Will Layer 3 switches bring end to VLANs?

Will Layer 3 switches bring end to VLANs?

Virtual LANs were invented to solve the problem of router bottlenecks by allowing LAN broadcast domains to be created without regard for physical interconnections.

You can construct a VLAN in a large department or across an entire campus comprising users with common interests by linking them according to media access control addresses, IP addresses, network protocols or even the specific port numbers of a Layer 2 switch.

To the extent that VLANs eliminate network bottlenecks by simplifying traffic flow, they are effective. But because LAN manufacturers have used proprietary VLAN protocols, communications between different VLANs has been impossible.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' 802.1p/Q protocol is an attempt to set a standard for identifying VLANs by inserting their identifying numbers into a Layer 2 frame. But even this hasn't been entirely successful.

Layer 3 switches could eliminate this problem. VLANs represent Layer 2 technology, and since Layer 3 switches provide full Gigabit wire-speed routing, the need for VLANs may disappear.

'J.B. Miles

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