Daisy Chain

What Does Daisy Chain Mean?

A daisy chain is a type of network topology that directs how network nodes – typically, computers – are linked. Different network topologies support objectives, like ease of use, persistence and fault tolerant design.


Techopedia Explains Daisy Chain

In a daisy chain, one network node is attached to the next in a line or chain. A daisy chain topology can be linear, where the first and last two nodes are not connected, or a ring, where the first and last nodes are connected. A ring topology allows for bidirectional passing, whereas in a linear setup, a message must go from one machine to another in one direction.

Generally less versatile, a linear daisy chain network setup is similar to an electrical series circuit, where one outage affects other connected items. A compromised network node can cut off any machines beyond that point. By contrast, a ring structure can send data in both directions, preventing one node failure from cutting off certain parts of the network.

Other network topologies involve a central hub that can pass messages to and from other nodes. An example is a star topology, which can handle multiple node outages without cutting off working machines.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

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.