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Layer 3 Switching vs Routing

By Lurker2112 ·
Hello All, I've been a lurker for years, but finally registered specifically for this question. I have been assigned the task of aiding in the design for a new WAN to connect 25 schools together via new fiber that's about to be installed at each location. We're currently using T1's to connect all locations to a central location that houses a DS3. Those T's simply cannot handle the bandwidth requirements anymore. So, we're in the process of having fiber pulled between all locations. We will continue to use the existing routers (Cisco 1721's) and the T1's for redundancy to our fiber, once completed.
The big question that I need answered is this: Should I use layer 3 switches, or routers, to connect all of these locations together, but keep them segmented from each other? I've read the pros and cons of both devices and still cannot decide which would be best for this project. From what I've read, layer 3 switches are less expensive and generally have quicker throughput in comparison to routers. Based on your real-world experience, which would you recommend and why? I'm not biased to any manufacturer, but cost is an important factor for this school district. Your replies are truly appreciated!

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It depends on how you configure your network

by NickNielsen In reply to Layer 3 Switching vs Rout ...

I'm assuming you have a central mail server and the schools will be connecting through your central proxy to the internet. I'm also assuming that each school already has its own file server.

What it sounds like you are doing is upgrading the school district's WAN. In the school district in which I taught, each school was its own LAN, with VLANs further segmenting the LAN in the larger schools. They used layer 3 switches as the primary network interface between VLANs and routers as the interface between the school LANs, primarily because the routers had WAN capability not usually available on the layer 3 switch.

Edit: clarify

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Layer 3 Switching vs Routing

by ravi.kumar17 In reply to Layer 3 Switching vs Rout ...

Hey Luker,

My name is ravi.... i have little bit conclusion about this you should go for layer 3 Switch if you have a dedicated line for each location that will increase security for your network and even easy to manage the things....

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Layer 3 Switching vs Routing

by ravi.kumar17 In reply to Layer 3 Switching vs Rout ...

Hey Luker,

My name is ravi.... i have little bit conclusion about this you shoud go for layer 3 Switch if you have a dedicated line for each location that will increase security for your network and even easy to manage the things....

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Here is the way i look at it

by Fregeus In reply to Layer 3 Switching vs Rout ...

First, if you can afford it, go with layer 3 switching.

Second, do the schools share a lot of information between each other? If they do, then that is another go for layer 3 vs routing because it is faster.

Third, do you want your redundant links to be manually or automatically activated in case of failures? If automatic, it may be difficult to do with layer 3 switching since the link can be down but not the connection. check that out to be sure. If the redundancy is difficult with the switches, it may be more logical to go with the routers.

If I had more information about your setup, I might be able to offer more things to look at. Its up to you to provide it if you want, either here or privately.


TCB

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campus net

by zglt719 In reply to Layer 3 Switching vs Rout ...

Solution of Layer2 switch at remote site and layer 3 switch at core is a better choice. high performance and easy to manage. I like to use Cisco 2960/3560.

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