Subnetting (FLSM/VLSM)

Subnet or Subnetwork is a logically dividing of an IP Address. The process of dividing a network into two or more networks is called subnetting. Creating subnetworks is essentially the act of taking bits from the host portion of the address and reserving them to define the subnet address instead. Clearly this will result in fewer bits being available for defining your hosts.

For the subnet address scheme to work, every machine on the network must know which part of the host address will be used as the subnet address. This condition is met by assigning a subnet mask to each machine. A subnet mask is a 32-bit value that allows the device that’s receiving IP packets to distinguish the network ID portion of the IP address from the host ID portion of the IP address. This 32-bit subnet mask is composed of 1s and 0s, where the 1s represent the positions that refer to the network subnet addresses.

Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR)

CIDR allows the creation of networks of a size other than those allowed with the classful subnetting by allowing more than the three classful subnet masks. It’s basically the method that Internet service providers (ISPs) use to allocate a number of addresses to a company, a home—their customers. They provide addresses in a certain block size.

For example, a Class A default subnet mask, which is This tells us that the first byte of the subnet mask is all ones (1s), or 11111111. When referring to a slash notation, you need to count all the 1-bits to figure out your mask. The is considered a /8 because it has 8 bits that are 1s—that is, 8 bits that are turned on. A Class B default mask would be, which is a /16 because 16 bits are ones (1s): 11111111.11111111.00000000.00000000.

Example: - /8 - /9 - /16 - /20

Subnetting easy steps

Step 1. Get Block size
Subtract the last octate of subnetmask from 256
i.e 256 -[last octate sm]= ?

Step 2. Get number of Subnets
i.e no, of subnets = (2)n
here n=how many bits in last octate are used

Step 3. Know the Valid host number
i.e number of valid host = (2)H-2
here h= unused bits on last octate and 2 is subtracted for broadcast and network id

Subnetting example - Class C

Q: Subnet

Here, IP = & Subnet mask =
Step 1. Block Size

Step 2. No. of Subnets

Step 3. No. of valid host

When we subnet we get 2 subneted network with block size 128 where 126 host are valid.
Subnet 1.
Subnet 2.

Note: In class C subnetting changes occurs in 4th octates. In class B subnetting changes occurs in 3rd octate and in class A subnetting changes occurs on 2nd octate.

Subnetting is of two types VLSM (Variable length subnet mask) and FLSM (Fix length subnet mask). The above done is FLSM. which means the length of subnetwork is fixed as processed. In VLSM ;you can manually divide single network into multiple subnetwork as per requirement. IN FLSM block size is fixed and in VLSM block size can be adjusted according to requirement.
Let's see the example of VLSM.

Requirement 110 IPs, then subnet by /26
total IP available are 128

Requirement 30 IPs then subnet by /30
total ip available are 32

Requirement 14 then subnet by /6
total IP available are 16

By this you can save Ip addresses also as in FLSM you can not subnet as per requirement and there can be wastage of IPs.