Mesh Topology is by far one of the most expensive type of network topology. However, mesh topology network is extremely robust and secure in communication. In this article, I will provide you step by step guide to configure Mesh Topology in CISCO Packet Tracer with diagrams. I am assuming that you already have experience in using CISCO Packet Tracer. In case you are absolute beginner, you can learn How to Create First Sample Network in CISCO Packet Tracer?
Mesh Topology – A Quick Overview
Before going to the tutorial, I think it would be nice to have a quick overview of mesh topology in computer networks. If you are absolutely clear about all the basics of mesh network then you are welcome to skip and jump to step by step tutorial directly. For those who are either new or want to revive their concepts can have a quick look at this section.
Mesh Topology is one of the most reliable, efficient, fast and costly type of network topology. In Mesh Topology Network, each network node or computer or network device has a dedicated and direct connection to every other network device present in computer network.
These dedicated connections provide reliability and security to the devices taking part in communications. But all this comes with a cost. Obviously you will need extra amount of cabling and LAN cards. Purchasing and configuring these will require sophisticated infrastructure and workers with excellent networking skills. You will need to spend more money to establish this type of computer network topology.
See: All you need to know about every nip and corner of Mesh Topology Network
How to Configure Mesh Topology in Cisco Packet Tracer? – [Step By Step Guide]
Without wasting any sort of time let us dive into the step by step guide to create and configure mesh topology in Cisco packet tracer. For proper understanding, I will use different diagrams for elaboration. Let’s begin this interesting tutorial:
Prerequisites (Step # 0)
Now before beginning pictorial tutorial, I am sure you might be wondering about the things you need to begin learning via this step by step tutorial. You only require a couple of things to get going with this beginner tutorial.
- Download and Install Cisco Packet Tracer
- Basic Know How about Cisco Packet Tracer
- Structure of Mesh Topology Network
- IP Address
Open Cisco Packet Tracer (Step # 1)
After fulfilling the prerequisites you are now good to go for this tutorial. In first step, you will need to just find out Cisco Packet Tracer icon and double click it. You will see the user interface as given in following picture.
Select and Draw End Devices of Your Mesh Network (Step # 2)
First thing that you will need for creating mesh network in Cisco packet tracer is obviously the end devices. For this go to the end devices menu in cisco packet tracer. You’ll find a lot of devices there. For this tutorial, I am using simple desktop PC as end devices. You can create mesh topology using any number of end devices. In this tutorial, I am using a total of five end devices.
Select and Draw Switches for each End Device (Step # 3)
You can’t connect end devices directly with each other. For this you will need a communication device like hub or switch. For the sake of simplicity, I am using switch for connecting end devices. You can find communication devices from tools menu that can be found in bottom left corner.
Simply go to the toolbox and select switches. You will find different models of switches. You can use any of them. The number of switches must be equal to the number of end devices.
Connect Each Pair of Computer and Switch (Step # 4)
Here comes the connection setup. In this step, I am going to demonstrate you connection mechanism between end devices and switches. For this purpose, go to the toolbox (as used earlier) and select the connections menu item. There are different sort of connecting media in there. Select copper-straight through cable for connecting each pair of switch and end device together. Connect each of the end device with corresponding switch turn by turn.
We are using copper straight through UTP cable for making connections. So, use ‘Fast Ethernet’ connecting option while connecting end device to the switch.
Select First Random Switch and Connect it to Other Remaining Switches (Step # 5)
Now we’re done with connecting end devices with switches. So, now its the time to connect switches together. Select any random switch and connect it with each other switch in your mesh network. In this case, I have selected ‘Switch 0’ first. So, I am connecting it to other remaining four switches using copper cross over cable. After connections, your network will look like this.
For connecting switches together use copper cross over cable. Select ‘Fast Ethernet’ connection option, as again, we are using UTP cable.
Select Second Random Switch and Connect it to Other Remaining Switches (Step # 6)
Select the second random switch and connect it with each other switch in your mesh network. In this case, I am selecting ‘Switch 1’. So, I am connecting it to other remaining four switches using copper cross over cable.
Select Third Random Switch and Connect it to Other Remaining Switches (Step # 7)
Now, I am selecting ‘Switch 2’ as third random switch and connecting it to two of the remaining switches using copper cross over cable. You mesh topology network will look like this.
Choose Fourth Switch Randomly and Connect it to Remaining Switches (Step # 8)
In this step, select the fourth random switch and connect it to remaining switches. Here, I am designating ‘Switch 3’ as fourth random switch. I would suggest you to carefully watch the whole computer network to ensure that each switch is properly connected to each one.
Now, each switch has a dedicated connection to every other one so you don’t need to make any further connections. All the devices are connected and you can see the mesh network structure clearly.
In the coming steps, we will need to configure IP addresses of each end device. So, you need to repeat step 9 to step 12 for each individual end device.
Open End Device Configurations (Step # 9)
For configuring IP address, you will need to open end device configuration. This can be done easily by clicking on the end device. Nevertheless, you will see the following configuration screen.
Go To Desktop (Step # 10)
You will need to look for ‘IP Configuration’ option. This option is present under the ‘Desktop’ tab. So, go ahead and click on that to open desktop for enhanced configuration settings.
IP Configuration Settings (Step # 11)
This is the main step. In the coming step, you are going to learn about assigning IP address to end device. But before that you will need to open IP configuration settings. For this, please go ahead and click on the ‘IP Configuration’ option. This will open up a dialog box which is shown in the following picture.
Configure IP Address (Step # 12)
Enter the following configuration data. But please do remember, that for each device you will have to use different IP address. You can use the following list of IP addresses:
The Bottom Line
Creating and configuring Mesh Topology in Cisco Packet Tracer is not a difficult task at all. By following the step by step tutorial, I am sure this will going to be piece of cake for you. I hope that you will like this post. However, in case of any problem or guidance, please feel free to contact me. Stay tuned, as there is a lot to come.
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