Mixing VLAN tag ports and unmanaged switches - will it work?

Posted on 2008-11-10
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Bit of an off-the-wall question really.

Customer has a gigabit backbone (pair of Cisco C3760G switches) and a number of NetGear unmanaged gigabit switches connected into them.

Question is, if they configure the Cisco ports  that connect to a Netgear as trunk ports, would the hosts on the Netgear switches be able to communicate using tagged frames, or would the frames just end up going nowhere as the Netgear switches are unmanaged and wouldn't understand/strip the tag off ?

Question by:DanielGould
    LVL 21

    Accepted Solution

    The question is: do netgears support frames large enough to transmit tagged packets.
    If yes, then you can configure your pc with tag and you will be able to receive tagged packets through netgear.
    However, this solution is not recommended, because vlans are not actually separated within unmanaged switch, so someone can try to spoof it's tag and get access to any vlan....
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    I believe the Netgear switches will handle the frame size, so it should be possible. They have a farm of ESX servers connected to the Netgear switches and want more redundancy rather than security, but can't afford the cost of replacing the 30+ netgear switches with Cisco units. So this was the solution they tabled to us for us to evaluate and implement. I guess I'll go set it up in my lab now and have a play :-)

    Thanks for the input.
    LVL 1

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for the input. I'll go test it and post an update if it all works as we expect it to.

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