L3 Switch Vs Router Vs Firewall

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Jan 26th, 2010
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Hi friends,

I am Saravanan from Bangalore. I have one doubt about the products.

What is the Specific difference between L3 Switches (6500 series) and Router and Firewall (ASA).

In L3 Switches, We can able to Nating, Contest Filtering, Application Inspection, IPS and many more services which can use for Router and Firewall.

Please give a Specific Difference, not for a simple difference like Router support ISDN and Serial connections.

I want specific difference. Please give a valuable solution.

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sachinraja Tue, 01/26/2010 - 10:58
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Hi Saravanan

This is a very open question.. Each device has its own functionality.. 6500's can do both routing as well as firewall functionality, but it depends on what kind of network design you need to have.. FWSM modules in 6500's can do firewalling, and is has much better performance than a ASA or PIX.. but the cost factor is more.. depending on each customer, the design is stitched with the budget the customer has, and the functionlity he requires... Routers on the other hand supports many more physical interfaces than the 6500..

Let us know if you need any specific queries on the network design you have or the functionality of each device.



psaravanan Tue, 01/26/2010 - 11:03
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Thanks Mr. Sachinraja,

Actually this question is asked in one of the interview, I told the same answer, but they are expecting more answer in the question.

please tell ya.

sachinraja Tue, 01/26/2010 - 11:13
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you should have made a point that this was too way an open ended question...

Layer 3 switches like 6500's can be used as a firewall & a router, but for a small network with 10-100 users this would be a overkill , with regards to cost.. again when we talk of routers, there are numerous models available with software features varying between them.. on contrary, you can have switching modules on routers to make it work like a L3 switch, which is more often used in remote offices.. Cisco ISR routers can support this, with much lower costs.. So the points to compare these devices would be - Scalability, high availability, resiliency, software features, hardware performance etc.. and each component differs others in all the above said factors...

All the best



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