Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN)

Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN)

Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) is a method of dividing a physical network into several virtual networks. A VLAN represents a logical segment and functions like a separate network within the larger network. VLANs can span multiple switches and are used to logically separate data streams.

A VLAN is implemented through port-based assignments and tagging. Port-based VLANs assign specific ports on a managed switch to a specific VLAN. This creates multiple logical networks within the switch. Tagging is used to define a VLAN port can accept and forward traffic assigned to that VLAN. Port-based VLANs are statically configured and can also span multiple switches by connecting the switches via special interconnect ports (trunk ports).

In day-to-day operations, IT admins must define VLANs and assign devices to those VLANs. VLAN switches must be configured, connectivity between VLANs must be ensured, and security policies must be maintained.

Depending on the organization’s requirements, VLANs are suitable for different departments, functions or projects. A separate VLAN for guests also helps safeguard the security of internal resources.