Suppose your network has to behave almost as the motto of Federal Express? It absolutely, positively, has to be up, all the time.
Then you need a mesh topology. As the picture shows, if one line breaks, another one is available. The down side to a true mesh is the amount of cable and NICs to each machine.
The slightly simpler alternative is to create a hybrid mesh. For example, routing network data through a second machine as a way to get from PC 1 to PC 3.
The Internet is the largest hybrid mesh network in the world.
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