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This video details the process of creating a VLAN configuration with the Stride SE2 series Managed Industrial Ethernet Switches.
So, what is a VLAN? VLAN stands for a Virtual Local area Network. Now the part that makes this LAN “virtual” is that we are segmenting the network not by the configuration in the connected Ethernet devices but rather in the software configuration of the switch or router. This software configuration uses the physical port on the switch, to define the VLAN of the device. So we can segment, let’s say, the first 4 ports for one VLAN 2 and the next 4 ports for VLAN 3. Now, Why would segmenting out a network, like this, be important? There are 2 main reasons, Controlling Network traffic and security. When it comes to Network traffic, the big help from VLAN segmentation comes from limiting broadcast communication. See when a device sends out a broadcast communication every device on it’s physical LAN receives that communication. The burden is then upon the end device to determine if the communication is meant for them or not. If this type of communication is used a lot, it can easily be seen how much this will reduce network bandwidth. Now if we limit the LAN scope of each devices, by separating them into these Virtual LANs we can maximize the network and reduce the overall workload on all of the devices. By reducing the pathways into the device and who can talk with them we also make the devices more secure. In this graphic we have Productivity 2000 PLC and it has 2 Ethernet ports, 1 for Remote IO and 1 for all other Ethernet communication. This PLC needs to be connected to a C-more HMI and a GS remote VFD drive. Now the PLC needs to talk to the remote IO drive and The HMI needs to talk to the PLC but the HMI and Remote drive do not need to talk to one another. With VLAN, segregating this network is simple. The Remote IO port of the Productivity 2000 and the Remote IO Drive are plugged into ports that are setup for VLAN3 on ports 5-8 and then the HMI and the other Ethernet port of the Productivity is plugged into ports setup for another VLAN2, ports 1-4. Ok let’s see how we would configure this in the Stride Managed switch. First we need get access to the Managed switch by typing in the IP address of the switch into our Web browser and then you will be asked to enter in the Username and Password for the switch On the Left hand side you will see the Vlan option expand it. Now select the VLAN configuration. Here we are going to create our first VLAN. First we are going to name VLAN Group 2 PLC_And HMI, and give it a group number of 2. We are going to select ports 1-4 and make them untagged. After you are done select Add. Now you will see your VLAN down in the group below Now To create Group 3. We will call this PLC_And REMote IO with VLan Id of 3. We will select ports 5 through 8 and place them as untagged. Click on add. Now you will see Vlan 3 down here. Ok by pressing Apply you will load this configuration. Now, here is a problem, if you stop here and the Switch is rebooted this configuration will be lost. To make this configuration the primary configuration in this switch we must save the configuration. Couple of points to wrap up with. It is important to leave some ports on Default for Switch configuration. Also the entire configuration resides in the managed switch, so to ensure that you can get your equipment up quickly, in case of switch failure, it is important to keep backups of this configuration. Here is a link to a video covering Uploading and downloading configuration. If you need any help with using an Automation Direct device please contact Automation Direct’s free, award winning Technical support team during regular business hours – they will be happy to help. And don’t forget the forums. There are lots of folks there that love to share their years of experience. Just don’t post questions directed at Automation Direct’s Technical support staff there, they do not monitor the forums on a regular basis.