Collapsed Backbone

What Does Collapsed Backbone Mean?

A collapsed backbone is a large-scale and centralized network topology comprised of multiple local area networks (LAN).

Collapsed backbones use star or rooted tree topology and are best suited to virtual network architectures with peer-to-peer (P2P) network communication.

A collapsed backbone is also known as a backbone-in-a-box or inverted backbone.

Techopedia Explains Collapsed Backbone

Network backbones are distributed or collapsed. Traditional LANs connect via distributed backbone cables. Collapsed backbones use high-speed backplane switches to connect virtual Point-to-Point (PPP) LAN networks.

Collapsed backbone advantages include:

  • Requires fewer devices
  • Eliminates backbone cabling installation costs
  • Provides scaled station bandwidth
  • Provides tightly centralized equipment administration

Collapsed backbone disadvantages include:

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  • Requires extra cabling

  • Requires more expensive devices
  • Limited distance capabilities
  • Redundancy
  • Not feasible for multiple buildings
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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.