different between single layer and multi layer switches?

difference between the single layer switches and multi layer switches?
AfAR TornAdOAsked:
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Layers in this case  refer to the OSI model.
Traditionally switches operate at Data Link Layer (switching).
Multi layer switches support Network Layer (L3 - Routing) and can also support higher OSI layers.
AfAR TornAdOAuthor Commented:
i know that , but what is the major difference that you did not mentioned.
nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
so the answer is chosen to be OK when there is no answer.... wow.
nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
to give an answer: Switches used to act on OSI Layer 2 (forwading frames of (mostly) ethernet, tokenring, tokenbus)  only to the right ports in stead of everywhere (ethernet started as a Radio network, later moved to coax cable, end even later became a serial protocol).

Later Layer 3 equipment (known as routers were bolted on to "switches")  and got integrated into what became Layer 3 switches.
Routers used to act only on layer 3, but later evolved into things like policy routing so one could send mail traffic somewhere else then web traffic.   So a Switch + Router + extended routing rules is a  Multi Layer "Switch"...

The whole thing might become moot when SDN pushes through.
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