What Does Multilayer Switch Mean?
A multilayer switch is a network device that has the ability to operate at higher layers of the OSI reference model, unlike the Data Link Layer (DLL) traditionally used by switches. A multilayer switch can perform the functions of a switch as well as that of a router at incredibly fast speeds. A switch traditionally inspects frames, while a multilayer switch inspects deeper into the protocol description unit (at packet or even at segment level). Multilayer switches use ASIC hardware circuits to perform routing functions. This differs from typical routers, which reside on a microprocessor and use applications running on it to perform their routing operations.