Hybrid topology utilizes a mix of two or more topologies in a way that the resulting network does not exhibit one of the standard topologies (e.g., star, bus, ring, etc.) Hybrid topology combines two or more different topologies to create a resultant topology that has good points(as well as flaws) of all the constituent basic topologies instead of possessing features of one specific topology.
Hybrid networks are preferred when there are 2 or more than two basic working topologies already available and these must be connected to each other.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Hybrid Topology?
Following are the main advantages of hybrid topology:
- Reliable : It has far better fault tolerance. The section where fault is found could possibly be singled out from the rest of network and required restorative steps could be taken, without impacting the working of rest of the network.
- Effective: The most important advantage of this topology is that the weakness of the different topologies connected are disregarded and only the strengths are taken into consideration. For instance, ring topology has good data reliability and star topology has high tolerance capability, so these two function quite well in hybrid star-ring topology.
- Flexible: One of the key advantages of this topology is its flexibility. The topology is created, so that it can be implemented for a variety of distinct network environment. Hybrid Network can be created in line with the demands of the corporation and by maximizing the available resources.
- Scalable: Hybrid networks are built in a fashion which enables for easy integration of new hardware components like additional concentration points. It’s quite simple to extend the size of network with the addition of new elements, without disturbing existing architecture.
Following are the main disadvantages of hybrid topology:
- Complexity: Due to the fact that different topologies connect in a hybrid topology, managing the topology gets challenging.. Its not easy to design this type of architecture and its a difficult job for designers. Configuration and installation process needs to be very efficient.
- Expensive: The network hubs needed for hybrid topology networking are costly to purchase and maintain. The cost of this topology is higher in comparison to the other topologies. The hubs used to connect two distinct networks are expensive. These hubs are not the same as usual hubs since they have to be smart enough to work with different architectures and should be able to operate even when a portion of network is down. As hybrid architectures are usually larger in scale, they may require a lot of cables, advanced network devices, etc.
For example a bus network linked with a bus network remains to be a bus network topology.
A hybrid topology is always created when two distinct basic network topologies are connected. Two good examples of Hybrid network are: star ring topology and star bus topology.