Hi, can the 2 build in gigabit ethernet ports support layer 3 routing? I have a Metro-E connection that needs to terminate in this router. Can this be done or do I have to get the HWIC-1FE card to support this?
As also noted by Leo, yes you can route on the two built in Ethernet ports. If you need more than two gig ports, another can be added using the HWIC-1GE-SFP. You also have the option of adding two HWIC-1FEs, one HWIC-2FE, or one of the Ethernet switch modules. (The latter routes via VLANs).
Something to keep in mind, a 2821 doesn't really have sufficient processing performance to guarantee routing at 100 Mbps let alone gig, although 10 Mbps should be fine.
How will the connection from your Metro-E be presented to the 2821?
The 2821 has 2 routed Gig ports.