Router or Layer 3 Switch Which Is best?

Answered Question
Feb 22nd, 2010

A have an area on my wide area network where I need to connect to several differant networks that have various ethernet dropouts from several wireless radios and network segments.  These would be a total of around 6 gigabit ethernet connections maximum and no serial or T1/T3/etc connections.  I am debating whether to use a router such as a 2900 or a Layer3 switch such as a 3560 with an enhanced image for full routing capability.  I should be able to acomplish what I need to be routing with either platform but I'm not sure which would be the best route to go price vs. performance.  Any thoughts?

Jim

I have this problem too.
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Correct Answer by Edison Ortiz about 6 years 9 months ago

Layer3 switch will provide higher throughput but it will lack a lot of services that you may need such as NAT, WCCP, NetFlow among others.

Also, a router will provide the ability to add modules if needed in the future.

You need to take that into consideration (throughput vs current/future services).

Regards

Edison

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Correct Answer
Edison Ortiz Mon, 02/22/2010 - 11:06

Layer3 switch will provide higher throughput but it will lack a lot of services that you may need such as NAT, WCCP, NetFlow among others.

Also, a router will provide the ability to add modules if needed in the future.

You need to take that into consideration (throughput vs current/future services).

Regards

Edison

Amit Singh Mon, 02/22/2010 - 11:54

In addition to Edison's post, you have to check the amount of bandwidth that these 6 gigbit ethernet ethernet links wuld be carrying. 2900 cannot handle 6 gig of traffic. If these links would be carrying all together a little less traffic say around 600 mbps then it would be an ideal choice.

NPT_2 Mon, 02/22/2010 - 12:02

Thank you both.  I don't see traffic going wirespeed on all the gig ports by any means, they just might occasionally burst to 500 or 600 Mbits, but even that is not very likely in the near future.  I think I'll go the 2900 route for now as I would rather have the featureset over pure wirespeed gig capability.

I gave you both maximum ratings!

Jim

Amit Singh Mon, 02/22/2010 - 12:41

Thankyou Jim for appreciating the efforts. Please keep on visiting Netpro and we would be more than happy to help you.

Cheers,

-amit singh

NPT_2 Tue, 02/23/2010 - 16:28

One additional question in regard to this.  What is the maximum throughput/backplane for the 3 or 4 gigabit ports on a 2900 or a 3900 router?  What will the maximum thoughput be that I can get on these platforms?  Will I be able to get a full Gigabit throughput between these ports?

Jim

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