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Are there practical limitations to 802.1q VLANS?

Are there practical limitations to 802.1q VLANS? For instance, is there a limit to the number of MAC addresses? Is there a limit to the number of router and/or switch hops that can separate end users on a single VLAN? Is there a recommended physical distance limitation? I am looking into this for a large campus environment.

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Most of the limitations are vendor and switch model specific due to the size of memory within the switches. Number of switches that can be cascaded would also be vendor and switch model specific. Physical limitations are the electrical limitations of the switch and router. These figures are standard based for on 100 meters for copper (for a standard horizontal link) and various distances for fiber depending on transmission speed and the source of light.

The answers you want can be found in the specification section of any switch/router documentation that supports 802.1q LANs.

This was first published in September 2004

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