Have you ever wondered what a Virtual LAN (or VLAN) is or been unclear as to why you would want one? To find out what is VLAN, you need to get to know what is LAN first.
What is a LAN?
A LAN is a local area network and is defined as all devices in the same broadcast domain.
What is a VLAN?
A VLAN is a virtual LAN. In technical terms, a VLAN is a broadcast domain created by switches. Normally, it is a router creating that broadcast domain. With VLAN’s, a switch can create the broadcast domain.
Are VLANs required?
It is important to point out that you don’t have to configure a VLAN until your network gets so large and has so much traffic that you need one. Many times, people are simply using VLAN’s as the network they are working on was already using them.
What is the benefits of setting up a VLAN?
1. Reduce broadcast storms.
The key advantage of VLAN is that it can isolate the conflict domain as well as broadcast domain. If there are hundreds of hosts in a LAN, the network would be completely paralyzed when a broadcast storm happened. Meanwhile, users can divide the broadcast domain through VLAN, limiting the broadcast to each VLAN, and can not be transferred to cross VLAN. Most important, as consideration to improved security, the broadcasts of different VLANS can not communicate without a layer 3 router.
2. Simplified administration for the network
One of the best things about VLAN is that it simplifies management. By logically grouping users into the same virtual networks, you make it easy to set up and control your policies at a group level. When users physically move workstations, you can keep them on the same network with different equipment. Or if someone changes teams but not workstations, they can easily be given access to whatever new VLANs they need.