Reader’s Question: Mesh or Star-Shaped Networks

Posted: April 14, 2011 in Expert Q&A
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This week we answer another reader’s question, if you have a network security-related issue, drop us a line, and we’d be happy to help out.   

VPN Haus,

My company is opening an office in California this fall and we [the IT team] are debating between two different networks—mesh and star-shaped.  Can you help shed some light on the differences?

– Networking Newbie

Dear Networking Newbie,

We love topology questions! You probably know, network topology is essentially the pattern of interconnections on a computer network. With mesh networks, the branch offices are not only connected to the headquarters, but also to each other. Whereas with star-shaped networks, all the communications between branch offices are channeled through one central VPN gatewaywhich tends to result in higher latency with communication between the branch offices.

Mesh and Star-Shaped Networks

However, an advantage of star-shaped networks is that IT administrators are able to control the whole network through one central monitoring system. This is good for real-time detection and can also locate communication faults between branch offices.

On the other hand, star-shaped networks require a central VPN management system. Should communication faults occur in the crosslinks of a mesh network, locating them can be more difficult. Think of it this way, if a network has 100 branch offices, controlling this network would be a rather formidable task!

– The VPN Haus Editors

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  1. […] Reader’s Question: Mesh or Star-Shaped Networks […]

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