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Layer 3 switch questions

1. Are layer 3 switches basically just routers?  I'm assuming they must be multiport routers.  

2. The cisco 3550 is a layer 3 switch correct?

3. In my home lab, I have a few VLANs and a 2600 router doing intervlan routing. Would I benefit from using a layer 3 switch?

4. Do most companies have a bunch of layer3 switches each doing their own routing. Or do they usually have a bunch of layer2 switches and one layer 3. And the layer3 does all the inter-VLAN routing.

Thanks
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JFrederick29Commented:
1.  Yes, but lower end model layer 3 switches (3550, 3750) don't have as many capabilities as routers.  Like the 3550, 3750 do not support NAT.

2.  Yes, the 3550 is a layer 3 switch.  The 2950 is layer 2 only.

3.  If you can afford it, definitely, the 3550 could do all the routing of the VLAN's.  You could eliminate the 2600 all together and simply have a default route on the 3550 to your PIX.  You would gain higher performance using a layer 3 switch versus a traditional router for routing between the VLAN's.

4.  Yes, typically the latter.  Where I work, we have Layer 2 switches for the workstations, which all connect back to a layer 3 switch in the core doing all the routing between the VLAN's.
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dissolvedAuthor Commented:
thanks again man
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