VLAN: Definition, Types, Usages, and Work Principles [MiniTool Wiki]

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What Is VLAN?

VLAN is the abbreviation of Virtual Local Area Network, which is a custom network created from one or more local area networks. It enables a group of devices that can be used in multiple networks to be combined into a logical network. The result will be a virtual LAN that is managed like a physical LAN.

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  • Has a flexible network model.
  • Only a new port-level configuration is required.
  • A single VLAN can be used as an independent LAN.
  • A VLAN can span multiple switches.

Why Do You Need to Use It?

Why do you need to use VLAN? Here are some reasons.

Compared with non-virtual network solutions, VLAN provides greater flexibility. VLAN can be configured and assigned according to port, protocol, or subnet conditions so that VLAN and network design can be changed when necessary.

VLANs are cost-effective since the workstations on the VLAN communicate with each other through the VLAN switch, and routers are not required unless they send data outside the VLAN. This enables VLANs to manage the increased data load since although the switch has fewer functions than the router, the router creates a bottleneck.

LANs can communicate with devices in the network without forwarding information through routers, thereby reducing overall network latency.

VLAN reduces the amount of management oversight required by network surveillance programs such as managed service providers (MSP). VLAN enables network administrators to automatically restrict access to specified user groups by dividing workstations into different isolated LAN segments. When the user moves the workstation, the administrator does not need to reconfigure the network or change the VLAN group.

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Types of WLAN

There are 3 types of WLAN - Port-Based VLAN, Protocol Based VLAN, MAC Based VLAN.

Port-Base VLAN

Port-based VLAN groups virtual local area networks by port. In this type of virtual LAN, the switch port can be manually configured as a member of the VLAN. The challenge of this type of network is to know which ports are suitable for each VLAN. You cannot know the VLAN membership just by looking at the physical port of the switch. You can determine it by checking the configuration information.

Protocol Based VLAN

Protocol Based VLAN processes traffic according to a protocol, which can be used to define filter conditions for tags (untagged packets). It is suitable for a multi-protocol environment.

Mac Base VLAN

MAC-based VLANs allow virtual LANs to be assigned to incoming untagged packets, thereby classifying traffic based on the source address of the packets. By configuring the mapping from the entries in the MAC to the VLAN table, you can define the mapping from the Mac address to the VLAN.

Usage of VLAN

Many organizations have WAN (Wide Area Network) due to their large offices and large teams. In these cases, having multiple VLANs will greatly speed up network operations. Usually, large companies are engaged in cross-functional projects.

The ease of configuring VLANs and the convenience of reassigning users to VLANs allows even cross-departmental teams to be located on the same VLAN to facilitate the sharing of large amounts of data. When network segmentation promotes flexible teamwork, marketing, sales, IT, and business analysts can work together to achieve high-risk goals most effectively.

How Does VLAN Work?

Now, let’s see how VLAN works. The following are the detailed steps:

Step 1: The VLANs in the network are identified by numbers. The valid range is 1-4094. On the VLAN switch, assign the correct VLAN number to the port.

Step 2: Then, the switch allows data to be sent between ports with the same VLAN.

Step 3: Assign a VLAN to the ports on each network switch and use cables between them.

Final Words

It’s time to make a conclusion. You can know the definition, types, as well as usage of VLAN. Besides, you can know how it works. If you want to get more information about VLAN, you can read this post.

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