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Meaning of VIRTUAL LAN

 
Computing Dictionary
 
 Definition: 

Software defined groups of host on a local area network (LAN) that communicate as if they were on the same wire, even though they are physically on different lan segments throughout a site. To define a virtual LAN, the network administrator uses a virtual LAN management utility to establish membersip rules that determine which hostss are in a specific virtual LAN. Many models may exist but two seem to dominate:

(1) Vitual Segment (or Port-Group) Virtual LAN. These are switched at the data link layer (osi layer 2). Virtual segments turn an arbitrary number of physical segments into a single virtual segment that funtions as a self-contained traffic domain.

(2) Virtual Subnet Virtual LAN: These are switched at the network layer (osi layer 3). Subnet-oriented virtual LANs are based on subnet addresses used by ip, ipx, and other network layer protocols to normally identify physical networks. Administrators assign one subnet address to a number of switch ports (which may be on different switches and over a backbone). Once identified as a virtual subnet, the selected LANs function as a bridge group - traffic is bridged at Layer 2 within the virtual subnet and routed at Layer 3 between virtual subnets.

 

 

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