Use of Virtual Local Area Networks in a Shared Infrastructure to Support Multiple Customers at Low Cost
Original Publication Date: 2002-Mar-13
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
We propose a method to use VLAN technology to differentiate customers in order to allow service providers to offer Web Hosting or other services to customers at significantly lower cost. Service Providers including Web Hosting providers are faced with increasing costs of providing service to large numbers of customers. Sharing resources between customers is not always an option due to security concerns. Virtual Local Area Networks (or VLANS) allow a switch to support multiple Ethernet LANs that are logically distinct from each other. Two devices on different VLANS cannot communicate with each other any more than if they were on separate LANs. A router is required to forward the traffic between the VLANS. VLANS have been developed and deployed around the world in enterprise networks. The isolation aspects of VLANS may be used to provide service for multiple customers in a shared infrastructure. Customers may be assigned to different VLANS in order to share routers, switches and other networking devices.