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Do i need a layer 3 switch to route traffic between diffrenet VLANs

Do switches that supoprt VLAN tagging also route between the diffrent VLANs or do you need a layer 3 switch for this?

3 Solutions
This should answer your question...



Hi bekosysadmin,

Correct to support routing between VLAN's you need either a router on a stick scenario (router & layer 2 switch) or you need a layer 3 switch which should also operate as a router.

Aaron StreetInfrastructure ManagerCommented:
you dont have to use router on a stick...

some routers support mutiple ethernet ports, so if you have a router with 4 ethernet ports, and 3 vlans you want to route you can if you want use indivual ports.

In truth the correct name for a layer 3 switch is a router!!

Switchs work at layer 2 (mac addresses) routers work at layer 3 (IP addresses)

A layer 3 switch is simple a multi ethernet port router. (you can choses if ports are running as swithed ports or routed ports) the main difference is they usualy have less complex routing protcols, and so are able to route packets at much higher speeds than gateway routers.

inter vlan routing is a misleading term, it is still simple standard routing of ipaddress ranges, same as you would route traffic in and out of your network (same theroy).

So in answer to your question you need a router.. that may be a dedicated router, or a layer 3 switch. The benifit if you have mutiply layer 3 switchs is you can spread the routing load across mutiply devices. both lowering the load on each device and insureing traffic travles the most direct route and can be loadbalanced if wanted.
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