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Published by: visuratt on May 12, 2010
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C3: VLANsCCNA Exploration - LAN Switching and Wireless3 VLANs3.0 Chapter Introduction
Network performance can be a factor in an organization's productivity and its reputation for delivering aspromised. One of the contributing technologies to excellent network performance is the separation of largebroadcast domains into smaller ones with VLANs. Smaller broadcast domains limit the number of devicesparticipating in broadcasts and allow devices to be separated into functional groupings, such as database services foran accounting department and high-speed data transfer for an engineering department. In this chapter, you willlearn how to configure, manage, and troubleshoot VLANs and trunks.
C3: VLANs3.1 Introducing VLANs3.1.1 Introducing VLANsBefore VLANs
To appreciate why VLANs are being widely used today, consider a small community college with studentdorms and the faculty offices all in one building. The figure shows the student computers in one LAN and the facultycomputers in another LAN. This works fine because each department is physically together, so it is easy to providethem with their network resources.
Click the Many Buildings button in the figure.
A year later, the college has grown and now has three buildings. In the figure, the original network is thesame, but student and faculty computers are spread out across three buildings. The student dorms remain on thefifth floor and the faculty offices remain on the third floor. However, now the IT department wants to ensure thatstudent computers all share the same security features and bandwidth controls. How can the network accommodatethe shared needs of the geographically separated departments? Do you create a large LAN and wire eachdepartment together? How easy would it be to make changes to that network? It would be great to group thepeople with the resources they use regardless of their geographic location, and it would make it easier to managetheir specific security and bandwidth needs.
C3: VLANsVLAN Overview
The solution for the community college is to use a networking technology called a virtual LAN (VLAN). AVLAN allows a network administrator to create groups of logically networked devices that act as if they are on theirown independent network, even if they share a common infrastructure with other VLANs. When you configure aVLAN, you can name it to describe the primary role of the users for that VLAN. As another example, all of the studentcomputers in a school can be configured in the "Student" VLAN. Using VLANs, you can logically segment switchednetworks based on functions, departments, or project teams. You can also use a VLAN to geographically structureyour network to support the growing reliance of companies on home-based workers. In the figure, one VLAN iscreated for students and another for faculty. These VLANs allow the network administrator to implement access andsecurity policies to particular groups of users. For example, the faculty, but not the students, can be allowed accessto e-learning management servers for developing online course materials.
VLAN DetailsClick the Details button in the figure.
A VLAN is a logically separate IP subnetwork. VLANs allow multiple IP networks and subnets to exist on thesame switched network. The figure shows a network with three computers. For computers to communicate on thesame VLAN, each must have an IP address and a subnet mask that is consistent for that VLAN. The switch has to beconfigured with the VLAN and each port in the VLAN must be assigned to the VLAN. A switch port with a singularVLAN configured on it is called an access port. Remember, just because two computers are physically connected tothe same switch does not mean that they can communicate. Devices on two separate networks and subnets mustcommunicate via a router (Layer 3), whether or not VLANs are used. You do not need VLANs to have multiplenetworks and subnets on a switched network, but there are definite advantages to using VLANs.

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