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Implementing virtual LANs

Our company hired an outside security firm to assess our network for potential problems. It was recommended that we implement virtual LANs. How is this done?
I suggest you start off by doing some reading on the subject. Normally, using vLANS means setting up "virtual subnetworks" for higher-speed networks that interconnect devices using a digital switch. Understanding the technology and the design requirements will help you understand exactly how you might go about planning and deploying such technology.

Given, however, that switch-based networks are expensive (and may require recabling your entire network infrastructure), I suggest you begin with a technology study and a budget/feasibility analysis. Perhaps the same consulting firm that made the recommendation could help you conduct this work. Otherwise, I suggest you do some studying and prep work before beginning that analysis yourself.

By visiting your favorite search engine and using a string like "VLAN tutorial" "VLAN overview" "VLAN feasibility study" you should be able to turn up information that will help you get started. But if you can afford a good consultant, that may very well be the best way to get started on this process.

OTOH, since the other company no doubt charged you to make the recommendation that you switch to virtual LANs, you might begin by asking follow-up questions like "Why do you recommend vLANs?" "How much will it cost us to convert?" "How should we begin this process?" Since presumably they may want resulting business from your company, you may be able to get them to do some of that work for free.

This was last published in November 2001

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