Hubs have become an integral part of the contemporary business and networking systems. In the networking technology sphere, a special type of network device called hub is increasingly being used. From homes to small and major businesses and networks, hubs have become an integral part for smooth conduct of business operations. Usually, hubs are considered of three types namely passive, active and intelligent hubs.
Hubs are the layer 1 devices while switches and routers are layer 2 and layer 3 devices respectively. All kinds of hubs have some common features that are determined primarily by the types of cabling attached to the system. Usually, it could be regarded as a network device that works within the standard parameters of the specific network that it actually is working within.
Active, passive and intelligent hubs are the three of the most commonly know hubs. An active hub possesses all the usual features of a passive hub besides having some more. An active hub takes a larger role in Ethernet communications with the help of technology called store & forward.
Here the hub actually goes through the data before they are transmitted. In cases wherever needed, an active hub repair the data and reschedule the distribution of databases accordingly.
In a situation of data received being weak but readable, the active hub restores the signal before rebroadcasting the same. It enables a certain number of devices which are not operating at their optimal capacity still to be used in the network. Another aspect of an active hub is that it provides information on devices on the network which are not yet fully functional. An active hub also provides certain performance advantages in addition to, certain diagnostic capabilities.
A passive hub on the other hand, do very little to enhance the performance of the network. Neither, it helps in any way in the troubleshooting operations which have become an integral part of the networking operations in recent times. From the cost perspective, most of the passive hubs are easily obtainable at a lesser cost, usually less than US $200. A passive hub when upgraded from 10base-2 then the performance becomes quite impressive and can match with the best.
Intelligent hub is another form of hub that is increasingly being used. An advanced version that comprises the best of both active and passive hubs, it provides with the ability to manage the network from one central location. With the help of an intelligent hub, one can easily identify, diagnose problems and even come up with remedial solutions. This troubleshooting of a large enterprise scale network is possible with the help of an intelligent hub. In addition to, an intelligent hub can offer flexible transmission rates to various devices. With standard transmission rates of 10, 16 and 100Mbps to desktop systems using popular technologies like Ethernet, FDDI or Token Ring, an intelligent hub easily incorporates the better of the other two hubs in terms of features and benefits. No wonder, hubs have become an integral part of the current networking systems.