In Ring Topology, each device/node is connected with its neighboring node forming the shape of ring hence it is known as Ring Topology. In ring topology the data circulate from one computer to another. The flow of the data in ring topology can be uni-directional or bi-directional.
A Uni-directional ring topology can transfer data in either clockwise or counterclockwise direction. thus, a uni-direction ring topology can be called as Half-duplex network whereas a Bi-directional ring topology can transfer and receive data at the same time. Thus, a bidirectional ring topology can be called as full duplex network.
The data flow in the ring topology is based on the Token Passing principal, The token is passed from one computer to the next, only the computer with the token can transmit. The receiving computer takes the data from the token and sends the token back to the sending computer with an acknowledgment signal. After verification, the token is regenerated.
Only those computer will transmit the data whose have the token. Other computers have to wait for an empty token to reach them. This network topology is usually found in schools, small building, and offices.
In case of any failure in a computer or cable breaks the entire network can be shutdown.
Advantages of Ring Topology:
- Flow of data is in circular direction which minimizes the chance of packet collision.
- The uni-directional ring topology provides very high speed.
- It has better performance than bus topology, even when the nodes are increased.
- Ring network can handle high volume of nodes in a network (Robust).
- It can handle heavy traffic as compared to bus topology due to Token passing principal.
- Ring topology provides good communication over a long distance.
- The maintenance of ring network is much easier compared to the bus network.
- There is no need of network server to control the flow of data.
- Troubleshooting in ring network is much easier because cable faults can be easily located.
- Ring network is less costly compared to the other topologies I.e. (mesh, hybrid, and tree topology).
Disadvantage of Ring Topology:
- A single break in the cable can cause disturbance in the entire network
- In Uni-directional Ring, a data packet (token) must pass through all the nodes.
- Addition and removal of any node in a network is difficult and can cause issue in network activity.
- Ring network is much slower than Ethernet network under normal load conditions.
Ring topology was most common, when IBM introduced its first local-area network (LAN Token Ring). Today, the need for high speed Local area networks has made this topology less popular.
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