Layer 3 Switching Hardware

In the previous articles, I mentioned that different Catalyst switches perform routing functions in different ways. Before asking why all Catalyst switches don’t use the same techniques, it’s worth noting that different methods evolve over time, and some cost more to implement that others. In some cases, companies may simply wish to add routing capabilities to an existing investment, such as a Catalyst 5000. In others, the company might need the fastest routing performance possible across a campus network. In both cases, a realistic analysis of needs along with budget considerations will dictate the best solution. The next articles in this series outline three different methods commonly used to integrate routing capabilities with different Catalyst switches.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.