I've currently got a network setup like this.

Layer 1 2 cable modems -> Peplink Load Balancer 1 -> for wifi and clients

Layer 2 1 connection from the Peplink + Fiber -> Peplink Load Balancer 2 -> for all wired clients and phones

I want drop one of the cable modems and get everything on one router and use vlans to segregate everything. I'd like the phones on one vlan or subnet, wifi on another, etc.

When I built this network I was in a rush to get it done quick so I did it like this and its been fine. The problem is that we are running out of ips on both networks. The issue though, is that I dont think I can get a budget large enough to replace all of my unmanaged switches at once. We have a bunch of little 8 port switches through out the office and not everything runs back to the network room.

One of the routers is a 100mb max thoroughput and the other is a gigabit balance one. We have 150/50 cable now and we really dont need 2 cable modems that we got when we could only get 50/1.

Am I correct that I will need to replace every single network switch if I want to have this happen? How would you approach making this network more efficent?

1 Answer 1


If the problem is MOSTLY running out of addresses, all you need to do is move to larger subnets - go from /24 to /22 and you have 4x (+6) the addresses you had on /24.

In order to move to VLANs you will need to replace some or all switches - whether that's "some" or "all" depends on the other infrastructure you have - if a "dumb switch" and its connected clients are all on the same VLAN, you don't have to replace it, you just need to make sure that the VLAN-Capable switch port it connects to (or connects to, eventually) has the proper VLAN as its PVID so that untagged traffic becomes traffic in the correct VLAN.

Given the described setup you already have two different networks running separately, so only the new criterion of separating the phones from the wired clients would seem incompatible with "each dumb switch is within a single VLAN"

There is insufficient information about how the current network is laid out to know what must be replaced to achieve the end goal stated. But you may not have to replace all the little dumb switches, at least not in one fell swoop.

  • I didn't realize that changing the /22 would allow for larger subnets. That didn't make sense to me.
    – ahackney
    Aug 2, 2015 at 16:39
  • /24 think; while some may fail to remember that stage, we've pretty much all been there. Delighted to help you get past it,
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 2, 2015 at 19:19
  • Just note that with many hosts all in one broadcast domain/subnet you will have a lot of "background noise", i.e. broadcasts. This will reduce the available bandwidth. Segregating into VLANs will contain broadcasts, and help with troubleshooting. A small VLAN capable switch doesn't cost that much. Aug 7, 2015 at 6:50

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