Chapter 4


What determines the category of a cable?


Answer: The cable category is determined by the number of twists per inch.


Describe a star topology.


Answer: In a star topology, all network devices are connected to a central point such as a hub or a switch.


Describe a ring topology.


Answer: In a ring topology, all network devices are connected to each other in the shape of a loop, or ring, so that each device is directly attached to two other devices.


Describe a tree topology.


Answer: In a tree topology, several star topologies are connected to a single linear backbone, such as a single switch.


Which LAN topologies usually use switches?


Answer: Switches are commonly used in star and tree topologies.


When would you use a star (hub-and-spoke) or a ring topology?


Answer: Due to its centralized nature, a star (hub-and-spoke) topology is somewhat easier to install and manage than a ring topology. Centralization, however, creates a single point of failure. If the central hub or switch fails, the entire network is down. A ring topology does not have this central point of failure but can be more difficult to install than a star topology. The determining factor is the choice between ease of management and simple redundancy.


When would you use a tree topology?


Answer: In a larger LAN environment, such as in an office building, a single star topology can become cumbersome to maintain and manage because all users are essentially on the same network segment. Using a tree topology can physically segment users by their location, such as the first or second floor, making it easier to maintain and manage the network. Each tree branch, or floor, can either use resources on the same branch (switch) or share resources with users from other branches (such as those on another floor), within the same tree.