You can configure a guest VLAN for each 802.1x port on the switch to provide limited services to clients, such as downloading the 802.1x client. These clients might be upgrading their system for 802.1x authentication, and some hosts, such as Windows 98 systems, might not be IEEE 802.1x-capable.
When you enable a guest VLAN on an 802.1x port, the switch assigns clients to a guest VLAN when the switch does not receive a response to its EAP request/identity frame or when EAPOL packets are not sent by the client.
The switch maintains the EAPOL packet history. If an EAPOL packet is detected on the interface during the lifetime of the link, the switch determines that the device connected to that interface is an IEEE 802.1x-capable supplicant, and the interface does not change to the guest VLAN state. EAPOL history is cleared if the interface link status goes down. If no EAPOL packet is detected on the interface, the interface changes to the guest VLAN state.
If the switch is trying to authorize an 802.1x-capable voice device and the AAA server is unavailable, the authorization attempt fails, but the detection of the EAPOL packet is saved in the EAPOL history. When the AAA server becomes available, the switch authorizes the voice device. However, the switch no longer allows other devices access to the guest VLAN. To prevent this situation, use one of these command sequences:
Enter the authentication event no-response action authorize vlan vlan-id interface configuration command to allow access to the guest VLAN.
Enter the shutdown interface configuration command followed by the no shutdown interface configuration command to restart the port.
Use a restricted VLAN to allow clients that failed authentication access to the network by entering the dot1x auth-fail vlan vlan-id interface configuration command.
If devices send EAPOL packets to the switch during the lifetime of the link, the switch no longer allows clients that fail authentication access to the guest VLAN.
If an EAPOL packet is detected after the interface has changed to the guest VLAN, the interface reverts to an unauthorized state, and 802.1x authentication restarts.
When the switch port is moved to the guest VLAN, the number of allowed 802.1x-incapable hosts is determined by the configured
host-mode. If an 802.1x-capable client joins the same port on which the guest VLAN is configured, the port is put into the unauthorized state in the user-configured access VLAN, and authentication is restarted.
Guest VLANs are supported on 802.1x ports in single host, multiple host, multi-auth and multi-domain modes.
You can configure any active VLAN except an RSPAN VLAN, a private VLAN, or a voice VLAN as an 802.1x guest VLAN. The guest VLAN feature is not supported on internal VLANs (routed ports) or trunk ports; it is supported only on access ports.
The switch supports MAC authentication bypass. When MAC authentication bypass is enabled on an 802.1x port, the switch can authorize clients based on the client MAC address when IEEE 802.1x authentication times out while waiting for an EAPOL message exchange. After detecting a client on an 802.1x port, the switch waits for an Ethernet packet from the client. The switch sends the authentication server a RADIUS-access/request frame with a username and password based on the MAC address. If authorization succeeds, the switch grants the client access to the network. If authorization fails, the switch assigns the port to the guest VLAN if one is specified.