VLAN - Virtual Local Area Network

VLAN — Virtual Local Area Network

Vir­tu­al Local Area Net­work (VLAN) is a is a sub­net­work which can group togeth­er col­lec­tions of devices that are con­nect­ed to sep­a­rate phys­i­cal LANs.

VLANs allow net­work admin­is­tra­tors to par­ti­tion a sin­gle switched net­work in order to keep net­work appli­ca­tions sep­a­rate despite being con­nect­ed to the same phys­i­cal net­work, with­out requir­ing new cabling or major changes in the cur­rent net­work infrastructure.

  • In this con­text vir­tu­al refers to a phys­i­cal object recre­at­ed and altered by addi­tion­al log­ic, where­as a LAN is a group of com­put­ers and devices that share a com­mu­ni­ca­tions line or wire­less link to a serv­er with­in the same geo­graph­i­cal area.
  • VLANs allow net­work admin­is­tra­tors to group hosts togeth­er that are con­nect­ed to dif­fer­ent net­work switches.
  • Since VLAN access can be con­fig­ured through soft­ware, it can great­ly sim­pli­fy net­work design and deploy­ment, pre­vent­ing node relo­ca­tion or data link rewiring.
  • An appli­ca­tion exam­ple would be the sep­a­ra­tion of traf­fic with­in a busi­ness based on indi­vid­ual users, groups of users, roles, or traf­fic require­ments (e.g. low-pri­or­i­ty traf­fic pre­vent­ed from imping­ing on the rest of the net­work’s functioning).
  • Sim­pler equip­ment might only be able to par­ti­tion each phys­i­cal port, while more sophis­ti­cat­ed devices can mark frames through VLAN tag­ging, allow­ing a sin­gle trunk to be used to trans­port data for mul­ti­ple VLANs.
  • Since VLANs share band­width, a VLAN trunk can use link aggre­ga­tion and qual­i­ty-of-ser­vice pri­or­i­ti­za­tion (or both) to route data efficiently.

How does VLAN work?

  • By apply­ing tags to net­work frames and han­dling these tags in net­work­ing sys­tems, a VLAN par­ti­tions and iso­lates a broad­cast domain in a com­put­er net­work at the data link lay­er (OSI lay­er 2).
  • A VLAN phys­i­cal­ly looks like and func­tions on a sin­gle net­work but acts as if it is split between sep­a­rate net­works, allow­ing to match the func­tion­al and secu­ri­ty require­ments of the sys­tems with­out mak­ing phys­i­cal adjustments.
  • In this way, devices that must be kept sep­a­rate can share the cabling of a phys­i­cal net­work and still be kept apart. This brings advan­tages in terms of sim­plic­i­ty, secu­ri­ty, traf­fic man­age­ment, and economy.
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    Vir­tu­al Local Area Net­work (VLAN) is a is a sub­net­work which can group togeth­er col­lec­tions of devices that are con­nect­ed to sep­a­rate phys­i­cal LANs.

    VLANs allow net­work admin­is­tra­tors to par­ti­tion a sin­gle switched net­work in order to keep net­work appli­ca­tions sep­a­rate despite being con­nect­ed to the same phys­i­cal net­work, with­out requir­ing new cabling or major changes in the cur­rent net­work infrastructure.

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