Terminating WAN link on switches.

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Nov 12th, 2009
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I have worked mostly on switches.so i want to know,is it possible to terminate a WAN link on layer-3 switches like 3560,3750 & 4500 series switches ??


If yes then how ??

Then what is the need of routers on networks.

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Jon Marshall Thu, 11/12/2009 - 11:48
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Yes you can but obviously the interface types on switches are a lot more limited than on routers. Note that the 6500 switches do actually support a greater range of WAN interfaces.


So if your provider presented the WAN link to you as ethernet then yes you could terminate it onto a L3 switch. But bear in mind routers have more features generally needed for WAN connectivity eg. a fuller QOS feature set, NAT etc..


(Again the 6500 is slightly different ie. it supports NAT).


Jon

manjit_raulo Thu, 11/12/2009 - 11:56
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Thanks for yr reply.


Regarding the Ethernet ports,that also available on routers .....so is there any specific criteria for choosing the WAN link type & specific bandwidth when we want to terminate the WAN link on a switch.


And also....if we want to terminate the link on a layer 3 switch...is there any extra equipment or converter required ??

Amit Singh Thu, 11/12/2009 - 12:00
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Switches are typically faster than the routers since they carry high forwarding capacity except some of the modular/bigger routers. You can safely terminate a bigger WAN pipe on ethernet depending upon the L3 switch type/model.


Typically terminated an ethernet link on a L3 switch doesnot require any converter. In case any, the ISP will provide the same.

Amit Singh Thu, 11/12/2009 - 11:49
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You can terminate WAN on these switches but ethernet connection only. Today most of the layer-3 switches does the same work a traditional routers. The main difference exists in the performance, extensive WAN feature sets and the hardware supported.


For any other type of WAN connection like serial,ATM,POS etc. you either need a router or layer-3 switch like Cat6500 with SIP/SPA modules in it.



Amit Singh Thu, 11/12/2009 - 11:50
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Jon, Apologies for posting on your post. We almost did it at the same time :-)



Jon Marshall Thu, 11/12/2009 - 11:54
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Hey Amit, haven't heard from you in ages.


No need to apologise, sure i have done it to you in the past.


How are things ?


Jon

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