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Cisco Layer 3 switch vs router for BGP

Posted on 2010-11-22
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Last Modified: 2013-12-24
Hi I am looking at creating an inexpensive way of connecting to a local exchage at a data centre where we have co-location. We have been assigned an ASN and I currently have a cisco 3560 layer 3 switch.  If i change the IOS version i believe it supports BGP.  Does anyone have any input if this would be sufficient or sure I replace with a router?  

Is the Cisco 3560 series switches adequate for what i am trying to accomplish? Any suggestions on other routers or layer 3 switches?
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Question by:v46n
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Expert Comment

by:mikebernhardt
ID: 34200054
It depends how many routes it needs to support, and of course how much traffic will be passing through. If you believe that the 3560 can support the traffic load and if you only have a few BGP routes which are fairly stable and not too many peers, it should be fine.
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by:harbor235
harbor235 earned 100 total points
ID: 34200487


Not to mention that a Layer 3 switch typically does not have layer 3 feature parity with a router in most cases (like NAT, CBAC, NBAR, NETFLOW for most L3 switches). In addition, Layer 3 switches do not have WAN interfaces making WAN connectivity an issue if required.  As long as you can get an ethernet handoff you are fine. So it also depends on the platform and the features you wish to implement. Also, keep in mind that a layer 3 switch and a router to not process the traffic in the same manner even if the layer 3 switch has ports in routed mode.  

In most cases, utilizing basic features, you should be fine ....


harbor235 ;}
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by:v46n
ID: 34201822
thanks for the info guys, the datacentre has a local exchange that will probably peer with 25 peers, traffic load should at peak by 40megabits per second so i think that something entry level should do the trick?  We have other firewalls behind the l3 switch to perform nat etc.
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by:lanboyo
lanboyo earned 150 total points
ID: 34220143
It really depends on the number of prefixes you expect to get. If you are going to get 10000 or so total routes from corporate peers and get a default route from somewhere for the rest, then you may be able to get away with it. If you are getting a few Internets of prefixes, then I would not trust that model to do it reliably.
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mikebernhardt earned 250 total points
ID: 34231743
Agreed. Each route received and advertised takes memory. With 25 peers, try to be very careful to only advertise a few networks from each. Aggregation is your friend.
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