Benefits of VLANs?

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Tags:
Network speed
Throughput
Virtual LAN
VLAN
Wireless
What are virtual lans or vlans? What are they used for and will they allow me to increase my networks overall speed and throughput ratio?

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A VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) is a logical collection of devices that are grouped together to control broadcast, unicast and multicast traffic in layer 2 devices, such as an ethernet switch. VLANs can be locally significant or be trunked over multiple layer 2 devices.

VLANs provide the following benefits:

Security – Separating systems that have sensitive data from the rest of the network decreases the chances that people will gain access to information they are not authorized to see.

Performance/Bandwidth – Careful monitoring of network use allows the network administrator to create VLANs that reduce the number of router hops and increase the apparent bandwidth for network users.

Broadcasts/Traffic flow – Since a principle element of a VLAN is the fact that it does not pass broadcast traffic to nodes that are not part of the VLAN, it automatically reduces broadcasts. Access lists provide the network administrator with a way to control who sees what network traffic. An access list is a table the network administrator creates that lists which addresses have access to that network.

Departments/Specific job types – Companies may want VLANs set up for departments that are heavy network users (such as multimedia or engineering), or a VLAN across departments that is dedicated to specific types of employees (such as managers or sales people).

Discuss This Question: 4  Replies

 
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  • RichardCooper
    VLANs has many benefits, like flexibility. I came across a page that discusses Virtual LANs through a page and with a video as well in connection with Ozeki Phone System XE. http://www.ozekiphone.com/what-is-vlan-342.html
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  • Palak10
    • VLANs enable logical grouping of end-stations that are physically dispersed on a network.

      When users on a VLAN move to a new physical location but continue to perform the same job function, the end-stations of those users do not need to be reconfigured. Similarly, if users change their job functions, they need not physically move: changing the VLAN membership of the end-stations to that of the new team makes the users' end-stations local to the resources of the new team.

    • VLANs reduce the need to have routers deployed on a network to contain broadcast traffic.

      Flooding of a packet is limited to the switch ports that belong to a VLAN.

    • Confinement of broadcast domains on a network significantly reduces traffic.

      By confining the broadcast domains, end-stations on a VLAN are prevented from listening to or receiving broadcasts not intended for them. Moreover, if a router is not connected between the VLANs, the end-stations of a VLAN cannot communicate with the end-stations of the other VLANs.

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  • ToddN2000
    Advantages of VLANs. VLANs provide a number of advantages, such as ease of administration, confinement of broadcast domains, reduced broadcast traffic, and enforcement of security policies. VLANs enable logical grouping of end-stations that are physically dispersed on a network.
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  • Kevin Beaver
    Many people use VLANs to improve security. They can offer up basic network segmentation but they really don't offer any strong security benefits, especially if someone wants to get in. Here's a piece I wrote on the subject that may help:
    Why VLANs May Not Be Providing the Security You Need
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