Inter-VLAN Routing in a Linksys World

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by phbell, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. phbell

    phbell LI Guru Member

    I administrate what has grown to be a mid-size network covering the State of California. I recently have started replacing the older hardware with the business class hardware offered by Linksys. In particular I have replaced two Bay Network Switches with an SRW248G4 that I will be segmenting into VLANS.

    Coming from a Cisco background, I have always used the "router-on-a-stick" method (sub-interfaces) for using one router to handle the layer 3 needs of multiple VLANS; however, I have yet to find a similar method with Linksys routers. Thus my question is: is it possible to route multiple VLANS with a single Linksys Device? Must I stick with Cisco for more demanding routing applications? What alternatives might anyone suggest.

    All thoughts and comments are appreciated.

    (edited for spelling - pb)
  2. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    Are all of your vlans situated at one site and then out to your isp or are you also concerned with connecting remote networks via vpn? I have not played much with the new vlan options on linksys devices but if i have a good enough reason to i will break out a couple device and see what i can come up with. The limited reading i have done on the devices that support vlans route all the traffic internally or via a default route (wether configured or picked up from the isp via dhcp).

    After reading your post again and because i can be lazy i am not going to retype this, but i am assuming that you are connecting via VPN's to remote sites. Does each site do its own routing or do you just route from your location ie router-on-a-stick?
  3. phbell

    phbell LI Guru Member

    Thanks for the quick response. To answer your questions a little out of order, our topology is hub & spoke dedicated point-point T1's (an adminstrator's dream, no?), so no need for VPN's to the remote offices. I have not yet decided whether I will have the VLAN's span the T1's, because there is a real cost/return consideration involved. (These T1's have 100% utilization most of the day as it is.)

    Currently the VLAN's remain local to an office, but separated by business function. For instance, accounting functions like A/P, A/R, and payroll are on their own segment with high port security and ACL's to keep the unauthorized from even accessing that vlan. There is another VLAN for collections and a third for transcription and reporting. The office router is connected to a switch-port configured as a trunk carrying all vlans. Fa0 is then sub-interfaced and each sub-interface is addressed according to vlan and becomes the default router for devices on the vlan. any inter-vlan routing goes in, and then back out, the same physical interface yet on different virtual interfaces. It works very well and allows you to nail access control down to device, protocol, port, or combination. The routing practically handles itself. Incidently -- all Public bound traffic (SMTP, HTTP, FTP, etc.) is routed through the hub office.

    Anyway, the one switch-one router approach has spoiled me a bit so i am hoping that i can maintain it using Linksys routers on the new switches. If not i suppose that I could still go with Cisco, but it is pricier. Any Thoughts?
  4. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    Classic router on a stick indeed. And yes if the networks that i had to manage were that simply my life would be far easier as well. Ok now back to the question. Linksys ever since being aquired by Cisco has started producing more and more products that i find quite interesting from a networking perspective. Personally I never figured I would see vlans on home networking equipment from the likes of linksys, dlink, netgear etc. But that is just what we have here and what will will see moving forward. Granted the marketing it pushed in such a sense that it is labeled small buisness but i think its all for the best. Well enough of that..... From what i have seen and its not alot at this point, the current vlan implementation for the most part seems to be stable but the firmware running the devices can be a tad buggy and require reboots at the most inoportune times. I am sure others will have inputs eventually on this one and i cant wait to see what it is but if it was me, i would stick with cisco and time / network uptime is money and Cisco itself offers many fairly inexspensive lines that will do exactly what you want. As well as if you go with a new device, device life if expected at greater then 15 years which make (ciscos favorite marketing phrase here) "cost of ownership" very low. I am sure as the firmware for the newer linksys devices gets better (more stable, less buggy) I will be more apt to lean more towards them but at this time I would have to stick with the tried and true. Also something else just came to mind and youll have to forgive me as I am at work and have things pop up all the time, hard to concentrate to long on this without getting interupted. There are many other commercial buisness focused vendors that offer products that will do what you want and a price point between Linksys and Cisco, the only downfall if you will have to learn a new command syntax. Best of luck and keep us posted as to what you decide / go with and i am interested in knowing the outcome.
  5. phbell

    phbell LI Guru Member

    Great observations - thank you. While time will be the truest test, iI can tell you that so far the SRW248G4 switch is measuring up quite well as compared to the equipment it replaced. I will just go ahead with a Cisco router for the routing and move on to other headaches.

    Thanks for your time and thoughts.
  6. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    I just looked at that device, it really looks like a repacked 2950 or 3550, what IOS / operating system does it use? Is it similar to Ciscos standard offering or does it have a feel all its own. I may just have to get one of these to play with. I am starting to get the feeling like its christmas in September, time to bye myself some early gifts, no? ;-)
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