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This posting addresses network topologies and diagnostics.

Question 1
Troubleshooting network problems requires familiarity with many different network technologies and both hardware and software diagnostic tools. Describe two different network topologies and some preliminary common sense steps to take before breaking out the diagnostic tools.

Question 2
You are to network a ten story building capable of supporting 100 computers on each floor.

a. What topology would work best for this project?
b. What network hardware will be needed to accomplish the networking project?
c. Explain your choices for the topology and hardware chosen for this IT project.

Solution Preview

Question 1

The two most common network topologies are the bus and the mesh topologies. The bus network topology connects all devices by a common backbone, which "functions as a shared communication medium that devices attach or tap into with an interface connector" (Mitchell, 2012). The bus topology is relatively easy to install, which makes it very user-friendly, particularly for the professional that has not yet acquired a large amount of experience in network topologies. The mesh network topology connects devices by using "redundant interconnections between network nodes" (Networks, 2011). In this type of architecture, when a single node or cable fails, the chances are greater that the nodes will continue to communicate, by finding other nodes for the communication process.

Common sense steps to take before breaking out the diagnostic tools include making sure that all equipment is plugged in and turned on. Cords can become accidentally unplugged from people pulling on equipment, and switches can be accidentally flipped by people working in the area. It is common for ...

Solution Summary

This posting thoroughly addresses how to perform basic troubleshooting, and also discusses in a second question what topology is the best suited for a 100-computer network in a ten story building. References are provided for student use.