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Switches vs routers

Answered Question
Apr 25th, 2012
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Hi,


I'm implementing a multi site network and intend to use OSPF to do it. The links between each site at either 100mbps fibre or 1gbps


My question is, is this better to be done with switches (3560x with IP Base) or routers (2921)? What are the main pros/cons of each? I understand that the 2921 can do far more with securtiy between sites and probably has more advanced QoS(?)


Thanks

Correct Answer by Edison Ortiz about 5 years 3 months ago

Switches will provide a faster throughput performance but it lacks a lot of software features such as NAT, Advanced QoS, NetFlow, among others.

The router will provide all software features but lower performance compared to a switch.

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Correct Answer
Edison Ortiz Wed, 04/25/2012 - 08:52
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Switches will provide a faster throughput performance but it lacks a lot of software features such as NAT, Advanced QoS, NetFlow, among others.

The router will provide all software features but lower performance compared to a switch.

Joseph W. Doherty Wed, 04/25/2012 - 09:59
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Just to expand on Edison's mention of the performance difference, a 1921 is rated at 290 Kpps while a 3560x is rated at 65.5 Mpps (24 port) or 101.2 Mpps (48 port).  Full duplex gig requires about 3 Mpps.  (Cisco recommends the 1921 for up to about 15 Mbps.)

andrewrocks Wed, 04/25/2012 - 13:40
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Thanks for the great replies. As the network is private and needs to shift around a lot of data I think I'll go with switches. Thanks.

andrew.butterworth Thu, 04/26/2012 - 07:57
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I would always use routers or Metro switches on WAN or MAN links as they provide far more control over traffic at these aggregation points.  LAN switches (L2 & L3) are excellent in the campus environment but lack features when connected to the WAN.  I have worked with a lot of customers that do exactly what you are proposing - connect the Ethernet WAN directly to the switch but I would recommend against it if you have the budget.


Andy

fb_webuser Wed, 04/25/2012 - 14:30
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If you are planning on running multisite OSPF on a multilayer 3560 switch, make sure you run advanced IP services IOS on it. then you can have all the features like NAT, ospf authentication etc. the packet routing will be little faster than 2911 because of CEF....


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Posted by WebUser Neeraj Jagga from Cisco Support Community App

andrewrocks Sun, 04/29/2012 - 13:40
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Thanks, that's all very helpful. The one link is 1gb and looking at the prices I'd need to spend £10k to get a router to do this. Juniper seem to do one for £1,400 though so I'll look into that.

Thanks.

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