should I expect any performance hit from enabling 210x tagged VLANs on ALL 24x ports of a switch (or alternatively setting ALL 24x ports as trunk ports)

background / equipment:

We have a install with 10 x netgear 24-port switches, into which are plugged 200x ruckus 7372 access points running standalone firmware (one ap, hardwired, per apartment, 200 apartments). Switches are: Netgear GS728TPP switches (24-port, 1g poe, specs state max 256 vlans)

Each access point has a unique SSID and password for the unit it is in (ie unit 213’s ap is putting out SSID: u213 with WPA Password: xyzxyz213). This units SSID is set to tagged VLAN 213. There is a core mikrotik which will have all 200 VLANs with a /24 10.x ip and DHCP-server on each vlan.

I could go into more specifics about why we want the system to be set up this way, but I don’t want the thread/question to be too long (too late!, but if interested i’ll post more details in reply)

I really want to focus on my main question; should I expect any issues or performance hits from Setting all 24 ports to all 200 tagged VLANs. (or is it better to set all ports as trunk ports?) Part of this question is hypothetical, as i will most like end up config-ing all ports of each switch for only the 24 vlans (units) it can possibly serve and trunk the uplinks- but id like to know answer to my original question still.

(I could of course properly set each port to its proper "unit number" VLAN, and then set my uplinks as trunks- however there may come scenarios where the Ethernet plugs physically get rearranged at the switch and thus unit-421 could end up being plugged into a swithcport only tagging for vlan 428 and thus not work).


  • You need to check about the router, switches, and WAPs because some have a limit on the number of VLANs that can actually be configured at any one time. Also, you could run into the distance limitation for cabling of your WAPs. It is 100 meters for copper, and that is 90 meters of solid-core horizontal cable, and up to 10 meters of stranded patch cords (5 meters on each end). The cable distance will be more than the linear distance because you must have a proper cable path. – Ron Maupin Sep 13 '19 at 13:02
  • Thanks alot for the reply. I didnt want to make my original post longer than it already is, so here is a bit more detail- As half of the building is currently open (other half in next few weeks), we have ~110 aps online but in "Router mode" (ruckus calls it "gateway mode" , thus each AP is doing NAT and dhcp-server to its WLAN interfaces). This is all working great, however bandwidth is topping out at 70-100mbit, even on the 1 wired port. Ruckus clearly states that APs when in gateway/router mode do have reduced bandwidth (and they state the limit/estimate per model). – James Gaul Sep 14 '19 at 3:06
  • However, with the APs in their more traditional Bridged mode, the speeds are what we expect for 2x2 N at 5ghz (ie ~200mbit). So the goal is do the routing on the mikrotik. We have done some tests with 20x APs in this configuration and the performance is great, my only concern was tagging so many vlans, on ALL ports- but the feedback im getting from here and other posts ive made, is that the switch should have no problems handling what i was concerned about. – James Gaul Sep 14 '19 at 3:08

should I expect any issues or performance hits from Setting all 24 ports to all 200 tagged VLANs.

The VLAN tagging itself has no impact on overall performance. You may however at the same time aggregate significant amounts of (broadcast) traffic that might very well impact performance. The actual load on the trunk depends on the number of active wireless clients and their workloads, however.

(or is it better to set all ports as trunk ports?)

A trunk uses tagging to distinguish separate VLANs, so it's the same thing.

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  • thanks, one follow up ?: does a trunk port pass ALL vlans (ie 0-4096) OR only all vlans used/created on that specific switch? ie: if i have sw A making use of vlans 50, switch B making use of only vlan 60, and sw A and B are connected via trunk ports, will a router connected to trunk port of switch B be able to see/access traffic from vlan 50 (from switch A?). thanks – James Gaul Sep 19 '19 at 18:24
  • You always need to create the VLANs on all forwarding switches or use MVRP, GVRP or similar to make them propagate VLANs dynamically - these protocols have their own quirks, so you're usually better off by creating them statically. – Zac67 Sep 19 '19 at 19:54

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