Layer3 Switch or Router?

I have a fairly good size network about 4000 users. At my main location where all my bandwidth and noc is I have a tower with 8 different segments on it. Currently the 8 segments are all on the same switch/broadcast domain. I am wanting to “segment” the 8 different legs with a router or a layer3 switch. My question is what do you guys recommend, or what do you have in place that is similar? I have thought about a mikrotik router and connect each segment to its own ethernet interface in the router, but I have NO experience with Mikrotik?


It all depends on how you want to scale your network.

You could place each AP or tower onto a VLAN and then bring that back to your core and pass it through a router from there to the Internet, or you can put a router on each tower and route each AP or route the entire site to the Internet directly.

A router and a layer three switch are almost the same thing. Get what makes sense for your situation, both will do the job … itches.htm

If you are Ethernet in/out, a Layer 3 switch makes sense. If you need a T1/DS3 card, then a router is needed.

Since our connection to our ISP is Ethernet, we are looking at replacing our Cisco 2924 root switch and 3600 router with a Cisco 5500 layer 3 switch to make VLAN integration easier.

Integrated switch/router combos depend heavily on how good the router card is. In the Cisco 5500 series, the router card is basically an early Cisco 7500 RSP worked into the switch. So you are conceptually going to the same model that you already have. I would suggest keeping the 3600 router and just getting a better switch, like a cisco 2950. You have a lot more flexibility when you keep the router separate. Who knows, you could upgrade the router to a box running OpenBSD with nsh :slight_smile:

One option for devices could be Alcatel-Lucent 6800 series L3 device. They are better priced than the comparative cisco device.