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Token Ring Network

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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

Token ring is the IEEE 802.5 standard for a token-passing ring network with a star-configured physical topology. Internally, signals travel around the network from one station to the next in a ring. Physically, each station connects to a central hub called a MAU (multistation access unit). The MAU contains a "collapsed ring," but the physical configuration is a star topology. When a station is attached, the ring is extended out to the station and then back to the MAU as shown. If a station goes offline, the ring is reestablished with a bypass at the station connector.

Token ring was popular for an extended period in the late 1980s and 1990s, especially in IBM legacy system environments. IBM developed the technology and provided extensive support for connections to SNA systems. More recently, Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet technologies have pushed token ring and other LAN technologies to the sidelines.

Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.
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