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Variable Length Subnet Masking

(VLSM)
Objectives
 Define VLSM
 Describe the difference between classful subnetting
 Describe the advantages of VLSM
 Be able to perform VLSM operations on given IP
addresses
Classful subnetting exercise
 172.80.0.0 255.255.248.0
 Find
 The first five subnet addresses
 First host, last host and broadcast of each subnet
 How many subnets can be made?
 How many hosts per subnet?
VLSM defined
 More than one subnet mask
 Using classful subnetting wastes IP addresses
 Why? 172.80.40.0
172.80.40.1 – 47.254

172.80.32.0 172.80.24.0
172.80.32.1 – 39.254 172.80.24.1 – 31.254

172.80.8.0
172.80.8.1 – 15.254
172.80.16.0
172.80.16.1 – 23.254
We need
 An IP address to perform VLSM on
 The number of hosts involved in each part of the
network
We will...
 Create a number of subnet masks that suit our needs
more efficiently than a classful subnetting scheme could
Example using a Class C network address

192.168.1.0

60 hosts

120 hosts

30 hosts
Process
1. Find the segment with the largest number of hosts
connected to it
2. Find an appropriate subnet mask for the largest
segment
3. Write down the subnet addresses to fit the subnet
mask
4. Take one of the newly created subnet addresses and
apply a new subnet mask to it that is more appropriate
5. Write down the subnet addresses to fit the new subnet
mask
6. Repeat from step 4 for smaller segments
Example continued
1. Find the segment with the largest number of hosts
connected to it
 In the example the largest segment has 120 hosts
connected so we must start with this segment
 To accomodate120 hosts we need to use 7 bits from
the host portion of the address (27 - 2 = 126)

120 hosts
Example continued
2. Find an appropriate subnet mask for the largest
segment
 If we have borrowed 7 bits for our hosts the subnet
mask (in binary) will be
11111111.1111111.1111111.1000000
 Convert to prefix length and we get /25
 Convert this to decimal and we get 255.255.255.128
Example continued
3. Write down the subnet addresses to fit the subnet
mask
 Now we need to find the subnet addresses that this
subnet mask will create
 256 – 128 = 128
 Therefore the subnets would be 192.168.1.0 and
192.168.1.128
 We can now assign 192.168.1.0/25 to accommodate the
120 hosts
 And 92.168.1.128 to use for the other two segments

120 hosts (126 in total)


192.168.1.0/25
60 hosts (62 in total)

120 hosts (126 in total)


192.168.1.0/25

30 hosts (30 in total)


Example continued
4. Take one of the newly created subnet addresses and
apply a new subnet mask to it that is more appropriate
 We still have two segments to deal with and we have a
new subnet address to work with of 192.168.1.128
 We must start with the larger segment, which has 60
hosts
 To accommodate 60 hosts we need to borrow 6 bits
from the host portion of the given IP address
 26 – 2 = 62 hosts
 This will give us a subnet mask of
1111111.1111111.1111111.11000000 which is the same
as 255.255.255.192
Example continued
5. Write down the subnet addresses to fit the new subnet
mask
 Now we need to find the subnet addresses that this
subnet mask will create
 256 – 192 = 64
 Therefore the new subnet addresses would be
192.168.1.128 and 192.168.1.192
 We can now use 192.168.1.128/26 for the segment with
60 hosts
60 hosts (62 in total)
192.168.1.128/26
120 hosts (126 in total)
192.168.1.0/25

30 hosts (30 in total)


Example continued
4. Take one of the newly created subnet addresses and
apply a new subnet mask to it that is more appropriate
 We still have the segment with 30 hosts to deal with
 We work this out in the same way as before
 To accommodate 30 hosts we need to borrow 5 bits
from the host portion of the IP address
 25 – 2 = 30 hosts
 This will give us a subnet mask of
1111111.1111111.1111111.11100000 which is
255.255.255.224
Example continued
5. Write down the subnet addresses to fit the new subnet
mask
 Now we need to find the subnet addresses that this
subnet mask will create
 256 – 224 = 32
 Therefore the new subnet addresses would be
192.168.1.192 and 192.168.1.224
 We can now use 192.168.1.192/27 for the segment with
30 hosts
 We still have the new 192.168.1.224 subnet which could
be used for future growth
Result
192.168.1.0

60 hosts (62 in total)


192.168.1.128/26
120 hosts (126 in total)
192.168.1.0/25

30 hosts (30 in total)


192.168.1.192/27
Summary
 To determine the number of hosts a subnet can support
use the formula 2n – 2
 Always start the process with the segment with the
largest amount of hosts to accommodate
 Classless subnetting deals with the hosts as opposed to
classful subnetting which deals more with subnets
Exercise
 192.168.2.0/24 Remote A 30 hosts
 7 remote sites, 30 hosts
each Remote B 30 hosts
 P to P links
between routers Remote C 30 hosts

Remote D 30 hosts

Central Remote E 30 hosts

Remote F 30 hosts

Remote G 30 hosts
Exercise
 192.168.3.0
30 hosts

6 hosts
Backbone
126 hosts
6 hosts 30 hosts

6 hosts

30 hosts