IP Subnetting and Variable Length Subnet Masks (VLSMs)
Answer #1: If you used a block size of 16, then the network address is 172.16.32.0 with a mask of 255.255.240.0 (240 provides a block of 16). However, this only summarizes from 32 to 47, which means that networks 48 through 50 would be advertised as single net- works. This is probably the best answer, but that depends on your network design. Let’s look at the next answer.
Answer #2: If you used a block size of 32, then your summary address would still be
172.16.32.0, but the mask would be 255.255.224.0 (224 provides a block of 32). The pos- sible problem with this answer is that it will summarize networks 32 to 63 and we only have networks 32 to 50. No worries if you’re planning on adding networks 51 to 63 later into the same network, but you could have serious problems in your internetwork if somehow networks 51 to 63 were to show up and be advertised from somewhere else in your net- work! This is the reason why answer number one is the safest answer.
Let’s take a look at one more example, but let’s look at it from a host’s perspective: Your summary address is 192.168.144.0/20—what’s the range of host addresses that would be forwarded according to this summary? The /20 provides a summary address of 192.168.144.0 and mask of 255.255.240.0.
The third octet has a block size of 16, and starting at summary address 144, the next block of 16 is 160, so our network summary range is 144 to 159 in the third octet (again, you MUST be able to count in sixteens!).
A router that has this summary address in the routing table will forward any packet with destination IP addresses of 192.168.144.1 through 192.168.159.254.
To summarize this summarization section: All you need to know is your block sizes, and finding and applying summary addresses and masks is then simple. But if, for example, you don’t know what a /20 is, or can’t count by sixteens, you simply will not pass the CCNA exam!
Troubleshooting IP Addressing
Troubleshooting IP addressing is obviously an important section of this chapter and this book because trouble always happens—it’s just a matter of time! And you must be able to determine and fix a problem on an IP network whether you’re at work or at home. This section will teach you the “Cisco way” of troubleshooting IP addressing.
Let’s go over the troubleshooting steps that Cisco uses first. These are pretty simple, but important nonetheless. Pretend you’re at a customer host and they’re complaining that their host cannot communicate to a server, which just happens to be on a remote network. Here are the four troubleshooting steps Cisco recommends:
Open a DOS window and ping 127.0.0.1. This is the diagnostic or loopback address, and if you get a successful ping, your IP stack is then considered to be initialized. If it fails, then you have an IP stack failure and need to reinstall TCP/IP on the host.
From the DOS window, ping the IP address of the local host. If that’s successful, then your Network Interface Card (NIC) card is functioning. If it fails, then there is a problem with