What is backbone or backbone and what is it used for

The network is made up of many elements so that we can connect and have access to the Internet. There are many factors that in one way or another are necessary to keep it running smoothly and to serve both private users and large companies and organizations. We can mention the devices, the software we use to connect, the routers or access points, the wiring of the installation… In addition, there are also many types of networks and ways to connect, since not all circumstances are the same. In this article we are going to talk about what is backbone or backbone.

What is backbone or backbone network

Backbone means spinal column in English. We can say that a backbone network is one that connects numerous interconnected routers between them. This can be used to connect an organization’s headquarters, government buildings, universities … But it can also go much further and be able to connect countries or even continents.

To make all this possible , fiber optic cables are used , which can even be submarine. Its infrastructure allows interconnecting networks that can communicate with each other through a route. They connect local area networks (LAN) with wide area networks (WAN). In this way, they allow optimal performance in large-scale data communications and regardless of whether it is a great distance.

It must be taken into account that a backbone network can be a not very wide set of lines, but also a much larger set. This is so since we could be talking about a local backbone, in which a line or set of lines are connected to have access to a wide network area, while we can also be dealing with a set of local or regional networks that they interconnect to reach a very wide distance.

Types of backbone or backbone networks

Backbone networks are mainly used in medium or large size networks. They can be, for example, those that are installed in a building or a group of buildings to connect faculties, areas of a company, etc. There are several types that we can name. They are more oriented in companies and organizations, mainly due to their architecture and cost. It may be necessary at any given time for those who need to connect a lot of equipment in a certain place. We already know that more and more devices connected to the Internet are part of our daily lives. This means that at all times we must adapt our networks.

Serial backbone

The first type is called serial backbone. In this case, a serial backbone network is one that is made up of two or more devices that are connected in a chain. It is the most basic type of backbone. It can be achieved through switches, gateways, or routers.

Serial networks are not very scalable. It is one of the reasons why they are not widely used if we compare them with other options. There are not many computers that can be connected and therefore we could have limitations that prevent us from achieving our goal. In that case, you would have to opt for some other alternative from those that we have available.

Distributed backbone

On the other hand, we can find a distributed backbone or backbone network . In this case, use a more hierarchical design to build the network. There are intermediate devices, such as routers or switches, that are used to connect other equipment. All these intermediate equipment are in turn connected to single or multiple connectivity devices.

This time we are facing a more scalable type of networks. New layers of devices can be added to meet the need. It is administered in a simple way, since it has hierarchical levels. It is an option most used by organizations that need to have multiple computers connected in a network.

Collapsed backbone

One more type we want to show is backbone collapsed. A powerful router is the one that serves as the central connection point for the different subnets. This equipment must have adequate power to be able to cover all the demand.

One of the drawbacks of this type of network is that if the central device has an error and fails, the entire network would automatically go down. It is, in a way, a risk option.

Parallel backbone

One more alternative is the parallel backbone. In this case the devices have more than one connection between them. There are many connections between the high-level routers and the different network segments. It is an option to take into account if we are looking for something more complete than the previous alternative that we mentioned.

By achieving a duplicate connection we can achieve higher availability at any time and thus reduce potential problems. In addition, the speed is also higher. However, as we can imagine, this also increases the price. However, it may be the option of choice for those who want to make the most of the possibilities and have a good Internet connection without skimping on speed and stability. We can have many computers connected at the same time.

In short, a backbone or backbone network is used to connect many networks within a larger one. In this way we can interconnect buildings, cities or countries. We have seen that there are different types, in addition. Each of these types can be useful in certain circumstances to adapt our connections to the real needs that we are going to have.

Today we have a large number of devices connected to the network. We are not only talking about organizations and companies, but also at the user level. What is known as the Internet of Things offers a wide range of possibilities to users. However, for all this to work correctly it is sometimes necessary to have the right equipment or carry out certain configurations. We have looked at backbones and the different types that exist. This will allow us at all times to expand the network and adapt it to our needs. The objective is none other than to achieve good connectivity at all times, without reducing the available capacity.

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