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VLAN Analogy

Posted on 2010-08-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Is A VLAN like a office building with many offices? Each office can contain people talking to one and other? The people in each office cannot talk to people in other offices? Each office has a door that leads to another shared door out of the office building and into the office building. In special situations a door might exist that leads to a shared office . The shared office contains copy machine that may be used by different offices? In the case of the shared copy machine office and the office building door the people walking in and out cannot see each other?
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Question by:derekfurman
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Expert Comment

by:gnk1983
ID: 33461326
Hi ,
Your question is not clear , as per my understanding the vlan works in the same manner as you explained
The two vlans works as two different offices , these two vlans will not talk to each other unless you have the layer 3 device ( in your words door )  there can be shared room ,  these two vlans can speak with
that shared vlan .
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Expert Comment

by:vahiid
ID: 33461341
VLAN is a Virtual LAN, a broadcast domain created by switches. It helps you eliminate the broadcast traffic on your LAN. In your office analogy, let's say if you want to talk with someone, you yell their name, when they hear you, they reply back. A VLAN would be putting walls to create separate divisions to create smaller sections, and people in different sections would not be able to hear each other. When you have say 200 or so devices on the network all yelling each other's name you might want to look into setting up VLANs to help with the broadcast traffic and group the computers who talk to each other more together.
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Author Comment

by:derekfurman
ID: 33461512
Ok I understand it is hard to grasp the question do to the odd simplification and lack of understanding on my part. My boss will not accept my technical explanation which is admittedly obscured buy my lack of understanding of any thing but simple networks. Usually I deal with a single network 1 gateway 1 switch 1 server several PC's all on a domain. Recently the owner of the building was sold on the idea of installing a VLAN in a office that to my understanding dose not require one. I am tasked with encapsulating our small network within a single cell of the VLAN . I am trying to  understand how that affects my small network. I would like to keep my switch configuration and domain. Can I expect to to modify my switches gateway setting and have the external IP address i have been promised forwarded to my switch and just let the VLAN become a transparent issue? It is not my task to set up or modify the VLAN just manage my small network
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vahiid earned 500 total points
ID: 33461604
You're right. As long as you have your own switch, and your computers, and your router are on the same switch on the same VLAN (or with no VLAN settings), you don't have to worry about anything.
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Expert Comment

by:asanchgo
ID: 33464417
To me VLAN technologies are like people from different nationalities that only speak their language walking along the same street. They use the same resource (street or switch, cabling or road), but a VLAN cannot talk to other VLAN, unless at the end of the road there is a traductor (router).

Before VLAN, a switch was used to connect host within the same LAN (subnetwork, broadcast domain, or as you want to call it), with VLAN you can use the same equipment to have different networks connected and only hosts from the same network can speak to each other.
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