IEEE 802.1Q

IEEE 802.1Q is one of the VLAN tagging protocols supported by Cisco switches. This standard was created by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), so it an open standard and can be used on non-Cisco switches.

To identify to which VLAN a frame belongs to, a field is inserted into the frame’s header.

Original frame:

normal frame
802.1Q frame:

802.1Q frame

An example will attempt to clarify the concept. Let’s say that we have a network of 2 switches and 4 hosts. Hosts A and host D are in VLAN 2, while hosts B and C are in VLAN 3.

frame tagging
On the segment between two switches, a process called VLAN trunking is used. Let’s say that host A sends a broadcast frame. SW1 “tags” the frame by inserting the VLAN ID in the header of the frame before sending the frame to SW2. SW2 receives the frame and knows that the frame belongs to VLAN 3, so it sends the frame only to host D, since that host is in VLAN 3.

Prerequisites for 200-301

200-301 is a single exam, consisting of about 120 questions. It covers a wide range of topics, such as routing and switching, security, wireless networking, and even some programming concepts. As with other Cisco certifications, you can take it at any of the Pearson VUE certification centers.

The recommended training program that can be taken at a Cisco academy is called Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions (CCNA). The successful completion of a training course will get you a training badge.

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