I am new to setting up a full network, so I am setting up a testing lab in my home. What I have running is the following:

  • Two servers that both run vmware esxi where I have server 2012 r2 installed on both.
  • I have 2 switches one is a xtreme summit x250e and the other is a dell powerconnect 5424. It is just two switches I had laying around.

Now, I am trying to get both severs connected to my domain and be able to talk to each other on different subnets.

So, I have one server on, and the other is on The xtreme switch one has 2 vlans, the default with all ports untagged, and another vlan for my dhcp ports from the server. This seems to work fine as it is, assigning IP addresses to the clients just fine using

The other server and dell switch are on I just cant seem to get the two to communicate with each other. I know I need to connect the switches together and that is where I am stuck.

So this is how I have it setup now

I start with my modem that is connected to my pfsense firewall with a lan IP of From my pfsense firewall I am going into the xtreme switch with a default gateway of this is then connected to the server 2012 r2 running dchp and this is working

I then have another server 2012 r2 that is connected to the Dell switch with default gateway I need to get this added to the domain and talk to the first server

If any could help me out it would be greatly appreciated.

Here is a diagram with what I am trying to do again I am new to setting anything like this up before so Please tell me if I am all wrong with the setup as I am trying to learn how to do this Dont mind my diagram I did it in paint

Network Diagram

  • 1
    How are you routing between and Commented Oct 2, 2016 at 8:55
  • 1
    Switches will switch frames on the same network, but routers route packets between networks. You need a router to get traffic from one network to the other network. The router could be a layer-3 switch. If one of your switches is a layer-3 switch, then you need to enable routing on it.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Oct 2, 2016 at 15:52
  • Yes I believe both are level 3 switches I am just not sure how to enable the routing on them I am all new to this and using manageable switches
    – tech21
    Commented Oct 2, 2016 at 22:22
  • You should edit your question to include the switch configurations. Indicate on which ports the two switches connect to each other.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Oct 2, 2016 at 22:31
  • Both switches are layer 3 I have the default gateways setup to match the subnets. I am lost when it comes to making them connect and access different shared files on both subnets
    – tech21
    Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 0:18

1 Answer 1


Connect both switches and assign a different IP range to those interfaces, lets say to Switch A and to Switch B, then you will need:

  • A routing protocol to communicate between both access layers


  • Configure both default gateways with the IP of the interface facing the other Switch, that way if Switch A receives a packet with a destination IP that is not directly connected it will be sent to Switch B


  • Configure an static IP route on both switches pointing toward each others

On the other hand you could use only one switch and forget about the rest (as @hertitu suggested below) but since this is a lab environment I suppose you want to get your hands dirty and learn by doing so.

  • 1
    You don't need a routing protocol, you need a router (which, as Ron mentions in the comments, can be a layer 3 switch). A routing protocol is only needed when you want to exchange routing information between 2 or more routers. Here one router is sufficient and if it has an interface in both vlans it will automatically have connected routes in its routing table.
    – hertitu
    Commented Oct 2, 2016 at 21:00
  • What if both switches are layer 3? he doesnt need a router. And if both SW are L3 then he need a routing protocol because he will have to connect both SW using a different IP range than the ones he is ussing on the edges of the network. Or configure default gateway, but im not sure how those brands work
    – Raul D
    Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 10:08
  • 1
    If you want to route between 2 vlans then you definitely need a router, and as I said, a L3 switch is a router. But I now realise I mis-read your answer, and it does offer a potential valid solution, so I would like to remove my downvote but I can't unless you edit the answer. Perhaps you can change Connect both switches and... to Change the ports that connect the switches to each other into L3 ports and.... I would still prefer a solution that does not require a routing protocol though, it seems more logical (IMHO) to simply have 1 (or both) switch route between both vlans.
    – hertitu
    Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 10:17
  • I assume that by suggesting to configure an IP on an interface, we are already thinking on L3 ports, but I get it, I might not have explained myself as I wanted either.. and yes a routing protocol might be a bit overkill but hey, he is on a lab environment and I suppose he is open to learn.
    – Raul D
    Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 10:34

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