Token Ring Network:
A token ring network is a local area network (LAN) in which all computers are connected in a ring or star topology and pass one or more logical tokens from host to host. Only a host that holds a token can send data, and tokens are released when receipt of the data is confirmed. Token ring networks prevent data packets from colliding on a network segment because data can only be sent by a token holder and the number of tokens available is controlled.
Ethernet is the traditional technology for connecting wired local area networks (LANs), enabling devices to communicate with each other via a protocol -- a set of rules or common network language.
As a data-link layer protocol in the TCP/IP stack, Ethernet describes how network devices can format and transmit data packets to other devices on the same local or campus area network segment can recognize, receive and process them. An Ethernet cable is the physical, encased wiring over which the data travels.
Ethernet on Token Ring Network:
If you are considering a network design that has a ring topology and you desire to use Ethernet then there some issues arises of using Ethernet with a ring architecture. Ethernet is traditionally thought of an as a bus or star topology. With the pervasiveness of Ethernet technology, you may find yourself contemplating using Ethernet with a ring architecture. These new extensions to spanning tree allow for fast convergence of Ethernet ring topologies.
If you have ever thought about building a ring topology using Ethernet links you quickly come to realize the limitations of a traditional spanning tree. We are all familiar with the limitations of traditional IEEE 802.1D spanning tree.
The first issue you run into with spanning tree is the convergence times.
The second issue that you encounter is the 7-hop maximum dimension of the spanning tree.
Below is a diagram of a ring Ethernet network. If one switch is the root of the spanning tree then another switch somewhere on the opposite side of the ring will have a port leading to the root in blocking mode. Therefore, the topology under normal circumstances would be a long line of Ethernet switches. If a failure were to occur somewhere on the ring then the spanning tree protocol will need to converge the topology which can take longer then desired. The second byproduct is that the interfaces on the STP root will be oversubscribed and probably higher utilized with the cumulative traffic volumes traversing the ring.
Ethernet vs Token Ring:
a) Ethernet network interface cards cannot operate on a passive hub but Token ring can operate on a passive hub.
b) Ethernet does have access for priority system but Token ring doesn't have any access for priority system on the token.
c) Token Ring is more reliable as only one node send data which cause no collision.
d) Token Ring is Slow than Ethernet, as only one node send data at a time. Therefore not good for very large network
e) Ethernet is more secure than Token Ring. Because in Token Ring, data passes through each node whereas in Ethernet data packet is managed by HUB or Switch.
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