9 junio, 2024

Mixed topology: features, types, advantages, disadvantages

what is the mixed topology?

The mixed topology is a type of network topology that uses two or more different network topologies. This topology contains a combination of the bus topology, mesh topology, ring topology, and star topology.

The topology determines how a network will be constituted. Contains the layout of the configuration of the links and nodes to relate to each other. This configuration is essential to stipulate how the network performance will be.

There are many ways to organize a network, each having its own advantages and disadvantages, so some will be more useful than others in certain situations.

There is a set of alternatives to evaluate when choosing a network topology. The topology that is chosen, whether mixed or not, must consider the size of the installation and the money available.

In the mixed topology the network is divided into different segments. Each of them connects to the chosen backbone network, maintaining its own topological configuration.

Characteristics of the mixed typology

Mixed topologies combine two or more different topologies to link endpoints to the other devices connected to the system, such as personal computers and printers. The tree topology is a good example, integrating the bus and star designs.

It is a scalable topology that can be easily expanded. It is reliable, but at the same time it is an expensive topology.

Mixed topologies exist mainly in high-ranking companies, where each department has its own network topology, tailored to its particular uses.

A mixed topology occurs only when two different network topologies are connected. They must be different because, for example, connecting two star topologies will form a star topology.

Types mixed topology

This topology has the characteristics and limitations of the components that make it up. Two types of mixed topology are commonly used: the star-bus topology and the star-ring topology.


In this mixed topology, several star networks are linked to one bus connection. When a star topology is jammed, a second star configuration can be added and these two star topologies can be connected by a bus connection.

If one computer fails, part of the network will not be affected. However, when the central component, called a hub, that connects all the computers in the star topology fails, all the computers connected to that component will fail and can no longer communicate.

The tree network is an example of a mixed topology, where star networks are interconnected via bus networks.


This mixed topology consists of two or more ring networks connected by a centralized hub unit.

The computers are attached to the hub like a star network. However, these devices are configured in the form of a ring network.

If one computer fails, the rest of the network will not go down, as happens with the star-bus topology. With the use of a token pass, each computer has the same opportunity to communicate. This generates more traffic between the different sections of the network than with the other mixed topology.


The mixed network topology has many advantages. These topologies are flexible, reliable, and have higher fault tolerance.

The main advantage of the mixed structure is the degree of flexibility it provides, since there are few limitations on the structure of a network as such that a mixed configuration cannot accommodate.

This type of network is capable of utilizing the stronger aspects of other networks, such as signal strength.

Easy troubleshooting

Problems with mixed networks are relatively easy to diagnose and correct, because the connection points in the network hubs are very close together, compared to the total size of the network.

The hub or connection point that caused the problem can easily be disconnected from the network and repaired, while allowing the rest of the network to function normally.

System users may not even notice that a problem has occurred, which is a great advantage for large enterprises and companies that run online games for millions of users.

Easy network growth

It is scalable, as other computer networks with different topologies can be connected to existing networks.

You can choose the topology according to the requirement. For example, if scalability is required, then a star topology may be used instead of bus technology.

Mixed networks are built in a modular fashion, which allows for easy integration of new hardware components, such as additional connection points.

This allows network designers to upgrade the power and storage capacity of the network by simply connecting a new hub to the system.

The connection points of a mixed network are connected by a single cable, making the integration process as simple as installing a landline phone.


Each network topology has its particular drawbacks. Therefore, as the complexity of the network grows, the experience and knowledge required by the network administrators will also grow so that everything works in an excellent way.

On the other hand, the installation is difficult and the design is complex, so the maintenance is high and therefore expensive.

Likewise, when implementing a mixed network topology, the monetary cost must be considered, including the requirement of high-end equipment.

Expensive network administration

The network hubs required for the mixed topology network are expensive to purchase and maintain. This is because hubs must manage multiple types of networks at the same time and remain functional, even when a network is removed from the system.

This requires a level of clever processing, which cannot be achieved without spending a substantial amount of money.

much wiring

While the amount of cabling required to connect smart network hotspots is small, it is also the most important part of the system.

Because of this, cabling redundancy and backup rings are often needed to ensure network reliability standards, because any fray in the cable connection could cause the entire network to collapse.

This can lead to a large amount of wiring, which requires additional elements for system cooling.

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