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NTC 360 Week 3 - Topologies - Team D




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Network Topologies 1
Network topologies at Huffman Trucking
Team D: Will Mason, Paul Bropleh II, Detricia Coardes,
Christopher Reese, and Michelle Walker
University of Phoenix
NTC 360
Stephen Omogbehin
February 11, 2007

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Network Topologies 2
Network topologies of Huffman Trucking
When implementing a network, a person must understand where all of the components
are placed in the proposed network. Understanding the topology, or layout of the network, is
important in providing a solid network base. A topology is defined, according to Tomsho, et al,
(2004), as “the basic physical layout of a network” (p. 619). However, how the nodes on the
network communicate with each other is known as a topology, as well; this is known as the
network’s logical topology. Huffman Trucking incorporates different topologies in its corporate
network; for example, the topologies that exist at the different sites include Token Ring topology,
star topology, and bus topology. The different topologies allow the different nodes on the
network at each site to communicate through the physical components that compose the overall
Bus Topology
The bus topology is “by far the simplest and at one time was the most common method of
connecting computers” (Tomsho, et. al, 2004, p. 49). A single cable segment connects all nodes
of the network; this is known as the network’s backbone and is the major flaw of this topology.
The networks in Huffman Trucking that employ the use of the bus topology include the Los
Angeles office network and the New Jersey office network.
The advantages of the bus topology include its: 1) simplicity and reliability, 2)
inexpensive cabling that is easy to work with and extend, and 3) uses cable economically
because all nodes are arranged in a line. A hub or patch panel is often used to connect all of the
network nodes; however, hubs and patch panels do not possess the ability to route the traffic to
the proper node. Hubs only strengthen the signal and move the signal onto the rest of the
network. The disadvantages of using a bus topology are 1) heavy traffic negatively impacts

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Network Topologies 3
network throughput, 2) a problem with any cable halts network traffic, and 3) problems on the
network are often difficult to isolate. The hub topology is one of the oldest and most reliable, yet
the topology is not ideal for a busy networking environment.
Ring topology
The next network topology, of which the entire Cleveland network (office and plant) and
the entire St. Louis network (office and plant) use, is the ring topology. The advantages of the
ring topology include the fact that equal access is available to all nodes and steady network
performance. The disadvantages outweigh the benefits and include: 1) network outage caused by
single computer, 2) difficulty isolating network problems, and 3) adding and removing
computers disrupts network operations.
Star topology
The need for the centralization of network information on servers led to the advent of the
star topology. Client-server architectures benefit most from this type of topology because of the
centralization of network resources. The star topology is the most popular because it is “easy to
add new computers or modify the network” (Tomsho, et al, 2004, p. 61). In addition, network
monitoring and management benefits from the centralization of network resources. Finally, a
network outage is not caused by the failure of a single computer or cable on the network.
Implementing a star topology requires more cable; this can add to the cost of upgrading
the network. The centralization of resources is also a disadvantage because, if a hub or switch
fails, the entire network fails.
Combining topologies: Compromising the network?
Given that Huffman Trucking uses different types of networks, the communications
throughput is compromised because of the disadvantages that such a disparate network brings to

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