Designing the Network's Layout

The term topology, or more specifically, network topology, refers to the arrangement or physical layout of computers, cables, and other components on the network.

A network's topology affects its capabilities. Choosing one topology over the other can impact the:

  • Type of equipment the network needs.
  • Capabilities of the equipment.
  • Network's growth.
  • Way a network is managed.

A network's topology implies a number of conditions. For example, a particular topology can determine not only the type of cable used but how the cable is run through floors, ceilings and walls. Topology can also determine how computers communicate on the network. Different topologies require different communication methods, and these methods have a great influence on the network.

The type of network you install will depend on a number of factors, including the:

  • Network budget
  • Network size
  • Level of security required
  • Physical layout
  • Type of business
  • Amount of network traffic