Full Mesh

Figure 13-5: A fully meshed WAN.

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because all locations are directly interconnected. Another benefit is that it can be built with virtually any transmission technology.

There are, however, some practical limitations inherent in a fully meshed topology. They can be fairly expensive to build, for example. Each router has to be large enough to have a port and transmission facility for each other router in the WAN. This tends to make both startup and monthly recurring operational costs expensive. It also places a finite (although substantial) limit on the scalability of the network. There is a limit on the number of ports a router can support. Therefore, full mesh topologies are more of a utopian ideal with limited practical application.

Note If you prefer mathematic formulas, for every n node in a fully meshed network, you will need to add n-1 new ports and transmission facilities every time you add one more node to the network!

One application of a fully meshed topology would be to provide interconnectivity for just those routers or locations that require high network availability. Another potential application is to fully mesh only parts of the WAN, such as the backbone of a multi- tiered WAN or tightly coupled work centers. This approach is described in more detail in the section titled "'Hybrid Topologies ."

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