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Layer 2 VS Layer 3 Switching

A Layer 2 switch looks at a user’s MAC address which comes with every
piece of hardware on your network. It then decides whether to discard or to
forward the data to the destinations. In doing this, a bandwidth becomes
dedicated to certain users, extraneous traffic is eliminated and network
response is improved

A Layer3 switch – also called Routing Switch does all this in addition to
routing users IP addresses. It adds powerful routing capabilities to your
switched Ethernet workjgroup to boost intranet performance and relieve
legacy routers from the fast growing IP LAN traffic. Routing switches are
much faster than software based routers, as packet are routed by chips,
instead of being processed then routed to the ports by the CPU.

Why need Layer 3 Switches

Broadcast message : when server wanted to know who are connected in

network , it send message to all desktop. There are possibility another server
send similar message, when two broadcast message collide, the third one has
to be wait for 2 power n-1 nanoseconds. IN multi serve application server
bound to send broadcast messages, which in turn degrade network

Multicast Message: Similarly when server sends some to group of users

two messages collide and third one has to wait for 2 power n-1 nano
seconds. This is multicast messages and this has to be contained.

Inter VLAN communication : Once you configure VLAN in L2 switches,

inter communication between is not using L2 switches.

Layer 3 switches are required for

a. Containing broadcast messages and multicast messages
b. To allow Inter communication between different VLANs
Layer3 switch refered to as multilayer switching, LAN switching, routing
switching and the switching routers to a class of high performance
routers optimized for campus LAN. T
Commonly used routing include routing information protocol ( RIP),
Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Interior gateway Routing
Protocol(IGRP) and border Gateway Protocol(BGP). Routing protocols
transmit information about the network.

The most important criteria for the selection of a Layer 3 switch

is not raw performance, but is both route processing and intelligent
network services. Features like Quality Of Service(QoS), advanced
queuing mechanisms, multi –Protocol routing capability, and others are
also important in Layer 3 switching products. With intelligent traffic
management, they also allow yoy to specify port bandwidth and priority
queues for streaming media, Voice over IP and other high priority classes
of traffic.

Layer 3 Switches support standard- based IP routing. Routing

protocols supported include RIP-1 and RIP-2.