At what point should I use VLAN?

By ericthornton43 ·
I am working on a project to fix and upgrade a network in a small office for a relative. The current network is patched together with lots of gateway routers and hubs, so it's a real mess and I want to clean it up.

He's got 13 PC's, 2 network printers, a file server (currently just an XP box with file sharing), and a DSL connection. He'd like to add his own email server, remote VPN, etc.

I intend to simplify the network by setting up a router and a single 24-channel switch. Everyone will need access to the file server, email, printers, and internet. The PCs don't necessarily need to access one another, although they do have some desktop USB printers that could be shared among those in the same room.

I came up with an IP address scheme to split things up with one VLAN for internet/server/printers, and 4 additional VLANs for the different departments, who are physically in seperate rooms.

My question is, should I bother implementing VLANs on a network this small, if the main purpose is just to conserve bandwidth (ie, not security-related, or to isolate network resources)? I'm inclined just to throw everything on the same subnet, but I'd like some feedback before I decide.

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Don't over-complicate

by Churdoo In reply to At what point should I us ...

I wouldn't use VLAN's here, at least you've not written anything that says to me you should be using VLAN's.

I think you're already going to do a world of improvement by getting the whole office wired back to a central distribution area with a decent quality switch, router, UPS. For this size network, single 24-bit network will do the trick nicely without overcomplicating things.

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As Churdoo suggests, Keep It Simple

by CG IT In reply to At what point should I us ...

Vlans are a way of grouping computers and devices [hosts] together via a subnet. This grouping by Vlan provides inherent security as only those hosts that are members of the Vlan can talk to one another. To get hosts in different Vlans to talk to each other, you setup intervlan routing. Doing that makes the security point of Vlans moot.

There is an administrative cost with Vlans so unless the relative wants to pay for added administrative costs,

Keep It Simple.

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