As a quality engineer, we don’t often understand how the network works. It’s worth knowing because when in meetings, or when there is something go wrong, we don’t need to ask for a admin guy to trouble shoot.
The term network topology refers to the shape of how the computers and other net-work components are connected to each other. There are several different types of network topologies, each with advantages and disadvantages.
In a bus topology, every node on the network can see every packet that’s sent
on the cable. Each node looks at each packet to determine whether the packet
is intended for it. If so, the node claims the packet. If not, the node ignores the
packet. This way, each computer can respond to data sent to it and ignore data sent to other computers on the network.
If a cable in a star network breaks, only the node connected to that cable is isolated from the network. The other nodes can continue to operate without interruption — unless, of course, the node that’s isolated because of the break happens to be the file server.
In a ring topology, packets are sent around the circle from computer to computer. Each computer looks at each packet to decide whether the packet was intended for it. If not, the packet is passed on to the next computer in the ring.
A fourth type of network topology, known as mesh, has multiple connections
between each of the nodes on the network. The advantage of a mesh topology is that if one cable breaks, the network can use an alternative route to deliver its packets.