> Why Token Ring is better technology than Ethernet?
AIUI one of the claims at the time (early 1990s) was that 10Mb Ethernet didn't scale well because as the number of machines on the LAN increased, the number of collisions increased too, reducing overall performance.
A collision is when 2 machines try to send at the same time. This doesn't work, so they sense it, back off, and wait a random interval before trying again.
It is important to note that 10base-T is physically a hub-and-spoke network: all the machines connect to a hub, or an interconnected stack of hubs, which relay the traffic on any port to all ports.
If you had 60-70 machines on a single 10Mb Ethernet network, it got very congested and performance fell off a cliff. Even original 4Mb Token Ring could outperform it.
So, for a time, it was true: Token Ring scaled better, because there were no collisions. There's only ever 1 token, going round and round, and the machine with the token "owns" the network and can send and receive what it wants, without competition, with no risk of collision.
When you got to 100Mb Ethernet, this became a major problem, and the new faster 16Mb TR looked good by comparison.
So in theory, 16Mb TR outperformed 100Mb FE... but only if the FE LAN used a hub. If it used a switch instead, the problem disappeared, and suddenly FE became significantly faster. About 6 times faster in fact.
In the era of 10base-T, the only solution was to segment the network with network bridges, because collisions only happen within a single network segment. Bridges don't propagate traffic unless it's addressed to a machine on the other side of the bridge. But bridges were expensive and small cheap networks didn't have them: they were all single-segment networks.
But around the time that Fast Ethernet started to go mainstream, network switches got cheap and started to replace hubs. Switches are smart: they don't just blindly relay all traffic, they only relay traffic to a given port if it's addressed to the machine on that port.
That means that almost all the collisions just go away. The port with the server on it gets busy but the other ports stay quiet most of the time.
If you have 2 servers, or a server and an internet gateway, even that's less of a problem.
So the theoretical advantage which made the more expensive tech worthwhile went away due to commoditisation and cheap high-performance switch chips.