What is a topology?
A topology refers to the manner in which the cable is run to individual workstations on the network. The dictionary defines topology as: the configurations formed by the connections between devices on a local area network (LAN) or between two or more LANs
There are three basic network topologies (not counting variations thereon): the bus, the star, and the ring.
It is important to make a distinction between a topology and an architecture. A topology is concerned with the physical arrangement of the network components. In contrast, an architecture addresses the components themselves and how a system is structured (cable access methods, lower level protocols, topology, etc.). An example of an architecture is 10baseT Ethernet which typically uses the start topology.