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I have several managed switches at work that connect all computer within our office to the ADSL modem. However I would like enforce a VLAN policy to isolate traffic within the network. Through my previous studies of the CCNA certification it has come clear to me that I would require a router. The router would facilitate routing traffic back and forth between the different VLANs and the ADSL modem.

However I have a limited budget and was thinking to replace the router with a switch running a customized version of Linux or *BSD distro. Would this be viable? If anyone could provide me with guidelines for getting it set up I would be very grateful.

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I've had linux accept multiple vlans tagged onto a single physical interface. Then you can configure linux for each of the vlans to get a virtual interface. Then you would need to configure linux to act as a router. If you want to implement policies, you can use iptables to firewall traffic. Do you prefer FreeBSD, since it seems it can do the same thing.… – becomingwisest Aug 26 '12 at 1:39
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Grab a workstation with a couple of NICs on it (or buy an ALIX device) and setup a router-on-a-stick, or depending on how many VLANs you have, dedicate an interface for each one. If you're doing a lot of inter-VLAN routing (i.e. workstations on VLAN 1, servers on VLAN 2) then you'll want a layer 3 switch or a real router (or one of these).

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