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Cisco IP subnetting 101: Five things you should know

Takeaway: How much do you know about IP subnetting? Even if you're familiar with the topic, it never hurts to review the basics. avid avis tells you five things you should know about IP subnetting, and he offers additional resources.
If you work with networks, odds are pretty good that you're fa iliar with Cisco IP subnetting! "ut that doesn't ean you know all there is to know! It never hurts to refresh your subnetting skills# soon! particularly if you're planning on taking a Cisco e$a

IP subnetting isn't so e obscure, esoteric topic that only the network ad inistration %gurus% can understand! In fact, you should be able to get a fir grasp on subnetting in about an hour!

&owever, 'ust like al ost anything else, you won't be able to understand subnetting unless you use it# and practice! (earning subnetting takes so e repetition! )nd once you do learn it, you'll *uickly forget it if you don't practice it periodically!

What is IP subnetting?
+ubnetting eans breaking a large network into s aller networks! ,ou can acco plish this by ask! changing the subnet

When it comes to subnetting, how are routers different from computers?

-very co puter needs three co ponents in order to co network .e!g!, to the Internet/! unicate both on its network and outside its

)n IP address ) subnet mask: Co bined with the IP address, the subnet ask tells the co puter which

IP addresses are on its local network! ) default gateway: ) co puter uses the default gateway to trans it data not on its local unicate on its own ()0, a default gateway isn't

network! If a co puter only needs to co necessary!

1outers function si ilarly to co puters2 every interface has an IP address and a subnet routers can also have default gateways, they don't always have the ! In addition, every interface on a router

ask! 3hile

ust be on a different network! In fact, the router won't let you

place two interfaces on the sa e network!

Where did subnetting come from?

Published in 1440, 1FC 1155 specified five different classes of IP addresses:

Class A: )ny IP address that begins with 1 to 167 has a subnet Class B: )ny IP address that begins with 169 to 141 has a subnet

ask of 688!0!0!0! ask of 688!688!0!0! ask of 688!688!688!0!

Class C: )ny IP address that begins with 146 to 66: has a subnet Class is for ulticast traffic only!

Class ! is e$peri ental! asks didn't fit the growth re*uire ents of the Internet, and eans the classes

&owever, these fi$ed classes and subnet the industry abandoned the CI<1 uses variable length subnet

in favor of Classless Inter;<o ain 1outing .CI<1/ in 1448 .1FC 1917/! asks .=(+>/ .1FC 1819 and 1FC 1814/! ?hat asks .F(+>/, were no longer applicable! any networks or hosts you

above, with their fi$ed length subnet =(+> subnet eans that the subnet

ask can dyna ically change based on how ay or

need! +o, while it's i portant to know the default .fi$ed length/ subnet ask for an IP that begins with 146

asks for testing purposes, a

ay not be 688!688!688!0!

What do "s and #s ha$e to do with it?

+ubnetting is taking the original subnet words, if you convert a subnet network! ?he nu ber of hosts! ?he ore hosts you have! In other words, the subnet fewer networks and hosts! ask tells routers and co puters which portion of the IP address is for the ore networks and fewer ask and adding bits to it to create and add ask eans the ask ore networks! In other ask into binary for ore 1s, you are subnetting that ore networks with a fewer eans the fewer networks and the

ore 1s that are present in the subnet

ore 0s that are present in the subnet

network and which is for the host! If you slide the line between network and host to the left, you create ore hosts! If you slide the line to the right, you create

%ow can I write out subnet masks?

,ou can write out subnet dotted deci al notation subnet asks in two different ways: dotted deci al notation and slash notation! ?he ethod is ore than likely what you're fa iliar with! ?his involves writing the by periods .i!e!, dots/! For e$a ple, you would write a Class C default

nu bers and separating the

ask as 688!688!688!0! ethod, you convert the subnet ask into binary for , writing the nu ber

?o use the slash notation of 1s in the subnet 11111111 00000000!

ask instead! For e$a ple, in binary for , 688!688!688!0 would be 11111111 11111111

In slash notation, this %translates% to @6A#in other words, the nu ber of 1s! +o, you would write your IP network with its subnet ore co plicated, keep in ask like this: 146!159!1!0@6A! 3hile the slash notation ind that it akes diagra ing and note taking easier! ethod ay see

Cisco IP subnetting 101: Five should know

ore things you

Takeaway: How much do you know about IP subnetting? !ast time, avid avis detailed five things you should know about IP subnetting. "his time, he adds five more things to this list, including what you should worry about when it comes to the ##$% e&am.
IP subnetting isn't so e obscure topic that only network ad inistration %gurus% can understand! In fact, if you work with networks, odds are pretty good that you're already so ewhat fa iliar with Cisco IP subnetting! "ut it never hurts to refresh your subnetting skills#particularly if you're planning on taking a Cisco e$a soon! (ast ti e, I told you five things you should know about Cisco IP subnetting, including what asks, and ore! 0ow, let's look at five ore things you should subnetting is, how to write out subnet know about subnetting!

Which formulas can I use to subnet a network?

?o review, subnetting involves taking a single network that has a large nu ber of hosts and breaking it into ultiple networks each with a s aller nu ber of hosts! ?hat's why we call it subnetting#because we're creating subnetworks! (et's look at two for ulas you need to know when subnetting a network! &etworks formula ?his for ula is 6$, where x is the nu ber of 1s added to the subnet subnet ask when converted to binary! ask of 688!688!688!686 converted to binary is 11111111 11111111 11111111 a classful network .i!e!, a network that uses the five different ask .688!688!688!0/! ?o arrive at the ask, which had a default nu ber ask fro the previous or default

For e$a ple, a subnet

11111100! (et's assu e that this is fro new subnet of 6A 1s!

classes of IP addresses/, and it started out as a Class C subnet

ask .688!688!688!686/, we added si$ 1s to the subnet

+o, 65 B 5A, which

eans that changing the subnet

ask fro

the default @6A .688!688!688!0/

ask to

a @:0 .688!688!688!686/ subnet %osts formula

ask would create 5A new networks!

?his for ula is 6y;6, where y is the nu ber of 0s in the subnet (et's use the sa e e$a ple! Cur subnet

ask when converted to binary!

ask is 688!688!688!686, which is 11111111 11111111 11111111 ask had two 0s! +o, 6 6;6 B 6, which eans there are

11111100 when converted to binary! ?his subnet broadcast I<!

two valid hosts in the subnet! ?he 6 we subtract in the for ula stand for the network I< and the

(et's say the IP address for this e$a ple is 146!159!1!0 with a @:0 subnet subnet ask above/! ?his network would look like this:

ask .the 688!688!688!686 Network ID One of the usable hosts One of the usable hosts Broadcast ID

+o, by using the @:0 subnet

ask, we've created 5A new networks with two useable hosts each!

'houldn(t I subtract ) when using the networks formula?

) ore e$perienced ad inistrator out there ight be wondering why we didn't subtract 6 when using odern IP stacks, you can use these networks, the networks for ula! (et e clarify: ?he original networks for ula was 6 $;6, where the subtracted 6 .1FC 1979/!

stood for networks with all 0s and all 1s! &owever, with and it's no longer necessary to subtract the

Prior to Cisco IC+ 16!0, by default, Cisco routers wouldn't allow you to configure an IP address on the all 0s network on an interface! &owever, you could configure this using the ip subnet-zero co Dlobal Configuration >ode! 0ow, after IC+ 16!0, the ip subnet-zero co and is the default on routers! 0ote that this co and and in

not only allows the all 0s subnet, but it also per its the all 1s subnet! )nd that's why you no longer have to subtract 6 when using the network for ula! For Eero and the )ll;Cnes +ubnet% docu entation! ore infor ation on this, see Cisco's %+ubnet

Which formulas should I know for the CC&A e*am?

>any CC0) test candidates want to know which subnetting for ulas they should know for the CC0) e$a ! I researched this *uestion, and here's what I found out: 3hile 0 or subnet 1, it's still a possible test topic! &owever, the e$a ost *uestions don't cover subnet clearly states the situation and discloses

whether the network in *uestion uses the 0 or 1 subnets! +o, I reco

end CC0) e$a


ake sure they understand the difference and read the *uestions carefully!

What are special IP addresses?

In addition to the different classes of IP addresses .i!e!, ), ", C, <, and -/, you should also be fa iliar with special IP addresses! (et's look at three categories of special IP addresses! Pri$ate IP addresses "ased on 1FC 1419, private IP addresses are not routable on the Internet! Instead, the purpose of these addresses is for use on internal networks only! .3hile you ay receive traffic fro the Internet with a private IP address as the source, this is actually a spoofed source IP address!/ &ere are the ranges of private IP addresses:

10!0!0!0 with a 688!0!0!0 .@9/ subnet

ask ask

176!15!0!0 through 176!:1!688!688 with a 688!6A0!0!0 .@16/ subnet 146!159!0!0 with a 688!688!0!0 .@15/ subnet ask

Automatic pri$ate IP addressing ?he 154!68A!0!0 network with a 688!688!0!0 .@15/ subnet IP addressing in situations when a e$a ple, this is a default configuration when a 3indows +oopback network ?he 167!0!0!0 network with a 688!0!0!0 .@9/ subnet adapters that represent a network interface! -very syste has a loopback adapter, and it's usually 167!0!0!1! 3hat any people don't realiFe is that ask is a special IP address range fro the Class ) network, which ad inistrators can use for loopback adapters .1FC 1155/! ?hese are internal, %virtual% ask is an IP address range used for private achine can't contact a <&CP server! achine is unable to contact a <&CP server .1FC :467/! For

167!16:!:!6A0 also represents their loopback adapter! ?he standard do ain na e for the loopback adapter is localhost!

o I ha$e to calculate my subnetting manually?

?he CC0) e$a real world, re*uires candidates to be able to figure out subnetting in longhand! &owever, in the ost network ad inistrators use a calculator!

3hile you can use the 3indows calculator to figure out the networks and hosts for ulas, several specialiFed IP subnetting calculators are also available! In addition, these calculators can co e in handy when you're studying for the CC0) e$a and want to check your anual calculations!

&ere's a selection of downloadable and online tools:

+olar3inds' )dvanced +ubnet Calculator "oson's IP +ubnet Calculator

Cisco's 3eb;based IP subnet calculators .for registered users only/ 3ildPackets' IP +ubnet Calculator Cnline IP +ubnet Calculator

%ow can I learn more?

,ou can find a wealth of infor ation on the Internet to learn resources I reco end: ore about subnetting! &ere are so e

%?ech1epublic ?utorial: +ubnetting a ?CP@IP network% %IP )ddressing and +ubnetting for 0ew Gsers% Cisco docu entation ?he ?CP@IP Duide 3eb site (earn to +ubnet 3eb site