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Why Routers are preferred over multilayer switch

9 years 3 months ago #38591 by rahsin

Why Routers are preferred over multilayer switch (MLS) in production environment even MLSs are cheaper compared to routers.

9 years 2 months ago #38600 by Chojin
They aren't :-).

A 6500 or 4500 is a multilayer switch and is common use as coreswitch and router to do switch and routing same time.

CCNA / CCNP / CCNA - Security / CCIP / Prince2 / Checkpoint CCSA
9 years 2 months ago #38609 by Chris

A Router's primary role is to connect a LAN network with the Internet or an ISP, while a multilayer's switch primary role is to switch packets within the same LAN.

I've also seen cases where routers have replaced multilayer switches within a network and in most cases, its not the best design approach. The most common reason we see routers being used as multi-layer switches, is because they are usually more cheaper to provide this functionality (interVLAN routing), as opposed to layer-3 switches which are considerably more expensive.

You can read up on InterVLAN-routing and various methods this can be supported on our popular article InterVLAN Routing - Routing between VLAN Networks .

One thing you should be aware of is that multilayer switches are much faster than routers as packets are switched at wire-speed, where as routers introduce a delay which cannot be avoided (due to the packet processing mechanism) and increases as traffic increases on the router's interfaces, ultimately creating a bottleneck.

Hope this helps!


Chris Partsenidis.
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
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