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Full layer-3 switch or not ??

Posted on 2013-12-20
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
We need to add a couple of subnets to our LAN. We are suggested to buy a FULL layer-3 for this purpose even we are not sure if that is needed. We kind of look into a Dell model 6248 but we are told the 6248 is not a FULL layer-3 switch since we would need a FULL switch for our above-mentioned project. Instead, we are told to buy Dell 7048 if a Full is needed. So get a couple of questions here:
1. Is Dell 6248 a FULL layer-3 switch?
2. If not, can the 6248 do the work for us on this project?
3. What is the difference between Full layer-3 switch and not-Full ?
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Question by:Castlewood
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by:Jeff Perry
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Dell advertises them both as layer 3 switches.

The base 7048 looks to be better priced than the 6248.

I have never heard the term full layer-3 switch, sounds like sales-speak to me but that usually steers people toward the more expensive item with more features.

What features are necessary? POE, stacking, 10Gigabit?
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by:Castlewood
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"What features are necessary? POE, stacking, 10Gigabit? "
None of them. We simply just need to have multiple VLAN / subnets. Currently we have only one.
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by:Spartan_1337
Spartan_1337 earned 166 total points
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According to Dell, the 6248 should suffice for what you are looking for. However, with the cost of the 6248 you could just get a Cisco 3560G 48 ports for the same price and have full layer 3 functionality. Cisco switches offer better management capabilities from CLI or GUI (although CLI is recommeneded) than the any Dell switch.
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by:Jeff Perry
Jeff Perry earned 167 total points
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In this situation I would stick with what you are being advised to do, assuming that the advice you are being given is from a source knowledgeable about your current environment.

I don't want to say one choice is better than the other because I really know nothing about your network except that you currently have one subnet.

I would like to give you knowledgeable advice and to do that there are many questions.

Have the people suggesting the new switch looked at your current network and its capabilities or have they just considered the needs of the current project?

Adding to an existing environment or replacing it?

Will the environment continue to grow or is it planned on staying on this one device.

The last thing I want to do though is introduce confusion but each of these is a consideration in buying equipment for a project.
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by:Craig Beck
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What switches do you have at the moment?
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Jordan Medlen earned 167 total points
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Looking at the specifications for the Dell switches that you have specified, they're both typical multi-layer switches with OSPF and RIP routing protocol support. If you currently have only one network subnet running right now, and are wanting to expand, either will do the job. If you are expanding a larger network, then there are other questions that we need to get into in order to get the best device for the job.

As Spartan_1337 stated, Cisco is a better alternative and I would even install a Brocade switch in the network before a Dell PowerConnect. If you are set on Dell, then yes the 6248 should work for allowing inter-VLAN routing and further network segmentation.
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