Layer-3-lite switches: The turbo for network performance

Without efficient networking, large corporate networks simply will not work properly: A video call in meeting room 1, external customer training by web session in meeting room 4, and countless employees using their devices to access the network all at the same time.

In the digital working world, secure and consistently high bandwidth is the key to staying ahead. Digital transformation means that large companies in particular face the challenge of transporting high volumes of data traffic. The unnoticed workhorses on any network, the switches, can significantly boost network performance. An efficient and smart solution are the layer-3-lite switches, which integrate basic layer-3 functions into the switch. This article briefly explains how switches can provide faster speeds and share the load across the hardware.

Intelligent networking scenarios

Layer-3 lite switches are suitable for large-scale scenarios operating significant numbers of network components such as IP phones, access points or surveillance cameras. For these scenarios to function without expensive electrical installations but featuring power-hungry PoE devices with high energy demands, an access switch of this type is a wise choice.

Features such as SNMPv3, SSH and SSL allow fully managed switches to be configured and managed conveniently and securely by remote maintenance. Even better: In many cases, a central management system such as the LANCOM Management Cloud can be used for the highly automated and software-defined administration of the layer-3-lite switches.

Scenario Switches

Networks with performance-hungry applications make even higher demands of the switches, and this is where smarter networking comes in. Basic layer-3 lite features ensure that tasks are distributed more efficiently between the various network components. On the one hand there is static routing, i.e. certain routing tasks are handled by the switch. Predefined network routes through one or more network segments provide faster data exchange, particularly where levels of internal data traffic are high. Load is relieved from the router, which then has more capacity to handle the external data traffic. This is a win-win situation, because efficiency increases are guaranteed at every level.

On the other hand, layer-3-lite switches operate as DHCP servers to independently and automatically assign IP addresses to clients, thus taking over the IP management of the connected network.  

The number of (multi) Gigabit Ethernet ports offers freedom of design for network scenarios. Depending on the number, entire sections of a company building can be supplied with reliable LAN.

The new LANCOM GS-3152X series offers an ideal combination for demanding networks: Power-over-Ethernet support on all 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports along with 4x SFP+ (fiber-optic) uplinks stand for high performance with transmission rates of up to 176 Gbps. One member of this series, the LANCOM GS-3152XSP, also has the option of two redundant, hot-swappable power supplies: This guarantees high availability in the event of a defect, or the PoE performance can be combined and thus doubled to provide a full 30W of PoE power on all 48 PoE ports. An additional benefit is the front-to-back ventilation, which allows optimal cooling for operation in a 19” rack, thus increasing the service life of the device.

Layer-3-lite devices present the opportunity for data-intensive networks to gain significantly more performance, more efficient structures, and high availability.

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