A VLAN is a switched network that is logically segmented by function or application, without regard to the physical locations of the users. VLANs have the same attributes as physical LANs. However, you can group end-stations even if they are not physically located on the same LAN segment. Any device port can belong to a VLAN, unicast, broadcast, and multicast packets are forwarded and flooded only to end-stations in the VLAN. Each VLAN is considered a logical network, and packets destined for stations that do not belong to the VLAN must be forwarded through a router or a device supporting fallback bridging. In a device stack, VLANs can be formed with ports across the stack. Because a VLAN is considered a separate logical network, it contains its own bridge Management Information Base (MIB) information and can support its own implementation of spanning tree.
VLANs are often associated with IP subnetworks. For example, all the end stations in a particular IP subnet belong to the same VLAN. Interface VLAN membership on the device is assigned manually on an interface-by-interface basis. When you assign device interfaces to VLANs by using this method, it is known as interface-based, or static, VLAN membership.
The device can route traffic between VLANs by using device virtual interfaces (SVIs). An SVI must be explicitly configured and assigned an IP address to route traffic between VLANs.
An access port belongs to and carries the traffic of only one VLAN (unless it is configured as a voice VLAN port). Traffic is received and sent in native formats with no VLAN tagging. Traffic arriving on an access port is assumed to belong to the VLAN assigned to the port. If an access port receives a tagged packet IEEE 802.1Q tagged), the packet is dropped, and the source address is not learned.
A trunk port carries the traffic of multiple VLANs and by default is a member of all VLANs in the VLAN database. These trunk port types are supported:
An IEEE 802.1Q trunk port supports simultaneous tagged and untagged traffic. An IEEE 802.1Q trunk port is assigned a default port VLAN ID (PVID), and all untagged traffic travels on the port default PVID. All untagged traffic and tagged traffic with a NULL VLAN ID are assumed to belong to the port default PVID. A packet with a VLAN ID equal to the outgoing port default PVID is sent untagged. All other traffic is sent with a VLAN tag.
Although by default, a trunk port is a member of every VLAN known to the VTP, you can limit VLAN membership by configuring an allowed list of VLANs for each trunk port. The list of allowed VLANs does not affect any other port but the associated trunk port. By default, all possible VLANs (VLAN ID 1 to 4094) are in the allowed list. A trunk port can become a member of a VLAN only if VTP knows of the VLAN and if the VLAN is in the enabled state. If VTP learns of a new, enabled VLAN and the VLAN is in the allowed list for a trunk port, the trunk port automatically becomes a member of that VLAN and traffic is forwarded to and from the trunk port for that VLAN. If VTP learns of a new, enabled VLAN that is not in the allowed list for a trunk port, the port does not become a member of the VLAN, and no traffic for the VLAN is forwarded to or from the port.
For more information on VLANs, see VLAN Configuration Guide, Cisco IOS XE Gibraltar 16.10.x.