Super-aggregated VLAN configuration

You can aggregate multiple VLANs within another VLAN. This feature allows you to construct Layer 2 paths and channels. This feature is particularly useful for Virtual Private Network (VPN) applications in which you need to provide a private, dedicated Ethernet connection for an individual client to transparently reach its subnet across multiple networks.

Conceptually, the paths and channels are similar to Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) paths and channels. A path contains multiple channels, each of which is a dedicated circuit between two end points. The two devices at the end points of the channel appear to each other to be directly attached. The network that connects them is transparent to the two devices.

You can aggregate up to 4094 VLANs within another VLAN. This provides a total VLAN capacity on one RUCKUS device of 16,760,836 channels (4094 * 4094).

The devices connected through the channel are not visible to devices in other channels. Therefore, each client has a private link to the other side of the channel.

The feature allows point-to-point and point-to-multipoint connections.

The following figure shows a conceptual picture of the service that aggregated VLANs provide. Aggregated VLANs provide a path for multiple client channels. The channels do not receive traffic from other channels. Thus, each channel is a private link.

Figure 1. Conceptual model of the super aggregated VLAN application

Each client connected to the edge device is in its own port-based VLAN, which is like an ATM channel. All the clients’ VLANs are aggregated by the edge device into a single VLAN for connection to the core. The single VLAN that aggregates the clients’ VLANs is like an ATM path.

The device that aggregates the VLANs forwards the aggregated VLAN traffic through the core. The core can consist of multiple devices that forward the aggregated VLAN traffic. The edge device at the other end of the core separates the aggregated VLANs into the individual client VLANs before forwarding the traffic. The edge devices forward the individual client traffic to the clients. For the clients’ perspective, the channel is a direct point-to-point link.

The following figure shows an example application that uses aggregated VLANs. This configuration includes the client connections shown in Figure 1.

Figure 2. Example of a super aggregated VLAN application

In this example, a collocation service provides private channels for multiple clients. Although the same devices are used for all the clients, the VLANs ensure that each client receives its own Layer 2 broadcast domain, separate from the broadcast domains of other clients. For example, client 1 cannot ping client 5.

The clients at each end of a channel appear to each other to be directly connected and thus can be on the same subnet and use network services that require connection to the same subnet. In this example, client 1 is in subnet and so is the device at the other end of client 1 channel.

Because each VLAN configured on the core devices is an aggregate of multiple client VLANs, the aggregated VLANs greatly increase the number of clients a core device can accommodate.

This example shows a single link between the core devices. However, you can use a trunk group to add link-level redundancy.