Security considerations for layer 3 switches

Tuesday, 4 November 2003, 10:38 AM EST

Heightened awareness of security issues on the part of IT administrators is, for the most part, a good thing. But there is a downside -- it has pushed vendors to integrate security into products ad infinitum. In the switching world, newly added features of layer 3 routing switches are starting to make these products resemble firewalls.

Although the idea of having one box perform both switching and firewall functions seems advantageous, it is not that simple. Sometimes a firewall can be supplanted by a layer 3 switch, but at other times replacing a firewall with a switch would be foolish.

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