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Basic VLAN Configuration

By Erik Rodriguez This article describes the concept of the VLAN. VLANs are commonly used to speed up networks and reduce congestion.

Overview Virtual LAN; a logical, not physical, group of devices, defined by software. VLANs allow network administrators to resegment their networks without physically rearranging the devices or network connections¹. A VLAN (Virtual LAN) is a network composed of logical broadcast domains. Configuration VLANs allows network traffic to be seperated logically. Network devices on VLAN1 will not be able to communicate (ping) devices on VLAN2. It is possible to have devices on VLAN1 of a switch communication with VLAN1 on another switch through a method called VLAN trunking. See the image below:

This diagram gives you the basic idea of VLAN membership. You can see how the floors of the building are seperate and that each department is represted by a different color. The switches lie below and the trunk link is represented by the lightning bolt. Trunk links may also be referred to as .1q or "dot one Q." This refers to the IEEE standard of 802.1q which defines the method of vlan trunking. Types of Membership There are several different types of memberships associated with VLANs:

Static VLANs

VLAN Tagging Moving VLAN data over multiple switches uses a method called VLAN tagging. Cisco has created proprietary protocols to manage VLANs called VLAN Trunking Protocol or VTP which enables Cisco switches to advertise VLAN routes to other VTP enabled switches. . Most orgainizations using VLANs have figured out it is worth shelling out the extra cash to go with Cisco equipment and get the extra features and fuctionality. This way. it will effectively change VLANs. different brands of switches can accomplish the same thing. Most "managed" switches including Dell. These addresses will be stored in a memory chip inside the switch that forms a database of local MAC addresses. Netgear. Dynamic VLANs Static VLANs are specified by switch port. a system administrator will enter MAC addresses for all machines connecting to the switch. a 12 port fast ethernet switch is split for the creation of 2 VLANs. Remember that because VLAN tagging is a universal standard. The first 6 ports are associated with VLAN1 and the last 6 ports are associated with VLAN2. Dynamic VLANs are specified by MAC address. For example. Each MAC address can then be associated with a certain VLAN. Data centers are large enivronments should standardize on a specific platform. The act of VLAN tagging simply adds extra information in the packet header of ethernet frames so routers know how to pass along the data. See the following for information on creating VLAN membership and trunking on HP Provcurve Switches. if a machine is moved. This also allows a system administrator to manage all VLANs from a central point and order all switches to update the VLAN information along the entire network. and others all support vlans. If a machine is moved from port 3 to port 11. it will retain the original VLAN membership reguardless of it's port number. HP. Assuming the same scenario. VLAN Enabled Switches Not all switches support VLANs.