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layer 3 switch debate

  • From: ip dude
  • Date: Thu Sep 26 14:46:54 2002

IP Community:

When designing an all IP network requiring mostly Ethernet interfaces, the logical conclusion is to specify layer 3 switches (instead of routers). The cost per port and functionality requirements make a layer 3 switch the perfect choice. However, the rule of thumb in the IP community is that routers are superior to layer 3 switches and should be utilized instead, especially when considering core type functionality.

Does this rule of thumb still apply considering the modern layer 3 switches available? If not, why? What makes a layer 3 switch sub-standard to a pure router? Any quantitative analysis you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

I realize your answer may depend on device position within the network. I am comparing a router to a layer 3 switch as a core routing device, an EBGP border router and access device. Remember, my network is comprised of mostly Ethernet interfaces (FW, GE) and the occasional DS1 and DS3 interface.

Any opinions would be great.


Asand Bijaka 

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