Multilayer Switch

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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.

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Techopedia Explains Multilayer Switch

Traditionally, switches are the network devices that forward data packets based on the Layer 2 information like media access control (MAC) addresses. Routers forward packets based on IP addresses. The router strips off the old Layer 2 header, slaps on the new one and queues the packet for transmission.

As multilayer switching technology developed, higher level functions were also added such as the ability to look deep inside packets for information that could aid in the packet-forwarding process. Thus, multilayer switches became devices that examine Layer 2 through Layer 7.

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Margaret Rouse
Editor

Margaret jest nagradzaną technical writerką, nauczycielką i wykładowczynią. Jest znana z tego, że potrafi w prostych słowach pzybliżyć złożone pojęcia techniczne słuchaczom ze świata biznesu. Od dwudziestu lat jej definicje pojęć z dziedziny IT są publikowane przez Que w encyklopedii terminów technologicznych, a także cytowane w artykułach ukazujących się w New York Times, w magazynie Time, USA Today, ZDNet, a także w magazynach PC i Discovery. Margaret dołączyła do zespołu Techopedii w roku 2011. Margaret lubi pomagać znaleźć wspólny język specjalistom ze świata biznesu i IT. W swojej pracy, jak sama mówi, buduje mosty między tymi dwiema domenami, w ten…