VLAN Trunking using ISL

Inter-Switch Link (ISL) is a Cisco specific implementation of trunking multiple VLANs between two Cisco switches where a single interface will carry traffic for more than one VLAN. ISL was designed to work with Ethernet, FDDI, Token Ring, and ATM.

ISL completely encapsulates the original Ethernet frame by adding a new 26 byte header and new 4 byte FCS trailer. The new ISL header contains a VLAN ID field and QoS priority information (among other things).

ISL Header (click image to enlarge)

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