Low-end Layer 3 switch?

My first thoughts as well.

But the OP might not be testing any network performance issues, and just need seperate broadcast domains.

In any event, this set of requirements doesn't seem to include "fast", nor does it include "switch" (as opposed to router). To me, "layer 3 switch" means "IP forwarding with an ASIC". I think that's a pretty common interpretation.

I'd solve this problem with a PC (those are free, aren't they? :-) with

4 NICs (also free).


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Well, no monetary outlay required. I'm not sure I'd say "free" :) And with a processor in there one could run something like dummynet to provide the latency and bitrate simulation.

rick jones

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Rick Jones

My understanding of it is that layer 3/multilayer switching is doing routing in hardware rather than software. Where frames/packets are swtiched based on more than just the MAC address. Most I have used are fast simple routers, they can't do stuff like NAT that we have come to expect from routers.

They usually have a CPU running software to run routing protocols build a routing table and load it into the ASIC's which do the swiching. But the CPU never really sees the packets like in traditional routers.

Another term I've seen used in Layer 3 switching is wirespeed routing. Its not untill you get into the highend cisco routers(read expensive) that can handle a full 100mbit of data. A 2600 serise for example can't route much more than a few mbit yet they cost around the same price as a low end multilayer switch which can do wirespeed.

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We used a couple of these ( cisco 3000 using a single t/r ) to act as endpoints in tokenring tunnels..

The staff used to call them "f****ng machines", if it was b.cause of the packets going in and out or if it was the fact that they served a useful purpose and worked ( in contrast to the big vendors stuff)

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