I am new to managed switches. I have a Dell 5448 48-port switch. I would like to configure it as six separate groups of unmanaged 8-port switches. Each group of 8-ports would share all traffic within that group, but be isolated from other groups. I am not using vlans. I am just trying to consolidate several unmanaged switches into one unit.

As a newbie, I am not clear on what feature I should look for and the correct terminology. The manual discusses many topics - vlans, LAG, etc., but none of descriptions seem to match this use case.

Is it possible to use the 5448 switch in this way, and if so, what's the simplest way to configure it?


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    – Zac67
    Jul 13, 2022 at 7:33
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    – Ron Maupin
    Nov 19, 2022 at 22:40

1 Answer 1


Port-based VLANs are exactly the thing you're talking about.

Configure each group's interfaces as Access and with a separate PVID (from 1-4094) per group. Make sure you keep Ingress filtering enabled (drops frames tagged for any other VLAN than the configured one).

I'm not familiar with those switches but the general console steps are

  1. create VLANs (vlan 10)
  2. associate access interface(s) with VLAN (interface ethernet g8 and switchport access vlan 10

To check whether the hosts show up in the intended VLAN, show bridge address-table should be helpful.

Port-based VLANs aren't very efficient if you need to connect them to a router - you'd need a separate port for each VLAN. Instead you can use a single trunk port towards the router, connecting all VLANs at once. Of course, you have to configure the same VLANs in the same way on the router.

  • Zac67, thanks for the fast response! I am trying to configure port-based vlans as you suggest. I created vlan 11 in the database and tried adding the port3 and 5 to that vlan in access mode as untagged ports. I immediately lost ping communication between the ports. I tried General and Trunk vlan access modes but they failed. I tried to enable Unauthorized users, but that caused an error. I am connecting routers and devices to the switch that are not using vlan tags. What am I doing wrong?
    – excel
    Jun 11, 2022 at 22:53
  • Immediately lost ping - have you made sure the pinging hosts keep their IP address? If the ports reset, DHCP hosts may try to renew their lease which would fail. With static addresses (any subnet) ping within a VLAN should work.
    – Zac67
    Jun 12, 2022 at 6:20
  • yes, the addresses were static. Seems like you can't set up port-based vlans without authorized users enabled. If authorization is enabled, then the devices must be authorized. I don't know how to do that either.
    – excel
    Jun 13, 2022 at 6:28
  • No, authorized users and authorization shouldn't be necessary. Could you add the current config (show running-config) to your question using the { } function?
    – Zac67
    Jun 13, 2022 at 6:45
  • Thanks! I tried setting up a vlan again and it appears to be working. I'll test further and see how it goes. If it fails like before I'll upload a config.
    – excel
    Jun 13, 2022 at 7:53

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