The factors contributing to or deciding the performance of a network’s performance are numerous. But it all starts with the configuration, or in other words, the topology. This word explains how a network is configured, connected to the devices within and it’s being managed.
In this article, we will explain several types of network topology for you to decide the best one for your network. Since there are benefits and downsides to every one of the topologies, it is best for you to weigh all down and consider your business needs. Let’s get to explain all of these options and help you select the best network topology for security.
Network topology is a term used to refer to the configuration of all the nodes, connections, and devices within a network. This configuration can be both physical or logical, and every component on a network is included in the topology.
You can think of topology as the way you set up the traffic in your network; you set up the roads for the devices and nodes to communicate through. Although these differ from company to company, there are well-known topologies with different use cases, and these are popular amongst IT experts.
There are two main categories of network topology: physical and logical. Physical topology refers to the practice of configuring devices and setting them up with a specific pattern. This ensures that all the hardware is connected to each other properly to work hand to hand.
Logical topology is when IT admins figure out how devices, apps, and nodes communicate with each other conceptually. This allows them to configure their network and understand how it operates with all the nodes.
There are several types of network topologies known to IT professionals. Although every network will somewhat differ (because no two networks can be the exactly same), these types give ideas to the network architects and help them configure their networks. Let’s jump into some of these which we believe are best for security.
A star topology refers to a network configuration where all the nodes and devices are connected to a central hub. Star topology is easily the most common network configuration type today, and there are good reasons why.
The devices and nodes are not directly connected to each other. But in a star topology, all these are connected to the same main switch, so they can also communicate with each other. But the key is no two devices are directly linked, and the only control mechanism is your main hub.
One of the best things about star topology is that all the resources are managed by the central hub, meaning that it is highly controlled and hard to interrupt. What’s better is that since all nodes are independent of each other, a single down node does not affect the whole network.
Dual-ring topology is a step above the ring topology you might know. Whereas ring topology is not completely duplex since there is only one way for the data to move, dual-ring topologies make for a completely duplex network.
Data can move in between each of the nodes since there are two ways of connection, and this makes communication easier on a network. When nodes can transmit data from and to each other, your network is more likely to perform well and be efficient.
When it comes to cybersecurity, dual-ring topology also proves superior. If there is a down node within your network, the dual-ring can still operate thanks to the second ring which will stay unaffected. Keeping data available at all times is a crucial component of a network security audit checklist, and dual-ring topology is able to promise that.
Mesh topology is a web-like configuration that is nodes structured with point-to-point connections. This gives mesh topology its complex architecture and data transmission qualities. Mesh topologies are usually interconnected and every node has a direct way to connect to another node in the network.
In a mesh topology, when there is data to be transmitted (which is when data is most vulnerable), nodes determine the shortest way possible for the data to reach its destination. This makes mesh topology intrinsically secure since data always uses the fastest path possible.
Another great quality of this topology is the web-like structure which reinforces your network structure and makes it resistant, just like a spider web. Thanks to these individual connections which always ensure a way to transmit data, network failure is rare. Even if there is a failed node on the network, data will find its way through and it’s unlikely that you’ll experience downtime on your whole network.
Network topology differs based on what you need as a business, what you prioritize, and what can you manage with the IT team you have. There are some legacy topologies that are still being used. But it’s always good to prioritize security and choose one of these efficient, modern, and most definitely secure network topologies. The above suggestions are our top-three, but it’s your decision to make the best choice for your business.