive.



Allow full duplex Ethernet

Nodes only communicate with switch, never directly to each other Use twisted pair or fiber optic cabling, using separate conductors for sending and receiving data.

collision pair is used to transmit data It was half duplex before one device can transmit at one given time,

double the capacity, 100Mbps become 200Mbps

Most LAN are mixed with hubs and switches.



Switch routing method

Packet-based switches use one of the following method to route packet. Cut-through

Forward as soon as it received the destination MAC first 14 bytes Can cause propagation of error Error checked before being forwarded Errors are not propagated through network



Bad frames are discarded

Error checking takes time. Considerably slower

Switch Routing Method


Take the advantage of both. Check errors by reading the first 64byte of packets where collision most likely happens Offer near cut-through switching performance


Switch physical design

LAN switches vary in their physical design Shared-memory

Common buffer for all ports Internal grid with input port and output crossing each other First check MAC, then switch makes a connection where two ports (input/output) intersect Common-bus Dedicated buffer for each port and a circuit to control the bus access




Switch and Transparent Bridging

Most LAN switches use transparent bridging to create address lookup tables Transparent bridging is a technology that allows a switch to learn everything it needs to know about the location of nodes on the network within the network administrator having to do anything. Has five parts:

Learning Flooding Filtering Forwarding Aging


Hub and switch cabling

To create larger networks, connect hubs and switches using

Standard port with special cable Special ports with a standard cable

Standard port - Medium Dependent InterfaceCrossed (MDI-X)

Two wires are crossed internally To see each other as an extension, no signal to be crossed To uncross the internal crossing

Medium Dependent Interface (MDI)

Using crossover cable between two MDI-X ports


Punch_down panels

Wiring closets atch?v=3wdDRtGLiow

Labeling schemes



Create larger networks by joining two networks segments. Dedicated hardware device or computer systems with more than one network interface and routing software. Routing table

Static routing Dynamic routing

Use special routing protocols to pass info to other routers. Distance Vector Routing (RIP) Link state routing (OSPF)


Switch and Router

Different with router
Typically switch works on lower level (Data link Layer) while Router works in higher level (Network Layer) Algorithms for router and switch about how to forward packers are different
For example, switch will forward broadcast, so does hub, not router- the address has to be specific.

Routers and Layer 3 Switch

While most switches operate at the Data link layer(layer2), some incorporate features of a router and operate at the network layer (layer3). Layer 3 switches are faster because they are build on switching hardware

a router is needed for VLANS communication Why not build a router in the switch itself and do the forwarding in hardware EX: IP forwarding all in hardware

Route lookup Decrement the Time to Live (TTL) Recalculation the checksum Forward the frame the frame to correct output port




Any device that translate one data format to another is called a gateway.

Router Bridge Software

Gateway and default gateway



Channel Server Unit/Digital Service Unit ( CSU/DSU) or Data Service Unit Convert digital format on LAN into signal used on WAN

Sit between LAN and access point provided by telecom company Many routers have CSU/DSU functionality


Wireless access points

Devices that provide connectivity between wireless LAN devices and in most cases a wired network. Antennae Convert signal from radio wave or other to that used on the LANs.



Modulator/Demodulator, convert digital signal generated by computer into analog signals that can travel over conventional phone line. Connect to ISP Dialing up to a LAN Internal add-in expansion cards or external devices connect to serial or USB port

PCMCIA cards for laptop Modem itself Speed of the Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter (UART) chip,


UART 16950 has the speed of 921,600kbp


Network cards

Called Network Interface Cards (NIC)

Attached to external port PC card Internal Network card

System bus compatibility

Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) Industry Standard Architecture (ISA)

System Resources device conflict Media compatibility

Twisted pair, coaxial or fiber-optic connection?



ISDN adapters

Integrated Services Digital Networking (ISDN) is a remote access and WAN technology that can be used in place of a Plain old telephone systems dial-up link Greater speeds than modem, pick up and drop the line considerable faster. Require ISDN terminal adapter

Although digital signal, different format with the those used on LAN. Create multiple communication channels on a single line.


System area network cards

Connecting computer systems in a cluster High-performance unit.


Device Hub Switch Bridge Router Gateway CSU/DSU

Function/Purpose Connects devices on a twisted-pair network. Connects devices on a twisted-pair network. Divides networks to reduce overall network traffic.

Key Points A hub does not perform any tasks besides signal regeneration. A switch forwards data to its destination by using the MAC address embedded in each packet. A bridge allows or prevents data from passing through it by reading the MAC address.

Connects networks together. A router uses the software-configured network address to make forwarding decisions. Translates from one data format to another. Gateways can be hardware or software based. Any device that translates data formats is called a gateway.

Network card ISDN terminal adapter

Translates digital signals usedCSU/DSU functionality is sometimes incorporated into other on a LAN to those used on a devices, such as a router with a WAN connection. WAN. Enables systems to connect Network interfaces can be add-in expansion cards, to the network. PCMCIA cards, or built-in interfaces. Connects devices to ISDN lines. ISDN is a digital WAN technology often used in place of slower modem links. ISDN terminal adapters are required to reformat the data format for transmission on ISDN links. System area network cards are high-performance devices capable of coping with the demands of clustering applications. A WAP is often used to connect to a wired network, thereby acting as a link between wired and wireless portions of the network. Modems modulate the digital signal into analog at the sending end and perform the reverse function at the receiving end.

System area network Used in server clusters to card provide connectivity between nodes. WAP Provides network capabilities to wireless network devices. Modem 57 Provides serial communication capabilities across phone lines.

MAC addresses

Unique 6-byte address burned info network interface, expressed in hexadecimal No matter which protocol is used, MAC address is the means by which the network interface is identified on the network. IEEE managing MAC address assignment

IEEE has a system Identifying the manufacturer by looking at the MAC address
Ifconfig /all on WINDOWs NT/2000 Ifconfig a on Linux/UNIX

Discover MAC address, depend on the OS


Watch the Intel Gigabit demo. s/gigabit/base.swf


IEEE and Networking standards

Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) developed a series of networking standards

Networking technologies developed by manufacturers are Compatible Cabling, networking devices and protocols are all interchangeable under the banner of a specific IEEE


Specification Name
802.1 Internetworking

802.3 802.4 802.5 802.6 802.7 802.8 802.9 802.10 802.11 802.12

The LLC(Logincal Link Control) sublayer

CSMA/CD ( Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection) for Ethernet networks A token passing bus Token Ring networks Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) Broadband Technical Advisory Group Fiber-Optic Technical Advisory Group Integrated Voice and Data Networks Standards for Interoperable LAN/MAN Security (SILS) (Network Security) Wireless networks 100Mbps technologies, including 100BASEVG-AnyLAN

802.3 IEEE standard

Defines characteristics for Ethernet networks. New additions, 802.3u for Fast Ethernet, 802.3z for Gigabit Ethernet, referred to as 802.3x. Speed: Original 10Mbps, Fast Ethernet 100Mbps, Gigabit Ethernet 1000Mbps Topology: bus or star. Media: Coaxial and twisted pair cabling, also fiber optic cable. Access method: CSMA/CD


802.5 IEEE standard

Specifies the characteristics for Token Ring Networks. Introduced by IBM in the mid 80s, network topology of choice until the rise of the popularity of Ethernet. Speed: 4 to 16Mbps Topology: logical ring and most often a physical star. Logical ring is often created in the Multistation Access Unit (MSAU) Media: twisted pair cabling. Access method: token passing.

802.11b IEEE Standard

Specifies the characteristics of wireless LAN Ethernet networks. Special devices called wireless access points to allow communicate. Also connect to wired networks to create wireless portions of entire networks. Speed: 802.11b specifies 11M. Today 802.11g can be 108Mbps Media: 802.11b standard is 2.4G radio waves. Topology: physical wireless, logical bus Access method: Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA ), a variation of CSMA/CD.



Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) standard was developed by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Dual ring technology for fault tolerance Speed: 100Mbps or higher Topology: dual ring topology Media: fiber optic cable, > 2 kilometers. Also possible use copper wire as Copper Distributed Data Interface (CDDI). Access method: token-passing access method


Standard 802.3 (802.3u) (802.3z) 802.5 802.11b FDDI

Speed 10Mbps 100Mbps( Fast Ethernet) 1000Mbps 4Mbps and 16Mbps 11Mbps 100Mbps

Physical Topology

Logical Topology Bus and Star

Media Coaxial and Twisted pair Twisted pair Twisted pair Twisted pair Radio waves Fiber-optic Twisted pair/CDDI

Access Method CSMA/CD CSMA/CD CSMA/CD Token passing CSMA/CA Token passing

Star Star Star Wireless Dual Ring

Bus Bus Ring Bus Ring