Gartner Research

Switching and Routing

Published: 26 March 2004

ID: G00203052

Analyst(s): William Terrill


This Technical Position provides the requirements, evaluation criteria, and alternatives for selecting switching and routing topologies for the enterprise local area network (LAN) and wide area network (WAN). The technical position has been updated to reflect the current standards for switches and routers. Discussion and recommendations for switching and routing are provided for the site/campus network and for WAN connectivity.

Table Of Contents

Decision Point

Typical Requirements

  • Single-Site/Campus LAN
  • WAN


  • MPLS Switches/Routers
  • Form Factor
  • Modular Chassis Enterprise Switches
  • Fixed Form-Factor “Stackable” Enterprise Switches
  • Switching and Routing for Desktop and Backbone
  • Layer 2 Desktop Switches with Layer 3 Backbone Switches
  • Layer 3 Desktop Switches with Layer 3 Backbone Switches
  • Layer 3 Switching at the Desktop and Layer 2 Switching in the Backbone

Future Developments

Evaluation Criteria

Statement & Basis for Position

  • Site/Campus LAN Switching/Routing Technical Position
    • Site/Campus Access Technical Position
    • Server Farm Access Technical Position
  • WAN Switching/Routing Technical Position
    • Enable MPLS in WAN routers.
    • Utilize IP routing (only) in WAN routers.
    • Use whatever public carrier services meet performance, availability, and cost requirements.

Relationship to Other Components

Revision History

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