Network interfaces

The NetScaler interfaces are numbered in slot/port notation. In addition to modifying the characteristics of individual interfaces, you can configure virtual LANs to restrict traffic to specific groups of hosts. You can also aggregate links into high-speed channels.

Virtual LANs

The NetScaler appliance supports (Layer 2) port and IEEE802.1Q tagged virtual LANs (VLANs). VLAN configurations are useful when you need to restrict traffic to certain groups of stations. You can configure a network interface to belong to multiple VLANs by using IEEE 802.1q tagging.

You can bind your configured VLANs to IP subnets. The ADC appliance (if it is configured as the default router for the hosts on the subnets) then performs IP forwarding between these VLANs.

The NetScaler appliance supports the following types of VLANs.

  • Default VLAN

    By default, the network interfaces on a NetScaler appliance are included in a single, port-based VLAN as untagged network interfaces. This default VLAN has a VID of 1 and exists permanently. It cannot be deleted, and its VID cannot be changed.

  • Port-Based VLANs

    A set of network interfaces that share a common, exclusive, Layer 2 broadcast domain define the membership of a port-based VLAN. You can configure multiple port-based VLANs. When you add an interface to a new VLAN as an untagged member, it is automatically removed from the default VLAN.

  • Tagged VLAN

    A network interface can be a tagged or untagged member of a VLAN. Each network interface is an untagged member of only one VLAN (its native VLAN). The untagged network interface forwards the frames for the native VLAN as untagged frames. A tagged network interface can be a part of more than one VLAN. When you configure tagging, be sure that both ends of the link have matching VLAN settings. You can use the configuration utility to define a tagged VLAN (nsvlan) that can have any ports bound as tagged members of the VLAN. Configuring this VLAN requires a reboot of the ADC appliance and therefore must be done during initial network configuration.

Link aggregation combines incoming data from multiple ports into a single high speed link. Configuring the link aggregate channel increases the capacity and availability of the communication channel between a NetScaler appliance and other connected devices. An aggregated link is also referred to as a channel.

When a network interface is bound to a channel, the channel parameters have precedence over the network interface parameters. A network interface can be bound to only one channel. Binding a network interface to a link aggregate channel changes the VLAN configuration. That is, binding network interfaces to a channel removes them from the VLANs that they originally belonged to and adds them to the default VLAN. However, you can bind the channel back to the old VLAN, or to a new one. For example, if you have bound network interfaces 1/2 and 1/3 to a VLAN with ID 2, and then you bind them to link aggregate channel LA/1, the network interfaces are moved to the default VLAN, but you can bind them to VLAN 2.

Note: You can also use Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) to configure link aggregation. For more information, see Configuring Link Aggregation by Using the Link Aggregation Control Protocol.

Network interfaces