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Evaluation of Network Topologies

Cherkasova, Ludmila; Kotov, Vadim; Rokicki, Tomas

HPL-95-33

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Abstract: The most fundamental question when designing any network is how to connect the network elements together. The network topology defines such crucial parameters as latency, throughput, ease of routing, and fault tolerance. In this paper, we present our evaluation of various network topologies, including stars, rings, n-dimensional meshes, hex meshes, and chordal rings. We derive upper limits on the performance of each; this analytical model is general enough to apply to many different types of networks, including Fiber Channel, ATM, and even Ethernet networks. We then compare the different topologies and discuss where each particular topology is appropriate.

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