Unanswered Question
Mar 5th, 2007

Hi, i'll appreciate your help for concrete information, such as specific examples, about when should i use a HWIC-1FE instead of a HWIC-4ESW (with different VLANs assigned to each port) to achieve an additional routed port.

For what i've found, using the latest IOS releases, there are practically no differences in the capabilities of a VLAN Interface (or a SVI) compared to an integrated layer 3 routed interface (true?); so, maybe the advantage of using a HWIC-1FE (3 times more expensive than the HWIC-4ESW) would be in performance when using stuff like rate limiting or Congestion avoidance... etc?.

Thank you very much.

I have this problem too.
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Danilo Dy Mon, 03/05/2007 - 08:57

Cisco EtherSwitch HWIC-4ESW is 10/100BaseT Layer 2 Ethernet switch with Layer 3 routing capability http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/iosswrel/ps5207/products_feature_guide09186a00802c6bb6.html

Cisco Fast Ethernet HWIC-1FE is single-wide interface card that makes it more expensive than the EtherSwitch Card http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/modules/ps2641/products_module_installation_guide_chapter09186a008068dde6.html

Amit Singh Mon, 03/05/2007 - 09:12

HWIC-4ESW has only layer-2 ports, you cannot create routed ports on it. You have to use/create SVI's for inter-vlan routing among the 4 ports.

HWIC-1FE has only one port and can be configured as a layer-3 port and have an IP assign to it directly.


-amit singh

adgoandaga Mon, 03/05/2007 - 12:24

Thanks for you attention but i still don't see in which case will it be justified to spent more money in a HWIC-1FE instead of getting a HWIC-4ESW and use SVIs as my layer 3 interfaces.

Thank you again.

patelvc7601 Tue, 07/26/2011 - 05:27

For One Instance that I encountered is using MQC on SVI will not work. Funny thing it may allow to use according to your IOS version. This is a used case for me to use HWIC-1FE . Any other idea folks ? Jump in ?


Viral Patel

Amit Aneja Tue, 07/26/2011 - 15:54

Here are some reasons why you should consider buying HWIC-1FE:

Supports QOS, Gives better L3 performance.

HWIC-4ESW is essentially a switch module & is optimized for L2 traffic, all the L3 traffic would be handled by processor which results in significantly reduced L3 performance.

Other than that, HWICs (16 and 36 port & 4 and 9 port) do not support the features like

GTS,Class-Based Shaping,MQC,WFQ,CBWFQ,LLQ,PQ ...SVI interface on the ISRs is designed to provide some basic L3 functionality for the L2 switchports.

However, if you just want basic L3 connectivity, no QOS, considering cost HWIC-4ESW is a better option.


Amit Aneja


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