Access Device count vs. Distribution Device count

Unanswered Question
Jan 27th, 2009
User Badges:

Is there a limit of how many access devices a single distribution device can handle?

Instead of being based on the number of devices, is it based on the number of users / traffic?

Can anyone direct me to any Cisco documentation that discusses this?


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Overall Rating: 3 (1 ratings)
Jon Marshall Tue, 01/27/2009 - 10:35
User Badges:
  • Super Blue, 32500 points or more
  • Hall of Fame,

    Founding Member

  • Cisco Designated VIP,

    2017 LAN, WAN


The limit will be more to do with bandwidth requirements than physical devices or users. Some devices such as the ASA firewalls have user licenses that restrict how many users are allowed through the firewall but switches/routers do not generally have these restrictions.

There are of course limits to the mac-address tables etc. but even this is not a hard limit ie. if the device has a full mac-address table then it simply floods frames for unknown mac-addresses.

Was there a particular device you were thinking of ?


Roberto Salazar Tue, 01/27/2009 - 10:39
User Badges:
  • Gold, 750 points or more

There is really no set number of devices for each layer, since it all depends on how you will design the network, for example you may elect to put them all in the same shbnet/broadcast domain in which case the scope of number of access switch you will need is the number of host on that subnet. This link on campus design gives a number of design options, the advantage and cons of each option.

I hope that helps.


This Discussion