Layer 4 Switch

Definition - What does Layer 4 Switch mean?

A layer 4 switch enables policy based switching mechanisms that limits different traffic types and prioritizes packets based on their base application importance. A layer 4 switch is among the types of multilayer switches, and is an enhancement to the layer 3 switch that uses hardware based switching techniques.

A layer 4 switch is also known as session switch.

Techopedia explains Layer 4 Switch

A layer 4 switch is primarily responsible for the analysis and control of network traffic at layer 4 or the transport layer of OSI mode. It inspects each packet and makes forwarding and routing decisions based on layer 4-7 data.

Layer 4 switches are referred to as session switches, when they perform tasks in more or less the same manner that a firewall does, by monitoring the status of sessions individually from start to end. Similarly, a layer 4 switch when deployed on a cluster of servers, determines which server the user query should be sent to based on the server loads. It can also identify offline servers and directs traffic accordingly.

Share this:

Techopedia Deals

Connect with us

Techopedia on Linkedin
Techopedia on Linkedin
Tweat cdn.techopedia.com
"Techopedia" on Twitter


'@Techopedia'
Sign up for Techopedia's Free Newsletter!

Email Newsletter

Join thousands of others with our weekly newsletter

Resources
The 4th Era of IT Infrastructure: Superconverged Systems
The 4th Era of IT Infrastructure: Superconverged Systems:
Learn the benefits and limitations of the 3 generations of IT infrastructure – siloed, converged and hyperconverged – and discover how the 4th...
Approaches and Benefits of Network Virtualization
Approaches and Benefits of Network Virtualization:
Businesses today aspire to achieve a software-defined datacenter (SDDC) to enhance business agility and reduce operational complexity. However, the...
Free E-Book: Public Cloud Guide
Free E-Book: Public Cloud Guide:
This white paper is for leaders of Operations, Engineering, or Infrastructure teams who are creating or executing an IT roadmap.
Free Tool: Virtual Health Monitor
Free Tool: Virtual Health Monitor:
Virtual Health Monitor is a free virtualization monitoring and reporting tool for VMware, Hyper-V, RHEV, and XenServer environments.
Free 30 Day Trial – Turbonomic
Free 30 Day Trial – Turbonomic:
Turbonomic delivers an autonomic platform where virtual and cloud environments self-manage in real-time to assure application performance.