A Ring Network is a type of decentralized network topology found in a LAN or Local Area Network. In this type of network topology, a number of different nodes which include workstations, shared peripherals, file servers and more, are arranged around a closed-loop cable. This works similar to the way a bus network runs within a computer or processor.
Technipages Explains Ring Network
A ring network’s workstations are all capable of sending messages to all other workstations on the network. Each of the nodes in the network, which of course includes more than just workstations, has its own unique address and circuits in order to constantly check whether a message is being sent. Every node does this, all the time, which is why initially, a single node failing could disrupt or even compromise the entire network.
Over time, fault-tolerance mechanisms were built in and ring networks became more tolerant of individual nodes failing – even more than one at a time. In essence, initially, even a single node failing broke the ring, while later versions allowed to bypass broken nodes and keep the ring intact. Each node in the network is connected to exactly two other nodes, which is why initially, one failing was such a big issue. Every active node processes every data packet that needs to be transmitted. This isn’t overly effective at a larger scale – ring networks tend to be relatively small in nature, as larger ones can have delays.
Common Uses of Ring Network
- Ring networks have the advantage of being decentralized – that means that there isn’t any one single central node that needs to direct or control the traffic in the network
- The setup of new devices or removal of existing ones from a ring network is relatively difficult.
- Ring networks are, by definition, reliant on the nodes that form the ring.
Common Misuses of Ring Network
- A ring network is a type of wireless connection where devices communicate with one another.