Can a subnet be used to isolate computers from other parts of a network and prevent virus transmission?

Joe Videtto May 15, 2012
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I work in a school, and would like to try some new operating systems (Ubuntu) not supported by the IT group – of course, we want the Internet connectivity provided by our infrastructure. The IT group has the legitimate concern regarding the security of these machines, and level of protection afforded by virus protection software on these Ubuntu machines (for which I created another question).

Can a network ‘subnet’ be used to isolate a portion of a network with the new operating systems from possibly infecting the remainder of the network with viruses ?
Ifnot, are there any ways to ensure Internet connectivity of the new machines while isolating them from the possibility of infecting the remainder of the network with viruses ?

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