Ethernet is a local area network (LAN) protocol that uses a bus or star topology. In a bus topology there is a single main bus cable or a backbone, which transmits data to all nodes/workstations in the entire network. Every node has a direct connection to this cable. Each segment of the backbone runs to the network interface card of each workstation and the network cards on the first and last workstations are connected to only one other card of the network. In all the other computers the network interface card requires a T-connector where two adjacent cables can be attached.
A break on any part of the backbone cable prevents all the computers on the segment from being able to communicate. In the star topology, all computers are connected individually to a central computer also known as the hub or server because it controls all the other computers. Failure of one computer does not affect others unless it is the hub that has failed. One can also add or remove a computer from the network without affecting the rest. If the hub/central computer fails then the entire network collapses.
Formally titled as Career Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection, Ethernet is a popular LAN technology because of its competitive priced equipments, easy to use nature, reliability and open technology nature. Many computer vendors equip their products with million bits per second (10/100 Mbps) Ethernet enhancements to facilitate many possible Ethernet networks. In Ethernet networks there is a physical medium to carry Ethernet signals between computers. Secondly there is a set of media access controls rules embedded in each interface that allow multiple computers to arbitrate access as required.
Lastly there is a standardized sets of bits used to carry data over the system. Every computer on the Ethernet network uses a collision detection mechanism to listen to data traffic on the channel. When there is no traffic then the computer is ready to transmit a frame or packet of data. If two computers start to transmit data at the same time, the collusion detection mechanism stops both transmissions and assigns a random time to each computer for checking to see if it can send.
The Ethernet relies on Media Access Control (MAC) to identify the receiving and transmitting nodes. On the other hand token ring is type of network where all the computers are connected in a continuous loop called the ring topology. In ring topology all the computers are connected in a continuous loop with no end-points or terminals. Workstations relay the signals/message round the loop in a round-robin fashion. A packet of information or a special bit pattern called a token is passed from one computer to the next; only one token exist in any network.
All computers in this network send message over the same cable therefore a mechanism had to be developed to keep two machine from using the cable at the same time. Before any computer sends a message over the network it has to wait until it catches the token. Only the computer holding the token can transmit data over the network so no other machine can send a message that might conflict with the signal from the machine holding the token. This capturing of the token keeps all the other machines from attempting to send a frame.
The machine with the token holds on it until the message it has sent reaches its destination then it releases the token to the next machine. All stations on a token ring network must transmit data at the same speed for them to interact in the network. For upgrades then all the computer network cards are upgraded to the same level of speed. Comparing the two protocols, for a machine that is configured to operate on the Ethernet it does not have to wait for a control bit of information so that it is able to communicate with other machines.
It uses the central machine to direct its message when in star topology or it is able to detect chances of collision in the network so that it is able to transfer data when in bus topology. When such a machine’s framework is changed to token ring then its protocol procedure is changed such that is has to wait for a token, which does not exist in the Ethernet network so that it transmit the data. This workstation may end up in a deadlock or may never connect to the network because it is waiting for a procedure, which does not exist, or for an action which will never occur.
Conclusion TCP/IP is only the suite of communications protocols used to connect hosts on the Internet and is also the global standard for communication but each network has a connection scheme that describes, in general terms, the transmission media layout. Each network also subscribes to only one physical topology, which describes the network’s entire physical structure. The topology can define the cable’s actual configuration for those networks that use the media cable.