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Switch: Dell PowerConnect 5548
DHCP is being handled by Windows 2012 R2
If it's relevant the router is a Sonicwall NSA 2600

Our network is currently 10.1.1.0/24

If I were to just create a VLAN on the switch it would change the 3rd octet
ex: command VLAN 10 would make 10.1.10.0/24

But I want to make our network have multiple ranges for various VLANs.
keeping 10.1.x for the switch and router and proxy,
but using 10.2.x for everything else. (10.2.2.x for servers, 10.2.3.x for printers, etc.) .

This is a small company so these changes are definitely possible, just a matter of when I implement them. Or in the case of this question, how.

Can I do this with the PowerConnect 5548 with the network's CIDR set to /24 or do I need to switch to /16 to change the second octet when I create a VLAN?

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IP address octets have nothing to do with VLANs, or really anything other than making a 32-bit number easier to read for humans.

Your switch supports VLAN, and you usually want each VLAN to have a separate IP network address. This can be on VLAN boundaries if it makes it easier for you, and you have enough addresses to do this. The different IP networks certainly do not need to be on IP boundaries. For example, you could have four networks: 10.1.1.0/26, 10.1.1.64/26, 10.1.1.128/26, and 10.1.1.192/26. You could chop it into eight using /27, or any power of two.

It sounds like you want to use 10.1.1.0/24 for a management VLAN, and various 10.2.x.x/xx for other VLANs. You can do that. Each of the other VLANs could be /24, or whatever size is appropriate. Your VLANs do not even need to be the same size nor contiguous, but they cannot overlap. You may want to learn more about IP addressing first. See this answer to understand how to do this.

It is not clear where you intend to do the routing between the VLANs, but I don't think your switch has layer-3 capabilities, so you will need to trunk the VLANs to your SonicWall and create the VLANs there as the gateway for the VLANs. Create each VLAN with a separate non-overlapping IP network.

Your switch management address can stay in your management VLAN of 10.1.1.0/24. Each VLAN IP network is completely independent of any other VLAN IP network, other than they cannot be overlapping.

  • Thank you! I wasn't sure of the limitations/functionality of the device more than anything. I am somewhat new to managed switches. This makes a lot of sense. – user33112 Dec 28 '16 at 18:41
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Setting the subnet to a /16 might cause some issues with broadcasts. Remember that your broadcast traffic is always the last address (the .255). I'm not sure what else might happen. Haven't tried it.

If traffic needs to travel between VLANs, you need to route between the VLANs. The configuration of each VLAN's addressing should match the devices on the VLAN, so if you go with /24 for your workstations, the VLAN needs to be the same.

You can easily route traffic between VLANs with the SonicWALL https://support.sonicwall.com/kb/sw13826, but be aware that all workstation to server traffic will be passing through the interface on the SonicWALL.

Based on this post Dell PowerConnect 5524 VLAN routing, it sounds like the PowerConnect switch can route at L3 and that would be the ideal choice.

Look at the manual http://downloads.dell.com/manuals/common/powerconnect-5500-series_ug_en-us.pdf on page 213.

Let us know how this works out for you.

  • Thank you! This gives me information that I didn't realize I needed. – user33112 Dec 28 '16 at 18:45

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