What is Mesh Topology?
A mesh topology is a network topology where all network nodes are individually connected to most other nodes. There is no concept of a central switch, hub, or computer; they act as a communication centre for transmitting messages.
In a mesh network topology, all computers are interconnected in a network. Each computer not only sends its signal but also relays data from other computers. This topology is very expensive because it is very difficult to establish a mesh topology connection.
The mesh topology constitutes a point-to-point connection. In earlier days, mesh topologies were half-duplex, which meant that data could be received or transmitted at that time. But currently, mesh topologies support full-duplex, which means that data can be transmitted and received simultaneously.
Mesh Topology Diagram
Mesh topology can be wired or wireless and can be implemented in LANs and WANs. With redundant lines, this type of topology can resolve the failure of one or two segments of the network without interrupting traffic. It is a common topology in wireless networks.
Mesh Topology Characteristics and Features
- Not flexible.
- Fully connected.
- Provide high reliability.
- Simple error detection and troubleshooting are very simple.
- You may find it difficult to build and manage such a network.
- Mesh networks are very secure and provide the best performance.
- Wireless sensor networks (WSN) can be easily implemented using this topology.
How Mesh Topology Works in Computer Networking?
1. Routing in Mesh Topology
A routing is where a node uses routing logic to calculate the shortest distance to the destination of a packet.
In this working mechanism, each node maintains a routing table. The routing table contains destination addresses and possible link paths. Therefore, whenever the sender wishes to send data to the Receiver, it combines the data message with the destination address. Before sending, the sender must determine the path used to transfer the data. The routing table will contain information about links to other connected network nodes.
2. Flooding in Mesh Topology
Flooding is where data is sent to all nodes in the network. Flooding does not require any form of routing logic to work.
This is indeed a very simple method. Under this mechanism, there is no need to make or maintain routing tables. Instead, a computer that wants to send a data message to another computer encapsulates the recipient address and the data message in a data packet or data packet. It then broadcasts the packet to all nodes or network devices connected to it. Each network device receives the software package and checks the destination address/recipient address. If its address matches the recipient’s address, it will retain the data. Otherwise, it just discards the data.
Types of Mesh Topology
• Full Mesh Topology
• Partial Mesh Topology
• Hybrid Mesh Topology
1. Full Mesh Topology
A full mesh topology connects all computers to every other computer. A full mesh network is a network that organizes devices into a mesh topology. Full mesh topology provides a lot of redundancy but are often reserved for the network backbone because they can be very expensive to implement.
In a full mesh topology, all nodes in the network are directly connected. Each node acts as a switch or router. The purpose of a node is to receive messages and data and broadcast it to other nodes. If the connection between the two nodes is broken, there will be no failure in the network, and other nodes can transmit data.
- Calculating the number of connections: n(n-1)
2. Partial Mesh Topology
In a partial mesh topology, two or more nodes are partially connected to the network. This means that all other nodes are directly connected, but two or more nodes are connected to some nodes in the network. Compared with the full mesh topology, the partial mesh topology is more practical. Compared to a full mesh topology, this partial mesh topology is less expensive and reduces redundancy.
- Calculating the number of connections: n(n-1)/2
3. Hybrid Mesh Topology
A hybrid grid topology is a hybrid of the first two types. Half mesh topology is a special type of hybrid mesh network. In this type, half of the network nodes have a complete mesh network configuration and the other half have a partial mesh network topology configuration. You get reliability and performance at a lower cost. This means you don’t need to fully connect those less important network devices. Therefore, you can concentrate on the more important and more important network devices in the computer network.
Example of Mesh Topology in Real Life
- Zigbee (basically a Wireless Sensor Network)
- Google Home
- Google OnHub
- Data-centric fabric
- Networks in Military Devices
Uses of Mesh Topology
• Patient Monitoring System
• Security Systems
• Defense Systems
• Strategic Communications
Mesh Topology Advantages and Disadvantages
- Data transfer rate is high.
- New nodes can be added easily.
- Each connection can carry its specific data load.
- Point-to-point links make fault identification and isolation easier.
- Dedicated links also ensure the privacy and security of the data.
- Dedicated links ensure faster transfer speeds without any delay.
- It is robust because the failure of one node does not crash the entire system
- The failure of one device will not cause network interruption or data transmission.
- The mesh topology is secure because of the point-to-point link, which prevents unauthorized access.
- Since multiple devices can transmit data at the same time, a large amount of traffic can be managed.
- Requires bulk wiring.
- Full mesh topologies are very expensive.
- Installation and configuration are difficult if there are more connections.
- The implementation cost is higher than other network topologies, which makes it less than ideal.
- Connecting each device to every other device on the network will make installation and reconfiguration difficult.
- The opportunity for redundant connections is high, which increases high costs and reduces efficiency.
- Since each device needs to be connected to other devices, the number of I / O ports required must be large.
- The scalability issue is because devices cannot connect to a large number of devices through a dedicated point-to-point link.