layer 3 switch

jrsylvain used Ask the Experts™
I want ask a question layer 3 switch can do same thing as router right can even do nat right ?
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It depends on the feature set of the OS on the switch.  Normally a L3 switch can route between VLANs and participate in routing protocols.  
I have not seen one that does NAT though.  The main reason for the Layer 3 on the switch is to offload VLAN routing from the core router.
Steven CarnahanAssistant Vice President\Network Manager

What switch?  Cisco 6500 has the ability but the many do not. This function is best handled by a router.
For muti-layer switches such as 3650/3750 and below the main features that are different are no NAT and reduced QoS options.

When you get to chassie based switches then yeah they can support these features.

If you have a specific switch you are looking at or you just want to research i suggest checking out the Cisco Feature navigator to see what features are supported on what switches and IOS.
I don't know about Cisco but Enterasys layer 3 switches can do NAT. In general L3 switches routing functions are only limited by the types of physical interfaces they support.
The main thing about Layer 3 switches is that they use very little memory and processor power, and that they do most routing/forwarding in hardware.

This mean that memory intensive tasks, like Internet BGP routing (or any routing needing many routes), or NAT, is generally not supported.

Very large switches, like the Cisco 6500, is more or less the same hardware as the large Cisco 7600 router, so they can do very much the same things depending on what processor modules are bought with them.



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