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VLAN virtual interface -what is this for?

Silas asked
My company is using a VLAN vitrual interface on some of their switches.  What is this used for?  We have 3548XLs.  Any advice would be great.
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Virtual LAN's, (VLAN's) are a feature of these and other switches that allow you to create completely separate networks within the one switch. This is desirable for limiting broadcast traffic on large networks (and many other reasons). The default VLAN for all ports is VLAN number 1, and that is why you see the interface VLAN 1 in your config. This is only required for management as the switch only operates at layer 2 (generally).

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