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What is VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network)

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In a layer 2 switched network, each network segment has its own collision domain and all segments are in same broadcast domain. Every broadcast is seen by every device on the network. A layer 3 device (typically a Router) is used to segment (divide) a broadcast domain to multiple broadcast domains.

Single Broadcast Domain LAN


By default, all ports on a switch are in the same broadcast domain. A Virtual Local Area Network, Virtual LAN, or VLAN, can be used to segment (divide) a single broadcast domain to multiple broadcast domains in a layer 2 switched network.

Multiple broadcast domain VLAN


VLANs are not restricted to any physical boundary in the switched network if the devices are interconnected using switches. A VLAN can span across multiple switches, or it can be limited within a switch. A VLAN must be configured as a separate Layer 3 IP subnet and you need a Layer 3 device (typically a Router) to enable communication between different VLANs.

Therefor a VLAN = Broadcast Domain = A Separate IP subnet

              Jajish Thomason Google+
Related Topics
• Advantages of VLAN
• VLAN Membership Types
• How to create and name static VLAN
• How to view VLAN information using "show vlan" command
• Types of VLAN connection links - Trunk Links and Access Links
• VLAN Frame Tagging
• Inter-Switch Link (ISL) VLAN Tagging
• IEEE 802.1Q VLAN Tagging
• What is Native VLAN
• How to configure VLAN trunk link and native VLAN
• How to configure and assign a switch access port to a VLAN
• What is VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP)
• What is VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP) Domain
• VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP) Modes
• VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP) Advertisement Messages
• How to configure VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP)
• How to view VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP) information
• What is VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP) Pruning
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