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Need VLAN design suggestions

hi folks,

I am currently upgrading my backbone to gigabit ethernet over fiber. I just got some new switches. 4000 at the core and 2950's for each floor.

1)We have three floors with about 150 clients total

2)we already have two for web server domain and other for corporate.

3)I want to keep it simple and put the routing power of the 4000 to use.

I was thinking I could have three Vlans. One for the client,one for the servers,one for the web domain. Any other ideas? Does it matter that broadcasts will be going over the fiber links? If so,how can i stop this?


Community Member

Re: Need VLAN design suggestions

If you are using IP only (no IPX), with 150 users, there's no need for your corporate VLAN to be split up. IP does not generate alot of broadcasts. Routing between the servers and client workstations will not gain you anything. As for broadcasts and multicasts, try limiting them on the gig ports running to the core.

And definately get someone who knows how to use NAI's Sniffer and baseline your server response times.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

Re: Need VLAN design suggestions


my opinion is:

1)IP does not generate alot of broadcasts. But Windows DO. See for details.

If you are building a new network I recommend to ROUTE between servers and clients even while it is not necessary just now. But it gives you possibilities to the future: access restrictions for some user groups to some servers, moving some servers to other site with no problem, etc., etc.

2)Another question is the management VLAN and VLAN1 problem. You can read different recommendations in some Best Practices guides: usually it's recommended to use a separate VLAN for network devices management (see, e.g.).

I agree but my personal opinion is:

Use VLAN1 as management VLAN and move users to other VLANs. Also leave VLAN1 as the native VLAN on 802.1q trunks.

This approach is not recommended from security point of view. The arguments are: VLAN1 is the default one, so if you connect a new (or intruder) switch to the network, all it's ports are in VLAN1, and if you lose or misconfigure your current switch config, it might be possible to connect to your management VLAN.

There are also some "VLAN hopping" attacks described using native VLAN1 on trunks. BUT I've seen so many IOS bugs caused by VLAN1 not beeing the management VLAN or VLAN1 not beeing native or VLAN1 not allowed on trunk that I think not using VLAN1 as management just brings you problems. But I agree it might be a good idea to move users to other VLANs - broadcast storms will not disrupt your management access, and also attacks from user ports would be much more difficult.



Community Member

Re: Need VLAN design suggestions

Many thanks for your input guys. You both present great arguments. Therefore I am still unsure if to create three Vlans or not. I guess I'll have to do some more reseach to see what most people would do.

Really appreciate your input guys.

Many thanks

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