VLAN assignment in an authentication session

A switch supports concurrent 802.1X and either web-based or MAC authentication sessions on a port (with up to 32 clients allowed). If you have configured RADIUS as the primary authentication method for a type of access, when a client authenticates on a port, the RADIUS server assigns an untagged VLAN that is statically configured on the switch for use in the authentication session. See the documentation provided with the RADIUS server application.)

If a switch port is configured to accept multiple 802.1X and/or web-based or MAC authentication client sessions, all authenticated clients must use the same port-based, untagged VLAN membership assigned for the earliest, currently active client session. On a port where one or more authenticated client sessions are already running, all clients are on the same untagged VLAN.

If the RADIUS server subsequently authenticates a new client, but attempts to re-assign the port to a different, untagged VLAN than the one already in use for the previously existing, authenticated client sessions, the connection for the new client will fail.

Tagged and untagged VLAN attributes

When you configure a user profile on a RADIUS server to assign a VLAN to an authenticated client, you can use either the VLAN's name or VLAN ID (VID) number. For example, if a VLAN configured in the switch has a VID of 100 and is named vlan100, you could configure the RADIUS server to use either "100" or "vlan100" to specify the VLAN.

After the RADIUS server validates a client's username and password, the RADIUS server returns an Access-Accept packet that contains the VLAN assignment and the following attributes for use in the authentication session:

  • Egress-VLANID: Configures an optional, egress VLAN ID for either tagged or untagged packets (RFC 4675).

  • Egress-VLAN-Name: Configures an optional, egress VLAN for either tagged or untagged packets when the VLAN ID is not known (RFC 4675).

  • Tunnel-Type, Tunnel-Medium-Type, and Tunnel-Private-Group-ID: Tunnel attributes that specify an untagged VLAN assignment (RFC 3580).

    Tunnel (untagged VLAN) attributes may be included in the same RADIUS packet as the Egress-VLANID and Egress-VLAN-Name attributes. These attributes are not mutually exclusive.

The switch processes the VLAN information returned from the remote RADIUS server for each successfully 802.1X-, web-based, and MAC authenticated client (user). The VLAN information is part of the user's profile stored in the RADIUS server's database and is applied if the VLANs exist on the switch.

The support for RADIUS-assigned tagged and untagged VLAN configuration on an authenticated port allows you to use IDM to dynamically configure tagged and untagged VLANs as required for different client devices, such as PCs and IP phones, that share the same switch port.