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Subnetting

The Box Method

Subnetting
Subnetting can be performed by manipulating the network address in binary format or you can use a visual aid to represent the borrowing of bits There are various visual aids that can be used
A line or box can represent the host portion of the network address Each time a section of the line or box is divided in half, you are dividing the address space in half (i.e. borrowing a bit)

This presentation will illustrate the box method


(c) 2009 Michael Sthultz 2

The box represents the host portion of a class C address, i.e. 8 bits (you can adapt this method to represent more than 8 bits).

There are 256 possible values for the 8 bits. The number in the upper left hand corner is the subnet address and the number in the lower right hand corner is the broadcast address. Everything in between is a valid host address (.1 .254)

255

(c) 2009 Michael Sthultz

If you divide the box in half, you are representing borrowing a bit to divide the address space in half. You have created two /25 subnets. There are 128 possible values for the 7 bits (for each subnet). The number in the upper left hand corner is the subnet address and the number in the lower right hand corner is the broadcast address. Everything in between is a valid host address.

127 128

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(c) 2009 Michael Sthultz

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63 128 192

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If you divide each of the new boxes in half, you are representing borrowing a bit to divide each of the address spaces in half. You have created four /26 subnets. The subnet address, broadcast address, and valid host addresses are determined the same way each time. To determine the new number in the lower right hand corner, you add the total number of possible values for that box (minus 1) to the number in the upper left hand corner (in this case 63).
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(c) 2009 Michael Sthultz

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You can continue doing this as many times as needed to create the required number of subnets (up to /30).
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63 128 192

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You now have 8 boxes representing 8 /27 subnets. This makes sense in terms of the formula for calculating the number of subnets (2n). You have borrowed 3 bits (drawn lines three times). 2n = 23 = 8.

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(c) 2009 Michael Sthultz

Variable Length Subnet Masking (VLSM)


The same technique can be used if you are using VLSM to optimize the use of your address space. You just draw lines (subnet the subnets) only where you need them. A good method is to start with the largest subnet at the bottom of the box. Then put the next largest subnet next to it and so on. Put point to point links in the upper left hand corner (this makes analyzing large routing tables easier). The example on the next slide shows subnet A which has 50 hosts, subnet B which has 25 hosts, and subnet C which is a point to point link (2 hosts).
(c) 2009 Michael Sthultz 7

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C
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The unused areas can be left as is or subdivided as necessary for future expansion.

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63 128 192

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B
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(c) 2009 Michael Sthultz